Whilst some parents may be inclined to see a child's interaction with technology as a sign of a "little genius" in the making, many teachers are quickly realizing how touch-based devices are an enabler of children’s motor and cognitive skills development. Touch-screen devices are also influencing consumer behavior, making the user interface a more natural, instinctive and basic mode, with which people of all ages and backgrounds can interact with computerized and digital realms. The effect of touch-screens is clearly appealing to young children who are fascinated by the instant reaction provided, however touch-based devices are also dramatically minimizing the learning curve associated with effectively and efficiently operating computer technologies across generations.
Children, the elderly and consumers in emerging markets are all tapping into the increasingly online-world via touch-based technologies, be it a mobile device or tablet. The days when people’s first technological experiences would be through interaction with a mouse, keyboard and standstill monitor are soon to be, if not already, long gone. Today, with the simple touch of a screen, people around the globe are gaining access to the insurmountable ease and potential offered by computer programs and the Internet, including access to e-learning content, e-banking, online communication and social networking.
Tablet PCs in particular are becoming an important platform for the advancement of touch-screen capacities to really take off. Touch-screens have become more accurate, responsive and durable, making them increasingly efficient and easy to use. The advent of multitouch, referring to a screen’s ability to recognize more than one point of contact, and digitizer pens or styli, give users more control when taking notes or interacting with the tablet.
Touch-based devices such as tablet PCs offer large storage space, accompanied by light-weight mobility and strong processors. On multiple platforms and operating systems, tablets provide users with high tech capabilities such as full flash support, HD display, integrated cloud storage, data encryption and security features.
Beyond these more invisible, "techy" benefits, tablets can come preloaded with applications designed to make the device useful to the user right out of the box, without having to go through the hassle of setting up a device from scratch. The bottom line, tablets bring the majority of the benefits of nontouch computers to the user in a fashion that is easier to interact with, carry around and integrate into one’s own daily activities at a reasonable price.
Tablets are beneficial to all members of society; from supporting a child’s first learning experience on a computing device, to the individual looking for a device that complements specific mobile needs, through to a company equipping employees with a convenient and secure device. Each user has unique technology needs and the advantage of tablets is that they lend themselves to so many different tech-requirements.
For parents who want to introduce their kids to the computer world, the volunteer in the remote village who wants to teach mothers how to get medical advice online or the daughter living oversees who wants to communicate with her parents conveniently, the touch-screen Tablet PC is a great choice. These devices pave the way to making connections and improving the quality of life in a manner that is much easier today than it has ever been before.
In 2012 the tablet market is set to grow, and with that growth will come more powerful devices with applications that offer greater access to content. In addition, convenience factors such as how quickly the tablet boots into action, wireless keyboards and enhanced capabilities will also come into play. Style and form factors will evolve to suit users fashion sense, making the tablet PC an essential component of a user’s tech-world.
We believe that in the future, users will be able to seamlessly interact with and across all their devices — smartphones, tablets, PCs and smart TVs — what we call the convergence of the "four screens." With this convergence and technological developments to support cloud computing, users will soon find they are making the transformation from personal computer to personal cloud. By integrating hardware, software and cloud services, we intend to break the limitations of separate physical devices, to enable users to enjoy the Internet at any time and place, with any terminal.
To put it simply, navigating the digital realm, finding a way to maneuver around our increasingly computerized world, will never be the same again. Our fingers are pointing to a screen that is the window to our futures.
— Jack Lee is corporate vice president, Lenovo Group & regional general manager, Middle East & Africa.