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Time Inc. demos tablet-friendly magazine concept


Time Inc. released a video walkthrough as well as a working model of its digital magazine format designed for touchscreen tablets.

Less than a month after competitor Condé Nast revealed that a digital version of Wired magazine would be available by the middle of next year, publisher Time Inc. released information Wednesday on its plans for making digital magazines a reality. Time announced that Sports Illustrated would be the first magazine to undergo the digital transition, and produced not only a video walkthrough but also a working example.

Peter Kafka at All Things Digital recently had access to the working demo of the format and reportedly had "quite a bit of fun." He reports that Time plans on making this technology available by the middle of next year or sooner.

The video features a floating hand walking the viewer though the format's various features and capabilities including: multi-touch controls, live links and sports scores, multimedia content and advertisements, and sharing though social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

AppleInsider reported several weeks ago that rumors had been swirling over the creation of plans for a multi-publisher iTunes-like digital store for selling magazines. While both the Time Inc. and Condé Nast demos look similar in presentation and capability, it is unclear whether they will share a common format.

What is clear is that Apple's forthcoming tablet has greatly influenced the thoughts and actions of print publishers. It was reported earlier in the year that Apple had contacted various publishers in order to gain support for a new device that would revolutionize the way print media is presented, and the publishers have begun to respond.

Other important players in print media have also begun to make concerted efforts to break into the digital realm. Wednesday, The New York Times officially released the Times Skimmer, an application designed to make it easier to read the paper on different screen sizes and browsers. The Times claims that it provides online readers with the layout and experience of paging though an actual newspaper.