Amongst my friends, I seem to stand alone in the enphusasim for this new and next form of technology. Most of these friends at some point dismissed the Tablet Computing (THAT brand or not) as “So, it’s like a phone, but bigger, but can’t make calls” or “So, it’s like a laptop, but smaller, that you can’t do much on”. It’s been a few years now since then, and I think most of them have one.
With new technology forms, there is a first troubled year. Early Adopters will get it no matter what, they’ll find a use for it. Or it’ll be concined to the back of the cupboard with your Palmtop. Either way, they’ll buy it. But for Joe Bloggs, they tend to want a use for it first, but it’s new, so the novel ways haven’t been thought up yet.
The Normal Tablet.
What I thought
When I first got my first iPad, I had a picture in my head of how, whilst on the couch, I’ll be able to parouse the internet, see what is next on telly, maybe play a game. And then on the Tube, I could read a book. I wouldn’t need to take my laptop anymore into work because I’ve got this magical device. Tube ride would be fantastic because I don’t have to get out and boot up a laptop, I just turn it on and I’ve got the latest episode of Hollyoaks on, or a new book. Plus, I wanted it mostly because it was cool; John Luke Picard has one.
I can’t work on it, you can’t type fast enough to code. Whilst on the tube, using it for input (such as writing an article) is hassle, it’s hard to type. Plus I’ve got to take it out my bag. Sounds lazy, but my phone is in my pocket, I can piss about on that without unzipping and opening up my bag. I do read books on it on the tube, but when the Small Tablet came along, well, that fits in my pocket, much easier. It did manage to replace physical books, magazines and newspapers. At first I would pirate them, but it’s easier for me to buy them on Kindle. It’s easier for me to take to bed than a laptop, plays the radio as I fall asleep, sounds the alarms properly, even analyses my sleep based on movement. And let’s be honest, as grim as it is, it’s perfect for reading on the toilet. You can’t do that at work without everyone knowing what you’re doing in there, but at home, you’re alright. I’m adding a little note here that I’ve got a spray of hand-santiser that I use.
The Tiny Tablet.
What I thought.
This is everything that the normal tablet is, only in smaller form. Smaller fonts. Harder Inputs. I’ve already got an iPad, infact, I’m on my second one. Why do I want one of these? It’s cheap though, I love tech, and I don’t have any dependencies aside buying my Ma’ some flowers and fags every now and then. And I can use it to test out my websites on Android devices.
This fits in my outside jacket pocket. It means I don’t have to go into my bag on the tube, I can just put it in my pocket and put my hand on top whilst traversing the epic journey between platforms. What someone would use a Kindle for, this is what I used it for. It was shit for anything that required proper input, such as writing an email or document, but perfect for watching telly and films, and perfect for reading Kindle books.
What I thought
Tech has really come on in an expansive rate. This is great for what I call “At A Glance Information” and “Micro Control”. This is your phone’s second screen. I have mental images of it having an NFC chip so you can just tap your wrist to the turnstiles at work. Instead of getting your phone out your pocket on the tube to change the track, you can do so by pressing some buttons on your wrist. You can set up different timers for timekeeping. It has the potential as a medical device too, the Nike Fuelband / Jaw Up, although niche, has great ratings from everyone I know who has one. It’s on your wrist, so can check your pulserate. The downsides I saw to this though were (1) “It’s rude to look at your watch” in a meeting and (2) you have to charge it every few days.
However, there are so many possibilities for what’ll be known as “wearable tech”.
I found on eBay a “Pebble Smartwatch” for £99, and went straight for it. I knew this would be a relativily limited device. It won’t be polished like if the big-name-brands did it. But I still wanted it. In terms of tech, if the smartwatch in 3 years time would be a car, I’m using a push bike. This is pre-alpha here. But, however limited this is compared to the tech-category’s potential, I think its fantastic.
I find I use it for :-
- Whilst travelling, I use it for changing the track on my phone whilst my phone is in my pocket and my hands are preoccupied by my tablet.
- Getting notifications of the important “VIP” emails whilst out and about, without getting my phone out my pocket.
- Seeing all my iOS notifications, such as Facebook messages, without having to get my phone out.
- …ermm… telling the time. But in a very pretty way.
With all this stuff, if I wish to do anything with them, then I need to take out my phone out my pocket or get to a computer, but it does have one advantage to the tablet for information in the respect that it piggy-backs your phone’s connection.
On the 4th of September, Samsung are set to revel their entry into this category, with the “Gear”. And I can’t wait to see what they do.