Will iPad rule the Known Universe?

Like a lot of people, I think iPad is going to be huge. It’s not just a device, but a new category that sits squarely in the middle of a computer and a phone. iPad opens the door to applications that were impractical with the the other existing (computer and phone) form factors.

One that comes to mind right away is in retail and services businesses where an employee needs to interact with customers using a small handheld computer, e.g., the guy at Hertz that scans your car back in when you return it, or the kid that stands out in the line of cars at In-n-Out Burger taking orders. Symbol sells vertically-integrated devices for those sorts of things today and exemplifies the closed-system approach that is ripe for crushing by iPad. Another is in home entertainment controllers such as Crestron. I have at least $50k of Crestron gear in my house, including a couple of portable touch screen controllers that cost (gulp) at least $4k a piece. The Crestron units have probably half the resolution of an iPad, a battery life of about 30 minutes and crash constantly.

Enter into those markets a killer multitouch device that costs $499, built on a platform that’s super open by comparison, where anyone can write apps, and closed-system monoliths should be shaking in their concrete boots.

We’re going to see a whole new explosion not only of new “apps” but of new ways for computers to be used. iPad is a blank slate for innovation.

Posted via email from Sky's posterous