Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Printing books using an ATM-like machine

Here is a link to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on what I view as a revolutionary idea in the book publishing industry: Printing books on demand using an ATM-like book-printing machine:

University of Michigan Library Installs 'ATM of Books'

Library users at the University of Michigan will soon be able to order print-on-demand copies of books from the university’s collection—and get them in about the time it takes for a barista to whip up a latte. The Espresso Book Machine, a book-printing machine described as “the ATM of books,” goes online at Michigan’s library Oct. 1. Michigan says it’s the first university library to install the machine.
Just about any digitized, out-of-copyright book from Michigan’s collection can be printed and bound on the spot. Printing takes five to seven minutes, and the cost is about $10 per book. Users will also be able to print books from online sources such as the Open Content Alliance. The Espresso’s manufacturer, On Demand Books, wants to create a network of machines in libraries and bookshops around the world, allowing users to print books from collections anywhere.

Click here for a video demo of the Espresso Book machine at work