What about this innovation applied to the traditional bookseller retail bmodel ?
Is Blackwell´s stores network a new value offer for some clients segment ? : Personalized (black vs.coloured )books , personal touch & advice from the local bookseller ,quick response and ready made books on demand, with no inventories and upgraded bookshop scenario and unique emotional experience...
I've heard from insiders at Chapters / Indigo that they invested heavily in a similar machine (if not this brand), to compete with similar investments made by Barnes and Noble.
It looks to me like the big book-sellers who are loosing big sales to Amazon are the ones who are really going to benefit from these things!!!
I'd also say it works best when paired with the traditional book browsing experience. Browsing books on a shelf is still a wonderful experience that hasn't been matched digitally and doesn't look like it will be for a while. There's a very particular customer case I see this machine fulfilling, that you were right, Amazon long tail distribution was one of the only services that was really fulfilling that case.