[FoRK] Hospital orders 100 iPads

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Thu May 6 09:06:19 PDT 2010



Anecdote:  the eventual success of the tablet form factor, despite fierce resistance and non-stop rationalization about it (customers don't really want it, etc.) has been certain to me for at least 17 years.  Back in the early days of my first company, Active Paper, and before we had a product roadmap in place, we were operating as a bespoke software developer for folks that wanted PDA applications.  Several of our initial customers were medically-oriented companies, and they couldn't get enough of the Newton.  They could envision, even back then and on such a limited device, replacing and enhancing many of their workflows, processes, etc. through the use of such things.

Generally what we were building were prototypes for medical equipment manufacturers, for demos and trade shows, etc.  Their biggest requests, by far?  When is Apple going to release (a) a larger version of this thing, and (b) a color version of this thing.

I'd really like to have a better hypothesis than I do for why it took so long for industry to recognize the demand for this.  Sure, there were technological limitations, but for the better part of a decade we've been able to build (and some, e.g. Motion Computing, have built) such things.  What particular confluence of events, technologies, and market awareness have made this the time, rather than e.g. 2000?


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