At the risk of blushing because I want to talk about the iPad...
and of course the inevitable jokes that will follow anything thusly named, oh and what will they call the largest ipad with the most memory? A Maxi-pad…
You may groan now.
In spite of it's name, I think that this is the direction for the future of mainstream computing.
For a long time I've been asking people who should know this stuff about why on God's green earth are we still using desks and keyboards and screens to do our daily computing? What is required are computers that are integrated into our lives better, with no technological barrier between the user and the cpu, That's what we've needed for many years now. We should be more creative than this.
I have long yearned, yes yearned people, for a computer with no desk required, (Ok thank you laptop) and no keyboard required, (Ok now you're stretching me just a bit but keep talking) and possibly not even a mouse to interface with. (Oh my now you've lost it. How will we make it work?) And these kinds of computers should be available wherever you are. On walls, on coffee tables, in cars and trucks, and on and on, in places where you don't need a desk or outlet or ethernet or power cable or ergonomic chair or a place where you can put a big screen.
My real struggle is with why do we have no designers out there who are able to make the big bulky desktop, white or black versions of "Computers" go away? The mind boggles. I understand that the general public has come to understand the computer as one thing and is generally slow to adapt to new ways, but dang we've had computers around a long time. Something should have been done by now.
And so last week we saw a strong, somewhat arrogant company step up and produce kinda, sorta what I've been waiting for in terms of computers. Apple has come up with a computer format that is all new, and I believe exactly where personal computing needs to go in the future. The iPad, (Turns and spits.) They have removed the technological wall between the user and the computer.
Proof of that would be that my Grandmother, if she were still around, could use it and it wouldn't need tweaking or rebooting, drivers or setup or you name it. Within minutes she would have figured it out and been off into the world of personal computing.
To be able to remove the wall that stands between people and personal computing is a very powerful step in the evolution of computers and people. To be able to integrate them more easily into life and work will make the work that we do, seamless. It may also help equalize the classes of those who know how to get email or find out how the sun works or watch a movie or record your family history, and those who do not. Maybe this style of computer will be more affordable to produce so that even those with less income will see a day when they can participate in the information age too.
Aside from the name, this new model of computer gives me a good deal of hope for the future of personal computing and the technological age. This is the direction the whole area needs to move in.
Of course it's good to remember what happened the last time humanity wanted to know it all and so we took the apple and consumed it. Things haven't been the same since.