Print-on-demand facsimiles of major dailies are a familiar sight in international hotel lobbies these days, but now Sweden’s Meganews has gone one step further, by introducing a mechanized and Internet-enabled newsstand that can print magazines as well as newspapers on demand.
“Use the touchscreen to select a magazine of your choice, pay with your credit card, and within two minutes a high-fidelity issue can be picked up at the end of the newsstand,” the Meganews site explains. “The printing course of your magazine can be followed on the monitor.”
Initial venues for the Meganews newsstand “are in locations lacking publications for sale–where new mini-markets can be created,” states the company, including hotels, Stockholm’s airport and a hospital.
Meganews claims to have “reached agreement with several of the leading publishing houses in Sweden … The approval of the publishing community enables us to offer a wide and attractive variety of publications, at present approximately 200 magazines.”
Ricoh is furnishing the printing technology, a Ricoh Pro C751 laser printer, and print quality is said to be close to a traditional glossy, while the Internet connection allows for real-time correction and updating of the magazines, just as with e-books.
The company also strongly emphasizes the low carbon footprint and limited environmental impact of its technology, especially versus older methods.
According to Meganews, “In traditional magazine sales, 40 percent generally remain unsold and go straight to recycling.” Currently Meganews offers only domestic Swedish titles, but plans are afoot to distribute its kiosks and its literature further afield, not least as the kiosk’s Internet connections make worldwide delivery potentially seamless and easily achievable.