Comfortably I-Brow

So why do we need a computer-like device that is merely a different shape? The answer is in the ability to use the iPad in a different way to a PC/Laptop.

One thing you can’t do with a desktop or laptop is relax with it in an easy chair. There’s trhe world of difference between using a computer and watching TV. When was the last time you watched TV from an office or dining chair?

TV is a ‘lean-back’ medium and now we have a lean-back computer. It’s a big change to the way we interact with computing technology. – We’ve moved from lab coats to dressing gowns and it could have a effect. Will this lead to ‘lean-back’ presentations, music, etc or will it leasd to falling asleep with an ipad over your face?

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While multi-touch devices may take off in our home lives on a vertical screen, using multi-touch all day at work would result in lots more people calling in sick with RSI! Increasingly though laptops will be fitted with multi-touch touchpads to make scrolling and browsing easier and if software is designed with this in mind, there may be productivity gains in the workplace from multi-touch. More here from Eric Worrall...
I thought with 'appropriate material science' the iPad could be turned into a very handy mirror. I've heard some commentators herald this as a return to 'read-only' web (due to the lack of usable inputs for content production). I think we will see innovation in this regard. First thing would be a iPad camera pack, then voice recognition to get around that 'dodgy keyboard' problem. I wouldn't want to write "War and Peace" on an iPad, but it's got the 'traditional' content providers excited for sure...
Michael I agree that the iPad verylooks interesting. But there have been lean back computers for a while now - e.g. my IBM Thinkpad X41T (tablet with orientation-sensitive, swivel-hinge, fold-back screen) is nearly five years' old. One of life's tiny pleasures for me has been sharing a train table with a MAC user, generally they look at my old-school Thinkpad with suitable disdain. Then I put it into tablet mode and start annotating documents freehand. Perhaps the iPad will spoil that little game - but we will have to wait and see the shipped units. regards ColinB