There are some people who think we’re entering a tablet bubble – that analysts are pushing growth too hard and that people don’t yet know what they will do with their tablets. And to be honest, I’m still someone who needs three devices to get my work done and most people when surveyed admit they use their tablet primarily for entertainment.
Part of that is the fact that the majority of new tablet owners have iPads and Android tablets, designed for entertainment before productivity. Another part is that the tablet platform has not fully defined itself yet – it’s so new that manufacturers are eager just to get into the market. They haven’t actually figured out how they will specialize and provide solutions to their customers.
With that in mind, I foresee a future when tablet computers are more than a tech fad and offer a variety of solutions for the productivity focused. People will own multiple tablets for multiple tasks in their lives (not just enthusiasts like us, but average consumers).
That does include the entertainment tasks people use them for now – reading and watching movies on an airplane or playing games on a particularly relaxed Sunday afternoon. But, it also includes everything you’d imagine a tablet can be as the technology advances. I’m talking about a tablet for work productivity – complete with word processing and spreadsheet functionality, cloud access to work files, and tools for video conferencing with colleagues.
It means there will be tablets designed specifically for education – our children will be able to access their textbooks, homework, and teachers with the flick of a finger. We will be able to check their grades and their current curriculum without calling a teacher. College will become more accessible for millions because of remote access.
I already posted the other day about what the next wave of tablet features might look like; this is a little different. I want to know what you think about the future of multi-tablet use. I believe tablet technology, like all technology, is best served through a variety of manufacturers focusing on specific niches in which they can excel. Right now, a lot of them are trying to do everything all at once and in the process churning out more and more iPad clones.
When companies start turning their attention toward how they can provide a very powerful product for a very specific purpose, we’ll move beyond the current boom of one hot gadget after another. Tablets will be designed to meet a specific need on the market and maybe we’ll finally be able to move beyond using them as just one of many computing devices – there might be days when a tablet is the only device you pick up.
What do you think? Is a future of tablet-only computing something you’re excited to see? What moves by major manufacturers are you hoping for in the years to come and how will they affect the evolution of the burgeoning tablet industry?