Tablets slowly filling more niches
I frequently talk with colleagues and friends about how they use technology and how they adopt technical innovation in their daily activities. Besides smartphones, one of the fastest rising trends is the use of tablets. They are fast, secure, reliable, easy-to-pack and travel with, and pack the power and the screen width necessary to use both for work and leisure purposes. While iPads used to be the reference model, I have seen Android based devices taking a huge leap forward lately, and competition can only bring better (and hopefully cheaper) machines.
In a world where we need portable computing capabilities, the tablet has basically ended the netbook reign, and laptops are just hanging in there. According to an article that shows the evolution of tablets at work, the most popular action was gaming, followed by web browsing, and email. I believe they will play a critical role in the adoption and use of augmented reality apps, as I described on my last post. And hopefully we’ll get more used to it: last week I was in a bank, waiting in line, and a guy next to me was playing an augmented reality game where he used his tablet’s camera to acquire real time images and play. After a while the security guard asked him to please stop, as they thought he was recording images inside the bank premises. He stopped, as I guess it’s hard to explain you are killing imaginary enemies.
Besides the basic uses that the article refers to, some of my favorite uses for tablets include:
Restaurants replacing paper menus with tablets: including images of the meal, tasting notes, suggesting appropriate wines and side dishes, likes and recommendations from people who asked for the same order, selecting how would you prefer your meat cooked, potential food allergies, calling the waiter, asking for the bill once done… I think this trend might change the future of ordering food the way we’ve known it until now.
Buy a Tablet for $60,000, and get a free high end car. Well, almost. Car manufacturers are starting to include Tablets with the purchase of new cars and apps for it. Even if you don’t own the car yet, it’s a great marketing tool. Once you do, you can display the user manual, control the cooling, use it as a GPS system or find the nearest dealer and schedule maintenance.
Last month, the FAA approved the use of the Jeppesen Mobile TC as a sole reference for electronic charts to replace paper aeronautical charts in the cockpit of executive jets. If the trend spreads to major airlines, we might end up seeing commercial airline pilots carrying their 40 to 60 pounds of flight manuals. Plus airlines are starting to include tablets in business class to provide music, films, games, flight information, menus and in general everything you need to have a much more pleasant flight. Hopefully they will extend to economy class in the near future.
Replacing books with tablets. I remember when I was a kid and carried tons of books back and forth. Many schools around the world are including new technologies, and tablets are making a huge impact in this field. South Korea, one of the early adopters, announced that it would replace school textbooks with tablets by 2015. With a budget just over $2 billion, South Korea will also create a cloud-based server system that will link all schools, and allow them to download textbooks, upload class assignments and keep a better track of individual progress.
These are just some cool ideas that are currently up and running. How do you use your tablet? What innovations do you expect in the future where tablets play a main role?
Jorge Gomez serves as VP of Global Strategic Alliances at Andago, where he analyzes business opportunities and develops new market initiatives, increasing Andago’s Health and Wellness ecosystem of partner companies. Jorge combines his Computer Science engineering vision with an Executive International MBA background, along with a thriving passion for state-of-the-art technologies and World cultures.