As of today, it looks like Amazon + Sprint via Whispernet. It's Apple + AT&T via iPhones. Verizon + RIM via Blackberry. 'It's Google + Nokia, Samsung + et al. via Android.
Now we read that Amazon is getting ready to deliver contextually accurate ads in ebooks on the Kindle. We further read that "Tracking the ads would rely on bar codes or another type of numeric code placed on the ads. I would let advertisers know that people saw the ads and want to know more."
So how far away is this from free-to-the-reader of books? The step to free-to-the-school textbooks or versioned clickable newspapers seems a natural.
The most likely driver will be Amazon and/or Google. They could deliver through Oce, Xerox, Canon or KM, using a printernet publishing model. A less likely driver might be IBM. But they seem to trapped in a blind spot in regard to print. Perhaps it will be Google + CGX + Alphagraphics. Or the really long shot would be HP and Indigo. But HP is probably to busy being busy to focus. By the time they turn the ship around, the market will be full of early adopters and first movers.
Kodak? If they could free up the Creo offset part, bring in the newspapers and build on the connection with KM they are the dark horse.
Only time will tell, but I've copied the most of post from Media Post. It is, in my not so humble opinion, a must read.
One co-inventor, Udi Manber, left Amazon for a gig as VP of engineering for search at Google. Filed December 2006 and granted last month, the patent would give consumers who purchase a print book an electronic copy of the physical version, too.
Two additional patents filed by Amazon, published July 2, describe incorporating targeted advertising in on-demand generated content. These patents, filed in Dec. 2007, provide an example for advertising on Kindle.
The patents clearly note that Amazon would insert advertisements throughout the ebooks, from the beginning to the end, between chapters or following every 10 pages, as well as in the margins. A cross-reference feature would add annotations, supplemental reference materials, and illustrations, as well as the ability to print on-demand paper copies in PDF and other format files. Kindle relies on Sprint to download content to the reader.
Slawski says Amazon's patents claim several advantages to serving up ads to consumers. One such benefit considered has been a lower price for the book if the consumer agrees to view advertisements. On page 12 in the novel that describes a restaurant, for example, Kindle would serve up an ad on food or dinning in the margin. If the novel takes place in Europe, the advertisements might relate to European hotels and resorts. For those who have a profile, the ads could also tie into that information.
Tracking the ads would rely on bar codes or another type of numeric code placed on the ads. I would let advertisers know that people saw the ads and want to know more. The code might associate the code and the ad with a specific consumer if the person logs into the profile page. The patents also describe interacting with the ads to get more information.
Advertisers would need to provide additional information to Amazon, other than the ad, so it is shown in places relevant to the person ordering the book.