eBook versus printed book

Print Hi-Tech: March

Printing, digital, and marketing convergence

More interesting news and case studies involving printing and digital technologies covered in my regular ‘Hi-Tech’ category.

Today I prepared a special ‘spring’ edition with the focus on sustainability: ‘greener’ books, biodegradable bottles, food scraps for 3D printing instead of plastics.

Reuse principles are also going to change mobile communications: Ukrainian Avox is on its way to revolution of free calls to both mobiles and landline.

eBook versus printed book

In 2014, eBooks were outsold by both hardcovers and paperbacks. Book lovers are opting for both, but which variant is ‘greener’? To answer that provocative question, one should turn to basic sustainability options and life cycle analysis.

We must consider not only the trees for paper versus components of electronics products, but also the shipping costs, fuel, and ultimately the recycling issues. Where does e-waste end up?

According to a study from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, an eBook begins to compensate for a print book when at least 33 digital works with around 360 pages have been read. In other words, it is a viable option for heavy readers

A book may leave a carbon footprint of 250 g to 1 kg. Eco-publishing, lighter formats, reuse, recycling help to lower emitted kg of CO2 per book as much as possible.

eBook versus printed editions

Biodegradable ‘paper’ bottle

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Carlsberg presented the world’s first Green Fiber Bottle, which will be much lighter and fully biodegradable. Developers are going to get a non-transparent, non-breakable bottle with clear fiber structure.

The Green Fiber Bottle is being developed in partnership with the Technical University of Denmark. All materials used, including the cap, will be bio-based and biodegradable. It is worth noting that in the US, only 28% of glass was recycled in 2012.

Last year similar technology was presented by GreenBottle from UK, which was used in a US line of paper wine bottles Paper Boy with a plastic bladder inside a cardboard bottle. However, the new beverage container made from sustainably sourced wood fiber is planned to be produced in one piece with an inner coating that will decompose naturally. Moreover, Carlsberg isn’t going to keeping this technology confidential.

Biodegradable ‘paper’ bottle

Food Scraps for 3D Printing

As new applications of 3D printing appear and more affordable printers enter the market, public interest in additive printers is increasing exponentially. According to Gartner’s recent prediction, worldwide shipments of 3D printers will double in 2015 as compared to 2014 and the trend will continue till 2018.

Most of us have a strong interest in recycling these days. People feel increasingly responsible for heaps of plastic filament, not to mention 3D models ending up in the trash. Marina Ceccolini, an Italian designer, offered a highly available material for ‘green’ printing process. AgriDust consists of waste (64.5%) and a binder from potato starch (35.5%). The technology supports six types of waste: coffee grounds, peanut shell, husk tomato, bean pod, orange waste and lemon waste. You can use it to create pots for plants and packaging.

To use it as a material for 3D printers, the classic extruder is replaced with a syringe. “I don’t want to eliminate the use of plastic, because in some sectors that is unthinkable, but in the case of disposable products, you might start to think and act differently,” says Ceccolini.

Food Scraps for 3D Printing

Bonus: Made in Ukraine

Reuse and sharing are among best ways to reduce consumer waste and increase sustainability globally. Ukrainian founders of Avox are pretty sure that sharing resources philosophy has the power to change the global telecommunication market.

Avox works when 3G and WiFi are not available and it is free to call both landline and mobile phone regardless of its 3G/WiFi access. The key is Avox proprietary solution, VoIP > GSM gateway, sharing users’ mobile minutes to the Avox cloud and reallocating them among others.

The featured free app for Android phones supports voice call, instant messaging, daily stats, and share control. For now, the beta is compatible with MTK6575 and MTK6577 chipsets. Tested on: Prestigio MultiPhone 4055 Duo, Gigabyte Gsmar Maya M1, Fly iq445, Lenovo a630.

The app has already been installed by more than 10,000 mobile users from the US, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Belarus. The more locals use the app, the more free minutes are available for sharing among them.

Avox works when 3G and WiFi are not available

Technical translations

Specialisation World

You simply love what you do

Technical translations vary greately. User guides and technical specifications demand, above all, knowledge of terminology and consistency.

Marketing texts, news, and press publications add style and engagement to the demands backed by thorough understanding of technologies and trends.

Some translators told me they found technical translations too boring. However, I think they have been overlooking some of the daily enjoyments in my specialisation. My work is far from dull.

The most interesting aspect for me is the continuing convergence of technologies and industries. If earlier I worked with three different (although close) fields — graphic arts, IT, and marketing — now they have very much in common.

When I was making my first steps translating materials about printing and publishing back in 1998, a prepress company where I worked used analogue technologies mostly. Now, former printers are turning into communication solutions providers offering digital assets management and marketing campaigns support.

In my new ‘Hi Tech’ category I am going to write about most interesting cases known to me, which combine printing, digital technologies and marketing.

The next page in design

Wencia Luxury Group signed a contract with IQDEMY, DPS Innovations and Caldera on the joint manufacturing of high-tech equipment for printing on any surface for their legendary Swiss watch.

Led by a descendant from an old jeweler’s dynasty, the company tends to preserve and expand traditions of crafting exquisite jewelry and watches of impeccable quality. The newest development will be used to reproduce images on watch bands and faces made of silver, gold, platinum and other precious metals.

Special inks for silver printing will help emphasise certain design elements by creating haptic relief images on the watch surface with unusual fluorescent effects.

The next page in brand communications

Sun Chemical has teamed up with T+ink to provide conductive ink solutions to make packages and objects communicate, engage customers and manage inventory systems.

T+ink was one of the first companies to commercialize true printed electronics across a variety of industries, including toys, packaging, promotional products. Its technologies are designed to replace buttons, switches, lights, speakers, microphones, antennas, and batteries with printed ink for touch and motion-activated products.

The partners are going to provide a fundamentally new way for brands to communicate. The conductive ink is already replacing RFID codes at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, it offers more security than QR codes.

The next page in journalism

Amazing Clickable Paper technology by Ricoh is an interactive print solution that bridges the online and offline worlds. It has the ability to provide immediate one-touch access to up to six different online resources such as video/multimedia, websites, e-commerce portals and social networks.

The solution is based on Ricoh Visual Search, an image recognition technology. Although the Clickable Paper logo can be printed on the page to inform the reader that the images are hot spots for more interaction, it doesn’t require visible marks of any kind on printed materials, so there is no need to design around a barcode or a QR code, which that many of us (including me) dislike.

One of the pilots was a 4,000 run of a 274-page book enabling readers to watch a video about fishing. The technology was also used in an advert for a theatre in a monthly town magazine to encourage readers to order theatre tickets online.