We have had some amazing advancements in the telecommunications/ entertainment industry. Every gadget has had one objective in common though – introducing ‘ease of use’. The iPhone took ‘ease-of-use’ to another level with its capacitive touchscreen technology. Next came the kindle and Sony e-book reader (of which I believe only Sony’s book reader has touch capabilities – For more on book readers, read this crunchgear article) The laptop makers and even biggies like Microsoft and Apple must have sensed this as a huge opportunity. This week, we have had a slew of articles – all speculating about Apple tablet, Microsoft’s tablet – Courier, even a tablet with touchscreen capabilities by HP. The question is – are touchscreen tablets the next ‘in’ thing after mobile phones and book readers? Here’s why I think the answer is Yes –
Touch has the potential to truly lower the language barrier – Today, what holds gadgets off is the interface in English. For expanding into diverse markets like India, lowering the language barrier is essential alongwith the prime factor called cost. As touchscreen gadgets penetrate the market, the ‘qwerty’ keyboard can be replaced with a hindi language keyboard. This itself promises to change lives of many who wish to use gadgets like these.
(Caution: Image below is pure speculation on techblogs as of now. There has been NO official announcement)
Touch for ease of use – Icons are possibly the easiest way of identifying with things. Every advanced phone today has one character- icon representation of features. While some phones such as Nokia N95 use buttons to browse icons, latest phones like Samsung star, Nokia N97 and IPhone 3GS are using touchscreen to scintillating effect. Today, calling my best friend is as simple as pressing my finger on his/her photo in the contacts list. That for me is great ease of use.
Why tablets are the way to go?
Even now, for work, people prefer a larger screen. Can you imagine yourself writing a full report or doing a ppt or an excel sheet on a mobile? Majority of people will still say they would like to look at a larger screen. A tablet would not only increase mobility (since these gadgets would definitely be more portable than a laptop) but also aid faster browsing.
Clearly, all major firms in this field must be working towards creating a superb interface . This is one field where one can expect a lot of advances, particularly in 2010.
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