I remember seeing A:\ > on a fuzzy green monitor years ago and thinking I was seeing the future. When the first graphic user interfaces (GUI) arrived, it demonstrated potential for improving the user experience. The GUI was called a paradigm shift, meaning a dramatic change in methodology or practice. We have seen incremental improvements, such as better monitors, faster processors, a library of typefaces and proportional character sets. Laser and inkjet printers replaced dot matrix printers. Digital photos and music added richness to the user experience. Laptops became more portable, yet the design of personal computers and the user interface have remained relatively unchanged for years.
For me, another paradigm shift arrived with the Internet. