So I was at the gym the other day and noticed, and have noticed in the past, that a lot of people use their time at the gym to read. They sit on an exercise bike, run on the treadmill, or elliptical on the elliptical machine while reading books, magazines, and newspapers. Personally, I don’t understand it because when I go to the gym I am generally focused on why I am there and what I am trying to accomplish, but to each his own I guess.
I guess I wasn’t much focused that day because my mind drifted off to a vision of people at the gym holding tablets and reading their books, magazines, and news electronically. How cool would it be, I thought, if people could have access to so much more than what they have right now; if their books had links to information about the story they are reading, or the author, or related reading material…if their magazine or newspaper was interactive and they could see more photos, read expanded stories, share those stories with friends, and comment on articles?
Obviously these technologies are nothing new. We’ve been moving towards a more interactive reading experience for a number of years now. But, to bring that technology to a device that people could always have with them (and whose screen was bigger than the palm of their hand) could open up so many more possibilities.
I had a vision of people carrying their tablets wherever they went, sitting and reading (browsing) in the park, on public transportation, doctor’s waiting areas, red lights(?), outside offices on breaks from work, coffee shops, book stores…basically…out in public.
With Wi-Fi access to the internet becoming more and more ubiquitous, it only makes sense that this is the next logical step. Why lug a laptop around with you when you know all you are going to be doing is checking email, facebook, twitter, and reading various articles around the net. For the majority of what people use computers for, a tablet will work just fine.
I saw people owning a tablet for their everyday computing/web browsing, and having a laptop (desktop?) at home for storage and serious computing.
I saw this all happening in 2010. While everyone is talking about real time search, APIs, cloud music storage, and all the recent tech tag words, the tablet, I believe, will be the quiet giant of 2010 and when people look back, they will talk about how personal/mobile computing changed in 2010, just like personal/mobile music changed in 2001 with the release of the iPod.
Speaking of Apple, my vision was based on the assumption that Apple’s iTablet makes it to market in 2010 followed by a slew of other devices from Time Inc. and, hopefully, Techcrunch. The idea of the CrunchPad is what made me first consider the tablet as a worthwhile device.
In fact, the tablet will only help perpetuate all the other technologies people are talking about right now. All the social convergence happening across the web will happen on a tablet.
December 2010 shall tell us the story, but if I had money to put on the tablet, I would. And, if I were a betting man (which I’m not…see preceding sentence), I would bet on the tablet making a huge impact on the world this next year.
What do you think?