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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Future foretold: The next generation tablets

Abhishek Baxi   March 20, 2012
First Published: 15:34 IST(20/3/2012) | Last Updated: 00:29 IST(21/3/2012)

Most technology enthusiasts love crystal-ball gazing. From predicting announcements at upcoming industry events to creating design mockups and write concept pieces on their blogs. While Apple iPad leads the segment, in both the mind-share as well as market-share, Samsung, Sony, and other device manufacturers are competing hard with Android-based tablets, and early previews of Windows 8 look promising for a new generation of Windows-based tablets.

Let's look at where the trends point out for upcoming generations of tablet computers. From sci-fi movies to research labs, I let my imagination wild and take creative liberties in bargain for technical accuracy.

PHOTOS: New iPad: Inside out

Transparent/Glass Displays
Isn't the time ripe to move on from LCD/LED displays clammed in plastic casing? Transparent glass displays are a staple of technology concept videos and while there has been immense innovation in display technology and devices, not much has translated to mobile devices yet. The next generation of tablets will most certainly move in this direction. Also, the tablets should allow extending the display to a television or another computer or project on a screen in an intuitive manner.


Diverse Form-factor
Foldable panels that fit one's pocket and display panels that can be extended to one's preference - the next generation of tablets would not be hard-lined on form factor and dimensions. A tablet, like a phone, is an intimate device and hence needs to be attached like a sensory organ.

The next iPad: What would it have?

File Storage
As Internet and mobile data continues to grow ubiquitous and online services grow in number and capabilities, your data and preferences live on the cloud. The local storage becomes irrelevant, only sufficing the intermediary needs. Bye-bye flash drives and memory cards! Also, this would allow seamless migration from one device to another irrespective of device segment or operating system.


Interface
While pointing via a mouse is old world, the touch would be the next casualty. Humans don't touch to interact in most cases. We speak or move our hands to explain things. Several devices of the current generation - game consoles, smartphones et al - employ bits and pieces of gesture and voice recognition and the next generations of tablet would have these baked in exhaustively with comprehensive knowledge of local cultures and languages.

Nokia to unveil Windows 8 tablet

Location-awareness
One of the biggest leaps that smartphones and tablets allowed was making the phone and apps location-aware using the GPS. This allows the information to be better served and locally relevant. Several services like Foursquare have built successful engagement on top of this, and it is anybody's guess that future evolutions would also bring context to the awareness.

Microsoft sees future in Windows 8 amid iPad rise

Wireless Charging
I've wished for this one every time I've snapped my laptop's charger and taken a fall through the cable. While wireless Internet and near-field communication are moving progressively, the future tablets would also cut this last cord. Let's plan a trip without packing in a zillion chargers and data cables then.


Capabilities
Snap your boarding pass, and your tablet would give you your flight details. Or place a phone or another tablet next to it, and data transfer would happen. Advances in near -field communication, image recognition, and augmented reality would give future computing devices immense power to enable seamless communication and enhance productivity in a natural manner. Let's take out the geekery in everyday computing.

Now, get an Android-based tablet @Rs 5,000

Asides
Well this one has been on the wishlist since we started making them! Better battery backup, tougher casing and resistant to a fall or a dip in the water, and an overall holistic ease of managing the hardware.  It's a device, not a girlfriend.


Do you agree with these thoughts or do you have better understanding (or creativity) of the evolution of tablets and mobile computing devices? Let us know in the comments!


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