In case you haven't noticed, tablet computers are the "Next Big Thing" today.
Apple owns nearly 60% of the market with their iPad, while 30% is Android-based products, and a bit less than 10% are Windows-mobile based machines.
Tablets will fundamentally change the way we interact with computers over the next 5 years or so.
That's because the viewing surface is the interface.
Another reason is they have something called an accelerometer in them, as well as GPS location detection, which gives them the unique ability to know where they are in space and how they're oriented. If you wave one around, bang it, spin it, twist it, or throw it across the room, the software running on it can tell what happened and react appropriately.
Traditional publishing usually consists of one or two things: (1) content; and possibly (2) an index or table of contents (TOC).
The TOC serves as a kind of "menu" that lets you find stuff in the content quickly.
If you're really lucky, you'll be able to define some bookmarks to find some favorite places quickly.
Tables will take this to the next level. Content can be not only text, but video, audio, slide shows, static or embedded links to web pages, ... you name it.
The TOC can be made up of images, icons, even interactive widgets, as well as multi-level hierarchies that can be arbitrarily arranged by you based on your needs and desires.
And the material doesn't need to be delivered linearly any more.
Now, you might argue that most of this is already true, but we haven't seen it yet ... so what will tablets do to make it happen?
Well, that gets back to the surface being the interface. With multi-touch gestures (multiple fingers doing different things to mean different actions) and customizable menus, content will be delivered only in a "default organization". Once you get it, you'll be able to mash it up however you like. And mark it up.
This form is for discussing the possibilities around how you can use Tablet computers to create a whole new experience for your customers that can't be gotten any other way.
Notice I'm focusing on "tablets" here, not "mobile devices". Some people like reading things in a tiny 2"x3" window, but not everybody is that patient, has sufficient eye sight, and has tiny enough fingers to manage that kind of work area effectively. Tablets are big enough for everybody to utilize them effectively.
What do you think? Post your questions and comments here.
-David "The Tool Wiz" Schwartz