Netly: The Third Screen

The magazine of the future: a Sports Illustrated prototype

Posted on: December 2, 2009

Terry McDonnell, editor of Sports Illustrated, and his team have been working for months with The WonderFactory, a NY-based design shop, to build a digital version of the magazine.

This video is a highlights reel; SI has a working prototype that’s ginned up for an HP touchpad, which was given to focus groups. They loved it by the way. There was even consensus that people would be willing to pay $50 for both the paper magazine and the digital version. (The best verbatim: “Sorry—can we go back and see the ad again?” People loved the Weber Grill ad, which you can see in the demo.)

The demo was done in Air, because it was easy to do it in Air. This was not a religious choice—that is, whether we actually produce magazines in Flash/Air remains to be seen. The intent was to imagine a “giant iPod” kind of device, and build the best possible user experience. It would be easy to step this down a bit for the smaller screen and produce it in, say, Cocoa Touch for the iPhone, for instance.

My two cents: I think this is really cool. Terry and The WonderFactory’s David Link (who I think is destined to become the Roger Black of the digital magazine world) and the gang did an amazing job, and I can’t wait to see this go into production.

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