PC World's Ian Paul recent article asked, "2010: The Year of the Tablet Computer ?" . That is a good question Ian. RobiNZ CAD Blog asked in 2007 if 2008 was the year of the Tablet as well. The theoretical applications of technologies as opposed to their practical adoption is something we all have witnessed. Given the increasing level of news and rumors around tablets, with dozens of new tablet devices planning to launch, one would wonder if the movement to wide spread adoption of tablets is here and why ?
Enter MIT's Press Journal's Designs Issues article "A Bitter Pill to Swallow: The Rise and Fall of the Tablet Computer", wherein Paul Atkison, who oversses 3D design for the School of Art and Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield, UK, correctly identifies how the anticipated adoption of tablet computing beginning as early as the 1980's. It was widely reported in 1991 that, "Nearly every major maker of computers has some type of pen-based machine in the works." Paul's article shares great insight into how factors can impede the adoption of technologies.
As Jasper's recent article "Why Tablet PC's Have Failed and Will Fail" attests that Atkison's work "presents an insightful, amusing and at times depressing analysis of the rise and fall of the tablet computer, from the early pen computing of the RAND tablet, via the Momenta Pentop, to the inevitable Apple Newton Messagepad." Jasper's right; its worth a read.
Contrary to Jasper's view its a new day, as technologies around tablets have advanced considerably during the past decade. The reason these new devices may become accepted and successful over the years relates to a few key drivers: High speed Internet ubiquity, consumer mobility adoption, and indeed as Paul has observed - functional design. If price can be market relevant there is a real opportunity for this product category to catch fire. Watch how new tablet technologies like Microsoft's rumored "Courier", which are going to be unveiled in the coming months ahead, can be relevant to your life. Another good reason to get excited about this emerging technology.