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Old 01-30-2010, 07:20 AM   #1
nekokami
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Is the iPad an Info Pad?

In 2007, Michael Mace, a product planning and marketing executive in Silicon Valley, published a blog entry that seemed to sum up the missing device a lot of us were looking for:

http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.co...-info-pad.html

Here's the essence:

Quote:
When I was at Palm, we did a lot of market research in the US, France, Germany, and the UK on what people would be willing to pay for (if anything) from a mobile information device like a handheld or smartphone. We found three groups of customer with very different needs. Each is about 11-12% of the population, and each has wildly different needs from the others. I've written about them before, but a quick refresher would he useful:

Entertainment lovers. This group is relatively young, generally college age or young professionals. They're very lifestyle and entertainment-aware, and they want their mobile device to serve that lifestyle. All kinds of entertainment appeal to them: music, video, games, etc. The iPod is their canonical device today, although the Danger Hiptop is also interesting, as is the Sony PSP.

Communication lovers. This group is professionals who are also extroverts, people who live to communicate with others. Think sales reps and marketing professionals. They're hungry to be in constant contact with their friends and business associates, and they'll use any communication technology they can get. A RIM Blackberry or a Treo are the best mobile devices for them today, because they combine phone calls with e-mail.

Information lovers. The third group is professionals who are more introverted, people who deal a lot with information rather than communications. The information could be documents, it could be databases, it could even be artwork. But the emphasis is on the individual's interaction with that information. Think doctors, artists, educators, and researchers. The ideal mobile device for these people is...well, it doesn't exist.

What they want is something that can go with them all the time, and that will function as an extended memory and as a way to capture their ideas. Specifically, they need to capture notes, sketches, and documents; work with databases; and look up information instantly. They need a brain extender, a true information appliance.

I call it an info pad. That's the product I want someone to build.
Mace goes on to describe what an "info pad" would look like, and I think it's remarkably similar to the iPad. What do the rest of you think?
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:43 AM   #2
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I thought the key point of the "Info Pad" was that it captured hand written material? The iPad does not support handwriting input at all.
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:50 AM   #3
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A lemon by any other name...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
In 2007, Michael Mace, a product planning and marketing executive in Silicon Valley, published a blog entry that seemed to sum up the missing device a lot of us were looking for:

http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.co...-info-pad.html

Here's the essence:



Mace goes on to describe what an "info pad" would look like, and I think it's remarkably similar to the iPad. What do the rest of you think?
Hmmm, I think that if it looks like a lemon, smells like a lemon and tastes like a lemon..... it's probably a lemon
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I thought the key point of the "Info Pad" was that it captured hand written material? The iPad does not support handwriting input at all.
Not at OS level, but (surprise) there's an app for that... Nekokami mentioned WritePad and FastFinga on another thread, and I have Dan Bricklin's Note Taker - works pretty well; I'm sure the next 60 days will see lots of these optimised for iPad, possibly with the 'background' handwriting recognition as envisioned by Michael Mace.

Is it close to the 'information appliance' infopad? The form's a little larger than Mace had in mind, but I think functionally the iPad will be very similar when it ships in a couple of months, and may well be a lot closer again when iPad 2.0 arrives - my money's on this Christmas, maybe with a speed-bumped processor and/or 128Gb option.

So yes, pretty close IMO - certainly close enough for me to buy one at launch to evaluate; if it doesn't work out as an infopad, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to make use of the other functions...

Cheers, Pete
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:58 AM   #5
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Note Taker looks similar in functionality to FastFinga, except that FastFinga specifically offers EverNote integration. EverNote performs the handwriting recognition and indexing, making the notes searchable. There is an EverNote app for the iP as well, which allows one to access the viewing and sorting functions.

EverNote for the PC supports stylus input, so hopefully this function will be integrated into the iP app now that the iPad is coming out. (I'm quite puzzled as to why it wasn't included anyway.)

The iPad as announced still lacks a camera, which I agree with Mace is a useful component for the purpose of capturing whiteboard input, napkin sketches, etc. I suspect that will be in a future version, though I don't know if it will be out by the holiday shopping season this year.

ondabeach, do you like lemons, or dislike info pads?
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:59 AM   #6
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There is also a rumor the the 3.2 version of the iPhone OS may have some type of handwriting support.... but who knows............
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