The iPad is imPortant

Perhaps not in this incarnation – remember the first iPod? But the concept is very, very important for two reasons:

- It’s the first computing device that’s social in the real world. The iPhone is something that one person uses at a time. The Laptop screen faces you – two people using it at one time is awkward. iPad style devices can be shared in the real world – imagine laying it flat and playing multiplayer games facing each other, or watching a movie together, or even showing someone a web page – far easier than on any other device.

- It runs the iPhone OS. Why do users need to know what a file system is? Or map the interactions of a moving block of plastic onto a screen (mice)? Or worry about memory management? Or multiple levels of trash-delete? Or the concept of multiple, mounted volumes? Or which network you’re connected to?

Basically, the iPad is (a) usable by the other 5.5 Billion humans, and (b) it can enhance real, physical human interactions. These two facts alone make it a worthy successor to the iPod and iPhone. Steve isn’t ready to start filling niche markets just yet. He’s still looking to rule the world.

7 thoughts on “The iPad is imPortant

  1. Completely agree with you Naval. I would add one more bullet point.

    I believe it is the first true device that can replace the medium for content in classrooms. Why wouldn’t every school in the world replace $1000+ worth of textbooks with an ipad? Netbooks aren’t a good solution for this.

    A few things would need to happen:
    * Textbooks would need to be re-imagined (solution books and problem sets can now be infinitely more interactive)

    * A mode of engagement with kids would need to be developed.. maybe it’s some combination of parents footing the bill for their kids ipads for those who can afford it, plus the school throwing in ipads that students can check out (the way they do with textbooks today).

    * creating a delivery and distribution model for those textbooks (which it seems apple is headed down)

    But imagine what an entire generation of students would look like if they never actually dealt with a physical textbook!

    That to me is the definition of important.

  2. The only thing missing is a little bit more precise input. Equipped with a pen it will be the ultimate device. Do not get me wrong, I love the touch interface on the iPhone. It will be still great on the iPad for viewing content.

    Considering the big screen though, the iPad will allow creating viable content. Fingers cannot replace the pen. I am willing to retire the paper I have to still carry around. One day this will happen…

  3. Naval

    Agreed, over and over again, except for the “usable by the other 5.5 billion humans”. I probably missed something, but almost anything is usable, right? And just because it’s usable, doesn’t mean it’s sellable; and just because it’s sellable doesn’t mean it’s adoptable. (He said out of respect)

    My interest, when Apple introduced this, was how entire industries could adopt the iPad. Imagine an 8 – 10 megapixel camera on the iPad, being held by an IT guy. Now picture Susan in accounting having difficulties with the printer. She tags the printer with her iPhone and writes what is wrong. The IT guy, with the help of augmented reality, can look around and see Susan’s problem – 10 stories and three buildings away. This scenario could be adopted by several industries – tow truck driver, medical, construction.

    The IPad is many things. I believe it should work in conjunction with the iPhone, instead of being an in-between machine. It’s there that entire industries can adopt it.

  4. I don’t know why, but I feel Steve Jobs did it again. As it already happened for smart phones, even in this case tablet PCs have been in front of us for many years, but they didn’t move a dime. They didn’t changed any previously consolidated paradigm, and additionally they didn’t impact so widely on our life. iPad will do, and I’m pretty sure that a new wave of tablet-like devices is just around the corner from vendors like Acer, Sony or Asus. Probably they won’t using Windows, but something more similar to Kindle OS (linux-like, simple and effective).

  5. I’ve been wondering about the implications of the iPad on OLPC.

    Are there any development ‘platforms’ easily programmable on or from an iPad/iPhone?

    This could be the killer way to introduce hacking to kids.

  6. “You’ll be walking around in downtown London and be able to see the shops, the stores, see what the traffic is like. Walk in a shop and navigate the merchandise, not in the flat, 2D interface that we have on the web today, but in a virtual reality walk through.” – Bill Gates, 2005

    This explain why iPad is a revolution, it is the evolutionary link to the future of a technology that will be in full cooperation and sensory fusion within our social relationships. And here I agree with you Naval, the most important technological changes are those that ultimately alter the place of technology in our lives. The real matter is not the technology itself but its relationship with us.
    To me iPad is what “Homo Erectus” has been in our anthropogenesis.

    During the past half century of computation there has been two main trends, based on a more or less latent dichotomy: human relationships and PC relationships. Internet has created an artificial nervous system based on the concept of distributed computing that has introduced a new kind of relationship: ubiquitus computing, “the age of calm technology, when technology recedes into the background of our lives “.

    This is not only an academic statement. From SixthSense (bit.ly/c1O6pZ) “a wearable device that enables new interactions between the real world and the world of data” through Plastic Logic’s flexible e-paper display (2008 prototype: bit.ly/9bfKI6). All this leads to an integrated technology within our social relationships and our senses, Negroponte once said that technology integrated within human existence is just the dawn of Genechnology, a future where technological devices will be grown directly within our organs…yes…I know that is sci-fi…but don’t you think that for our grandfathers would have been sci-fi the ability to enlarge a picture just tapping on it?!

    iPad is the mass interface that will carry us through this fast approaching shift towards “calm”, integrated and interactive technologies.

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