Tablets offer the 'power of one'

Love it or hate it but either way we can’t live without it. This may be a typical relationship you have with technology. For certain demographics, personal computers are a poster-child for the idiom “everything but the kitchen sink” where the plethora of functions offered becomes a barrier to adopting technology.

Lately, though, I see hope. Although partly due to socioeconomic factors there’s another reason why the technology adoption barrier is slowly crumbling. I coin the term "Power of One" to explain this.

You probably have heard about Apple’s iPad or Google’s Nexus. These devices belong to the general technology genre known as tablets and although they have similar processing powers to an entry level personal computer, they require only one finger to operate. The screen is a touch-screen and is the primary method to communicate with your tablet.

How is this technology different? Why does it seem not to intimidate people as much as personal computers? I believe it is because tablets take the polar-opposite approach of personal computers’ “everything but the kitchen sink.” Rather, tablets concentrate on the functions most of us frequently perform in our personal lives: check emails, surf the internet, do web chats, check the weather, read your Westlake | Bay Village Observer and other news/magazines, check your medical records from MyChart, play games and enjoy multimedia such as digital music, videos and eBooks.

And through the wonderful world of apps, tablet users can decide to install only the apps they choose to use. Apps, short for applications, are analogous to the various software packages for the computer and while you may easily spend $100 or more for office productivity software on a computer, apps in the tablet ecosystem cost nothing or start as low as 99 cents. The same formula that worked for tablets is employed by the apps by keeping the options within the apps at a minimum to prevent the user from information overload and intimidation.

Even the hunt-and-peck style of typing that people used to make fun of is fashionable when using tablets. A device that doesn’t make us anxious, doesn’t intimidate us and gives unprecedented power with a single finger? That is what technology should be in the first place – another tool that one can use to improve their lives – in this case, the "Power of One"!

Tak Sato

Business strategist & technology expert with 20+ years of practical experience and senior management positions. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and MBA from Cleveland State University.

Founder of techDEITY, ltd. - "Hand-holding You in the Digital World". Helping Individuals, Seniors, Families, Small Businesses, and Non-Profits utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

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Volume 4, Issue 20, Posted 10:25 AM, 10.02.2012