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Saturday, January 30

iPad and the Future of Computing

I believe that the Apple iPad represents the next step in the future of computing. A trite and often spoken phrase, but let me explain.

Right now, laptops, phones and pdas are all viewed as tools. When I want to do something "online", I go looking for my computer. The future is when using a computer or getting on the internet becomes as frequent and often as watching TV, listening to the radio or opening my fridge. It needs to become a thing that is a given, always there, always available and everyone has one. The iPad changes this by bring a computer within price range of the all Americans. This is said with the assumption that after the first year of release the price will half, like most other technical products.

The iPad also lowers the barrier to use. Humans have an odd trait that 80% of the time we will use the tool easiest available or soonest available rather than the best tool for the job. What ever tool has the least barrier to usage, becomes the one we use by choice.

Today, when I want to get online I have to go "find" and "turn on" a computer. Even if that action is as simple as opening a device and logging in. The iPad takes another step toward changing this. Here is a device that is always on, doesn't have to be "opened" and is more "available" then other internet connected device. (Excluding smart phones). It's light enough and small enough that I can leave it anywhere, my bed, the bathroom, the kitchen, the can just be with me as I roam my life.

Removing the keyboard as an essential part of the computer experience is a huge step. Apple started it with the iPhone and if they can truly enable keyboard less computing, it will dynamically change the way we use computers.

A note, I think netbooks set the stage for the iPad but I never felt that they were really the next step, they made computers cheaper but at the cost of quality. A good thing, but not necessarily an advancement in technology.


Anonymous said...

just something about the iPad:

Julius Clark said...

As a person who also has a background in Electronic Engineering. Advancements in technology does not necessarily translate into BETTER human usage. The iPad is the latest technology innovation, but my hang up is that if you want to use this thing and be comfortable you would need to lay flat on your stomach. At least with a Netbook you can comfortably use it from a table top or your lap. Great for watching videos on, but you would want to use a stand with it when you want to be hands free and not look down at table; bad ergonomic situation with this. Great innovation, but really not so particle. Additionally, why does this thing not have a built-in camera? There is definitely no lack of space.

Apple will always have people running to snatch up their products because they are cool to have, but not necessarily transcending the way we do things. The good old PC is still the way to go for rigorous computer work.


mobeamer said...

I disagree with you. (Respectfully of course)

Your argument is like saying a book is not useful because it won't stand by itself.

Think about this, if typing becomes you really need two hands to use a PC? Or would just a mouse be sufficient.

If a mouse is sufficient then why can't you hold the device? We hold phones and use them with no problem?

Julius Clark said...

I just don't think that the iPad is going to transcend the way we compute; not with this product. This thing is great for reading emails, web browsing and looking at photos; its not transcending so much that people can leave the laptop at home and do everything they are used to doing. Apple's products are great magical experiences. And again this thing does not even have a digital camera built into it. Not replacing convenience yet in my book. Just the latest thing from a creative company.

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