So it looks like 2010 will be the year of Tablet Computers and E-Readers. The rumors about an upcoming new Apple device keep on spreading, large publishing houses are already presenting concepts and prototypes. Whenever and whatever exactly happens, it will definitely speed up the process of mobile overtaking desktop usage.
We have compiled and commented three promising concepts.
Sports Illustrated – Tablet Demo 1.5
Interesting is the form of video presentation here: two rather attached looking arms and hands are pointing to and moving across the device in a rather Monty Pythonesque fashion. But nevertheless, it is fascinating how detailed and apparently quite elaborated Time Warner’s Time Inc., the largest US magazine publisher, presents a future idea. Or is it rather the innovation they are counting on to battle decreasing sales numbers and ad revenues? Since there is evidence that five publishers such as Time, News Corp. and Condé Nast etc. are joining forces to build a digital storefront for their print titles, it looks like these guys are trying really hard to have some ideas visualized and business models thought through to create some sort of negotiating basis for talking to Apple about their Tablet Computer plans (and yeah, Apple’s known for rather restrictive and uncompromising business deals, see the iPhone).
This is the most designerly and also the best approach I have seen yet. In cooperation with London-based design firm Berg, publishing house Bonnier‘s R&D department released a conceptual video last week that simply blew my mind. It’s not just what they present, but also the way they do (showing interactions in real life context, some of their design ideas seemingly projected on a table – to name two highlights). Just watch these 8 mind-blowing minutes of internet video below and you’ll see what I mean – I’m confident:
The Microsoft Courier is less a publishing platform, but more aimed to personal information management. As always, Microsoft is quite good in packaging and selling an idea – the flow and the mixing of finger and stylus touch interaction looks quite appetizing. The question remains: will this demo ever be turned into a real great product? At least, indications are spawning. And if so, will it fly or will it again suffer from Microsoft’s innovation hex that had been put on them some years ago (remember Zune, the iPod killer)?