I found this incredibly convincing and exciting video on YouTube which actually is a great example of the types of things we could do with the iSlate, even if this video isn’t real.
Driving back from the grocery store today there was a segment on NPR about the magazine industry and how much it has changed as more and more people are choosing to purchase and consume their media digitally. I instantly thought of the all-but-confirmed Apple iSlate/Tablet and some specific ways it could truly improve our daily lives, or at least make them more fun. Here are 5specific examples:
It’s been the topic of conversation on many of the tech shows, including MacBreak Weekly (which I LOVE), that the new tablet could be a wonderful platform for distributing books and magazines. The screen, being very high resolution and likely about 10″ in size, would be perfect for consuming rich and colorful magazines, not to mention reading the hottest new novel. With the right software and a nice page turning effect I get excited thinking about what the tablet could mean for magazine consumption.
And think about the new abilities that would be given to previously print-focused publishers to enhance the content of their magazines; now instead of just having a photo of Steve Jobs unveiling the iSlate you could actually include a video of the event right in with the story. Essentially it would begin to blur the line between traditional print media and web content. Of course this would force the magazines to come up with incentives to keep subscribers jumping ship, but I’m sure many trust and enjoy the content of their favorite magazine(s) enough to continue paying a subscription fee for the digital distribution. After all, it’s all about content.
The iPhone has proven that people are willing to play games on a small portable device even if it means sacrificing the killer graphics that they’re used to with the Xbox 360, PS3 and the PC. The App Store on iTunes has hit over 3 BILLION downloads since opening just over a year ago and a large percentage of those downloads are games. Imagine a racing game where the tablet in fact becomes the steering wheel and you’re holding it 2 feet in front of your face; sounds fun doesn’t it? A touch-based interface with a large screen could pave the way for many game interfaces that we haven’t seen before, and that’s exciting.
TV and Movies on the Go
There’s been some talk about Apple pitching the id of a TV subscription service. Personally I love the idea of being able to ditch my cable company, which is easily 10 years behind the technology curve, but we’ll save that for another time. There have also been a number of applications in the App store that prove that you can stream video to the iPhone and get pretty amazing results. Are you catching my drift here? What if the tablet offers the ability to access streaming television shows from your favorite studios at any time? The process might look something like this:
- Subscribe to a television studio on iTunes (or the tablet itself)
- Have instant access to all of the shows, episodes, specials, etc that are released by that studio
- Pick what you want to watch and stream it to the tablet
Also in a previous post, Apple Acquires Lala.com but why?, I talked about how Apple’s purchase of Lala.com could be a huge hint that they’re planning to start offering storage and streaming of our iTunes libraries. Is it possible that we’ll be able to watch any of the movies, video podcasts or TV shows from our iTunes library on the tablet over 3G or Wi-Fi?
Convenient Internet and email from anywhere
While I’m still pretty excited about the fact that I can truly browse the web on my iPhone, it’s inevitable that the experience will suffer because of the smallish screen size. It’s possible that I’m alone in this one, but the fact that I have frankfurter fingers and club hands doesn’t make my iPhone web browsing experience too easy. Spurious link clicks abound and the fact that there’s so much zooming and panning required to truly read something online is not optimal. This could all be fixed with a 10″ screen. I personally see web browsing/email capabilities as one of the tablets biggest selling points. There’s something about the simplicity of a screen and no input peripherals that is so attractive, and the iSlate could be the epitome of that market. The iPhone is great, but imagine the ability to have an onscreen keyboard where the keys are about 4 times larger, now that sounds awesome!
This is a new area that has just barely been explored to this point. Augmented reality is the ability to have an electronic object that can analyze (using a camera usually) the space you’re in and give you relevant information about objects or potentially people within that space. Imagine you’re at the grocery store and you’re looking at this new brand of gluten free wheat bread. It’s a little more pricey than some of the other options, but you’d love to give it a try. To get more information you hold your tablet camera up to the bread and instantly on the screen reviews and testimonials about that item pop onto the screen giving you instant feedback before you’ve even spent a penny. Or, a more popular example is walking through a museum with no information placards, you simply point your tablet at the exhibit and a wealth of information is given on screen. There are some truly exciting possibilities for this technology.
So how might the iSlate improve your daily life?