Archive for July, 2010

Tablet computing

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Man has an inherent need to communicate; whether it’s for posterity, culture or more commonly transactions; we’ve always had this requirement. One of the earliest forms of this was the ‘cuneiform’.  This was a clay tablet that could be inscribed. Basic but functional. The materials changed over time. Several key developments have aided how we capture information and communicate it. The invention of paper. The first printing press with moveable type. The camera, wireless and latterly, computer. Several iterations of the personal computer have come and gone. The latest of which, has now evolved into the tablet computer.

As a tablet computer, Apples iPad has certainly grabbed at lot of attention recently.  It is obvious from its’ looks that it is a tablet computer. What is less obvious, is what you can use it for, and where it fits in with our everyday technology? Apple are happy to sell its’ uses as a web surfing, email, gaming and presentation tool. From the people I’ve talked to, hardly any have yet rushed out to buy this exciting bit of technology. They can’t see a use for it. I think this may be a case of Apple being ahead of its’ customers. It will take more adventurous and creative thinking consumer to slot this into its own niche.

I am not sure anyone wants to spend money on a device that, in some respects, mimics what can already be done with phones and laptops. I am in danger of missing the point of the tablet as I think it is the experience of what it delivers rather than the regular content we are used to, that is its selling point.
With more of a drawing capability, I would use one to coexist with paper notebooks. A lot more use could be gained from it than a more passive reading deviice. It would be quite useful for people to use when they want to surf and check emails more comfortably. I’m currently writing this on my iPhone on a train (with the sound off!); a bigger screen and keyboard would speed this up and totally enhance the experience.
No matter how I may view it, it’s fair to say it’s here to stay, judging by its sales figures.