When the iPad was first released January 27, 2010, it came with huge success. And although Apple’s initial release of the product was intent on capturing as many consumers as possible, I’m sure little Steve Jobs was just scheming on all the potential uses for such tablet PCs in the years to come. It was probably one of the reasons he told everyone that the PC would knew and loved would eventually die off. So what will be some of the big releases we will see in the coming years with the Apple iPad? Which of the applications or full solutions will become industry standard in these segments. Will all the potential niches which these devices have then proliferated move away from the Blue Oceans and into the Red? Certainly there will be some of that, but where will the biggest opportunities lie when it comes to business related applications for tablet computers? Listed below are a few ideas of places you will eventually see Android (Samsung, Xoom) and iPad tablets (and Windows powered tablets if they ever are able to break in).
Here is my personal vision for tablet computing in the hospitality industry. You will eventually check in with them. You will check out with them. You will order room service with them. You will find local events with them; have local applications installed on them with the advertising going to the highest bidder. You will
Here is my view for what we will see with tablet applications for golf courses and country clubs. When you go to the course, you feel like renting a golf cart. With the cart you are given a tablet PC, complete with the courses application which will include the following:
- GPS map of the course, including where you are in relation to balls, tees and holes.
- A built in custom digital menu. When you order beverages or food from the tablet, it can even be delivered right to your specific cart. How? The clubhouse knows exactly where you are because they are keyed into your GPS signal. You order and out comes the delivery cart.
- Complete tracking system for your game. Such an feature, if used properly would actually make it more difficult to cheat in a game of golf.
From the clubhouse perspective, the business owners may also use a master tablet to view and see where all of his other tablets might be. The master tablet could also be equipped with a full service POS system as well as have something to manage the grounds and maintenance crews. You want to turn the sprinklers off because it’s going to be raining all day? Well, “there’s an app for that.”
Because we talked about all the features of a iPad menu vs. digital menu boards and also how the features of a digital menu integration will work with the restaurant of the future, we certainly do not need to go into too much detail here than we already have. However, I will say that in the future, those without tablet menus will be the ones who are behind the curve when it comes to technology acceptance and quick ROI.
Efficiency Coordination and General Management
Manufacturing facilities at home and abroad have always sought for ways in which to increase efficiency and decrease costs. Six sigma, kanban etc. etc. does not come easy. Having some of the latest technologies to help work out factory bugs and issues is and will be helpful for those who manage and control factories, construction sites, farms and a myriad of other facilities and businesses.
Because each of these specific types of businesses will require very specific features for their application, developers will continue to be a necessity, but the eventual opportunities to create more and more efficiencies will certainly abound.
Point of Sale
Again, point-of-sale has been touched on quite a bit here, but it’s worth a quick mention. Not only is price a compelling reason to switch from clunky old POS, but the footprint and maneuverability proves another strong reason to believe.
Displays for digital signage and outdoor advertising will continue to shrink and work in places where peoples’ attention is focused. Like at a urinal, for instance. There are certainly few, if any barriers, from keeping these small devices from working their way into any number of different areas of the digital sign landscape.
Who cares about Twitter or Dropbox for the iPad. There will continue to be more uses and releases for other things microblogging and cloud-related but when it comes to applications for business use, many of these will need to be much more customized and tailored to the use of specific industries. We may have a long way to go before the land grab is over, but I am certainly interested to see where it all goes.