seanmonstar

Jan 7 2010

Tablets Will Replace Everything

Recently, there has been a bit of talk about upcoming tablets like the CrunchPad and the iSlate, and whether we need them, how useful they’ll be, or if they’re only use is browsing the web on the toilet. Many people are of the opinion that we don’t need one. Or that only gadget enthusiasts would buy it for couch web browsing. Well, I’ll go out and say it: Tablets will replace everything.

Crazy people think we don’t need tablets

I can imagine something like the iPhone with a much bigger screen being a gorgeous device with great capacity, but I don’t know where I would fit that into my life. […] Another former Apple executive who was there at the time said the tablets kept getting shelved at Apple because Mr. Jobs, whose incisive critiques are often memorable, asked, in essence, what they were good for besides surfing the Web in the bathroom.

—Just a Touch Away, the Elusive Tablet PC

The Eventuality

A tablet prototype

Eventually, everyone will carry a tablet for all their needs, technological or otherwise.

  • As a phone: We already use programs for telephony like Skype, and others access phone programs using touch screens via iPhones and Androids. If we’re already carrying around 1 piece of technology, why be bothered carrying two. We could talk similar to speakerphone, or an ear piece can easily be worn that will let us talk using the tablet via Bluetooth or some other means.
  • As a computer: Many people use their iPhones to access their e-mail, browse the web, and organize their life. It’s just a plausible on a tablet. The reason for using the iPhone is it’s portability; something the tablet will solve as well. With an on-screen, even typing comments, documents, and the like will be easily and portable.
  • As a reader: Surely, people enjoy reading blogs and their RSS feeds portably, such as on an iPhone. And with readers like the Kindle, we see people enjoy reading books, magazines, and newspapers the same way. It only makes sense to want your one personal device to do both. Another plus: students will forget lugging around text books. The backpack will become redundant. The tablet will let you look at the material for class, and also let you write notes with a touch screen keyboard.
  • As identification: Eventually, we’ll use digital identification over our driver’s licenses (or passport, etc). We’ll have some sort of encrypted file that we can pop open for showing when need be. And likely a way to broadcast it, like the public side of a private ssh key. I would be surprised if we didn’t take it further: our homes unlocking when we broadcast our ID near the door, our cars opening when we’re nearby, and the like.
  • As money: Paper money and even credit cards can be a hassle. Credit cards especially suck at letting us split the bill at a restaurant with 20 people. It’d be to everyone’s advantage if a vendor could broadcast a bill (or a money request), and we could accept on our device. Or if a friend needs to borrow a couple hundred or a thousand dollars. Sure, here you go [press button]. It will happen.