Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thoughts on the iPad

A few weeks ago, I made some predictions on what might be announced with the Apple tablet device. I tried to include a mix of new technologies, new usage models, and new business opportunities for both Apple and consumers. To a decent extent, I was in the ballpark on most of my predictions, with some of them still being possibilities at a later date.

Like many people, I read the comments from journalists and "experts" after the launch party. I made a mental checklist of items that appeared to be "missing", and features that appeared to be unique. The technologist in me was driving my evaluation. But then I went and watched the keynote by Steve Jobs. As he sat in the chair, surfing the web, it dawned on me that this would actually be the "Internet & media consumption" model of the future. While it was obviously staged, the experience of watching Jobs lose himself while he experienced the world offered a glimpse of the future. The experience appears to be a preview (or 1st generation) of the experience where the activity and the computing device begin to blur, and the computer no longer gets in the way. Marc Cuban seems to agree.

It doesn't do everything that previous devices do, but it does appear to do certain things uniquely well. The definition of a disruptive technology. It will get significantly better over time, just as the iPhone did between the 2G and 3GS models.

Sitting on my couch, typing this blog on my MacBook laptop, I wish I was using an iPad instead. My legs are too warm from the laptop, and the power cord keeps getting in my way. Yes in deed, it's time for a new device and a new paradigm.

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