The launch of Apple's iPad last week has caught the imagination of armchair critics worldwide:
"What's it for?"
"What a funny name (snigger snigger)"
"It's just a big iPhone"
And so on. But whether the Apple device itself is a success or not, we seem to be approaching a tipping point for improved user interfaces to manage documents.
Be it the Kindle, Tablet, Nook, or iPad, keyboardless document reader devices are on the verge of becoming mainstream -- at least for consumers. For browsing and reading through large volumes of files, or large documents containing multiple pages (books and libraries), such devices are infinitely more user friendly than the current desktop or laptop paradigm.
Take that one step further and it is logical to reach the conclusion that such devices might work well for reading through airliner maintenance manuals, consulting documentary evidence in court, searching archives, or accessing a patient's medical records and images? So while the pundits mock the iPad, I see real potential here for the world of case, document and records management. That said, I already own too many Apple devices, and may have just drunk too much Apple-flavored Kool Aid. But surely it can only be time before some enterprising vendor starts to deliver secure organizational and access applications for these devices.
I for one wish them luck, for as somebody who has spent his career digging through virtual crates, accessing electronic files that I then need to print to actually read, I know for sure that there has to be a better way.