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Top 10 Applications of the Apple IPAD And Other Tablets

Posted in Startup Lessons, Futurism, Innovation, Technology, E-Commerce by chandanscorner on February 14, 2010

Consumption of information on digital devices has been limited to the desktop computer for a very long time. Then came along the laptop computer, which offered similar capabilities in a smaller form factor and with the advantage of mobility. Laptops were meant to carry information around and made a huge difference to people on the move. The mobile phone became the next biggest mobile digital device and the simple phone morphed into a communication device for not just voice but also data.

The IPhone and other smart phones made a huge impact on how data was consumed and shared. We are still at the beginning of this curve. Smart phones have just made an entry and are yet to be adopted by the wider population. Smart phones from other providers are also in very early stages and we must see this development show its fullest impact in the next 5 years.The IPAD and the Google Chrome OS Tablet [or at least what it’s called now] seem to be an extension to this huge evolutionary step in mobile information consumption.

So what changes when the laptop is offered in a new form factor [aka the IPad] ?

The Form factor determines how a device is used. For example the stationary phone has limited use and a household would have just one. With the mobile phone the usage changed and the phone became a personal device from being a location specific device. This change resulted in multi fold increase in its use and consumption. Resulting in more phones than we could have ever imagined and also greater usage. The functionality was the same but the form factor and the ability to perform the action while on the move made the huge difference? Similarly the Tablet with its book like form factor can find use in places that could only be the thing of imagination in the past . This article discusses a few interesting ways in which the Tablet computer could be used.

The Laptop computer works well. Its form factor allows it do certain things very well. The IPAD may not be a direct alternative or replacement to the Laptop. On the other hand the IPAD may be used in new ways. Creating new markets and business opportunities which could be compeltely different than what its creators had imagined while conceiving the device.  Let see some of the possibilities here..

Attributes That Make a Tablet Different

  • Always On: Being always on, the Tablet is more usable as a utility device.
  • Hand held : More like a book or a phone than a computer the tablet can be fixed to walls, handed over by sales reps, put on kiosks etc
  • Interactive : Provides greater involvement with the user
  • Online : Ability to  Interact with websites/upload results to central servers
  • Portable : Can be used while on the move and easily moved from one location to another
  • Low Cost : Mass Produced the Tablet has the potential of Low Cost while delivering a very high quality product
  • Off the Shelf Software: Built on standard off the shelf software and with a wide developer base the applications can be easily distributued

The Top 10 Applications of the Apple IPAD and other Tablet Computers

1. Mobile Interactive Advertisements

Why the Tablet PC

  • Form Factor
  • Interactive
  • Online
  • Portable
  • Mass Produced

Interactive ads have been experimented for quite some time now. Static ads work ok but they can be easily overlooked and are not able to convey more than one sentence worth of information. Making the ads more interactive helps both the customer as well as the advertising brand. The interactive ads help customers learn more about the brand by interacting with the communication and result in greater brand understanding and recall. This model is also more measurable than traditional banners ads where there is no way to measure impact or reach. For instance helping dog owners learn about the life cycle of dogs and their dietary needs at different stage of growth can help the customer learn more and associate better with the brand. A tablet like device can enable this. And why a tablet vs. a custom built device? With the tablet being mass produced the economics are going to be far cheaper than a custom device and software and skills to create the communication will be more easily accessible.

2. The Digital Window

Image Source: Skype.com Attributes of the Tablet Beneficial here

  • Interactive
  • Single Purpose Device
  • Form Factor
  • Low Cost

Video calls are possible today and have been possible over the last 5 years with applications like Skye . However they were always for the technically savvy. The Ipad coupled with a high speed broadband connection and a powerful camera can be offered as a single purpose Digital Window that would let you make Video calls to anyone across the world. Its simplicity and the fact that it would just work would let the mainstream user adopt it more readily and would make the tech savvy user use it more often. This could be a huge difference to the way people communicate.

3. Customer Feedback

Attributes of the Tablet Beneficial here

  • Online
  • Form Factor
  • Mass Produced
  • Portable

Image Source: http://www.248am.com/mark/interesting/digital-customer-feedback-system/

Customer Feedback has been collected on pen and paper for a very long time. The problem with this method is it is manual and prone to errors. Also the response is not immediate. If you are managing a franchisee chain of 100 outlets, you would not get a real time picture of the customer service levels across yours franchisees. A tablet like device could be used to collect customer feedback that would sync the information directly with the corporate headquarters and provide you a real-time view.  So the right people can take up the matter as soon as customer service levels being fall and not as a reactive measure at the end of the quarter when the damage is already done.

4. The Menu Card in Your Favorite Restaurant

Attributes of the Tablet Beneficial here

  • Interactive
  • Form Factor
  • Low Cost

Image Source:http://www.techfresh.net/partner-unveils-101-inch-digital-menu-board-menu-online/

The restaurant menu card has not changed in form for the last few hundred years. The menu is always printed in paper back and contains the name and description of the food. Everything depends of the maître d’ to suggest the right food or provide a good explanation of whats on the menu. And from our past experience all of us can say that only a few restaurants are be able to do a good job here. The Tablet based menu can provide not only the name and description of the food but it can also provide a picture of the dish, a short video description by the chef, the ratings for the dish from fellow patrons and ability to order the dish right away by just tapping on it. It could also reduce the size of queues in fast food outlets by adding multiple tablet based billing counters at a fraction of the cost of a manually attended ones.

