Short Edition’s story dispenser proves the best tech isn’t always the flashiest

The headlines at technology shows such as CES are almost always the gadgets that offer the brightest colours or loudest sounds.

New entertainment products such as TVs from the biggest names tend to get the attention, but the very best in tech tends to be found elsewhere.

A perfect example of such a hidden gem comes in the form of French start-up Short Edition, an online literature platform, and its short story dispenser.

The kiosk it has created has three buttons, each denoting the amount of time someone would like to read for – either one, three or five minutes.

Pressing one of the buttons issues the user with a story.

The works are sourced from the firm’s community platform, which is made up of more than 7,800 authors from around the world who submit their stories.

This means that, for many, the dispensers may serve as the first time their work has made it into print.

The printouts are also eco-friendly, using certified paper and printed without chemicals, the company says.

Short Edition has even found a fan in legendary film director Francis Ford Coppola, who has placed one of the dispensers in his San Francisco cafe, as well as invested in the company.

So far, around 100 of the dispensers have been placed around France, as well as a handful in North America, one in Africa and one in Hong Kong.

But now the company wants to expand to other parts of the world, with the idea being to give more people the chance to enjoy the simplicity of reading wherever they are – be it a train station, university campus or bus stop.

So you see sometimes, the best tech at CES isn’t the latest 4K TV or a driverless car.

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