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Stand by for a rich variety of tablets

A few days ago, Samsung launched its Galaxy Note. It nearly passed me by as I saw it as just a spin on its more famous Galaxy Tab. In reality, the unique value of the gadget is in the handwriting recognition and sketch features with a smart pen. N Madhavan writes.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2011 21:48 IST
N Madhavan

A few days ago, Samsung launched its Galaxy Note. It nearly passed me by as I saw it as just a spin on its more famous Galaxy Tab. In reality, the unique value of the gadget is in the handwriting recognition and sketch features with a smart pen.

Funnily, the arrival of smartphones and tablets like the iPad took the focus off some of the coolest things that are possible with technology - such as handwriting and voice recognition.

But techies are at it, and hopefully, getting it better all the time. Companies like iBall also make handwriting-friendly gizmos. These devices enable (or claim to) editable text versions of handwritten inputs, which make them really cool.

We also recently saw the launch of Apple's Siri on iPhone 4S that lets you use your voice to send messages, make calls and set reminders. Voice commands can be trendy and more so for the elderly or those with physical limitations.

A recent study by CyberMedia Research noted that India's tablet market sales touched 158,000 units in the nine months ended June, 2011. More important, there were 10 vendors offering 27 models.

What I see ahead is a variety of possibilities for tablets and other similar devices, blending features such as handwriting recognition, voice commands and regional language capabilities, besides applications (apps) bundled to match the needs of specific customer segments.

"Let a thousand tablets bloom" could be an industry slogan for 2012.