5. Books, News Papers, Magazines

Attributes of the Tablet Beneficial here

  • Interactive
  • Form Factor
  • Low Cost

Image Source:http://www.apple.com/ipad/

This use-case has been talked about much and so I am not going to say a lot here. Tablets like Amazons Kindle, Sony’s E reader and then the main stream tablets like the IPad will make a huge impact on this space. The reason many of the older eBook readers did not succeed was they did not reach critical mass to encourage the publishers or the consumer enough to accept this as a mainstream tool. However companies like Apple and Amazon have the power to make this shift happen with online stores and a very large customer base. The way we consume books, magazines and news papers is going to see a huge change in the very near future.

6. Wall Clock of the Future

Attributes of the Tablet Beneficial here

  • Interactive
  • Form Factor
  • Low Cost

Image Source: http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/18779/touchscreen-photoframe/

The Clock is such a ubiquitous device. It shows the time and has been doing so for a very long time, yet very little progress has been made in the way the clock communicates. The future Clock could be a Tablet on the wall that shows the time when you need it to and shows your family photos, your pictures from last trip you tool to Hawaii , Weather forecasts from popular whether stations and even headline of the top stories for the day.  And alerts from the citys emergency broadcast service.

7. Bed End Medical Record Units

Attributes of the Tablet Beneficial here

  • Interactive
  • Form Factor
  • Low Cost

Paper based Medical Bed End Record units could be replaced with Tablet based Medical Record Units. This unit can provide not just the current health information and medications but can pull the patients complete medical history and have it ready for the doctor on the rounds to review the patients health with all the information they need.

8. Digital Tourist Guides

Attributes of the Tablet Beneficial here

  • Interactive
  • Form Factor
  • Online

Image Source: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?contentid=5191

The Ipad fitted with a GPS device and Tourist guides can help a traveler find his way in a new town, reach places of interest and when there learn about the place. The Device can suggest the tourist place to eat, stay and experience and view reviews of other tourists. Such a device can be provided on rent at the airport, the local car hire service or tourist places .

9. Enquiry Kiosks at Retail Stores

Attributes of the Tablet Beneficial here

  • Interactive
  • Low Cost
  • Online

Today’s retail stores are big really big and they have lots of “skus” or products. Customers can get lost in the maize and not know where to go To get the product they are looking for. Sales reps too may be lost at time or may not be available when needed. Further there is the hesitation In speaking to a human if the product you are looking for may make you look funny. Enquiry kiosks can be placed in retail outlets with direct Access into the warehouse to each product enquiry is served while the enquiry is recorded so if the product is out of stock then the inventory Folks can place an order for more. Enquiry kiosks are available today but require a high amount of up front payment by the company as they Are custom made. With off the shelf devices like the IPAD companies can afford more kiosks . This use case is applicable not just for retail stores But airports, railway stations and any place customers need further information.

10. The Intelligent Home

Attributes of the Tablet Beneficial here

  • Interactive
  • Low Cost
  • Computing Power
  • Connected

With energy costs sky rocketing, efficient use of energy is gaining importance. Digital devices are converging and are able to talk to each other . The digital home will be more efficient, more human and will be able to sense your presence and alter the air conditioning, temperature, ambient light and the music to suit your needs. While different digital apps will come with the ability to be controlled remotely the intelligence will lie within a portable device with significant computing power like the Tablet PC.


These were a few of the many different ways the IPAD could be put in use , uses that maybe much differenent from what the creators of the IPad intended it to be used for. So if you were thinking of tossing away your laptop to get one of those new IPads think again, Its a very potential device but has its own place , much different from you existing laptop or Iphone.

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5 Responses

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  1. Russel Brawn said, on March 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Apple has once again built an amazing product that looks good and feels great in the hand with a well-known user interface, borrowed from the iPhone and iPod touch, it is perfectly suited to the big screen. My 1st impressions of the iPad are very positive, the iPad whizzes along, opening applications, resizing web pages, and zooming in and out of maps almost instantaneously. I´m still waiting to test further, but the first tests are amazing. Regards, Russel Brawn

  2. Keitha Haren said, on March 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    awesome posting more on health pls!!!

  3. cigna said, on March 2, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Why WOULD Apple want to send any of their IPads out to the Apple Stores for demo before they are released to sell? Because they won’t sell as many if the consumers know how much they suck beforehand! As for the “anti apple Shrils” (Gee.. I hope I misspelled that as accurately as “Gijoeinla”), we simply want something a bit more versatile, less restricted by Apple’s greed (App-Wise), and not so dumbed down that it appeals more to the masses that cannot even spell or use correct punctuation.

  4. Issac Maez said, on February 26, 2010 at 5:02 pm

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  5. Cheap DVD Boxsets said, on February 26, 2010 at 12:04 am

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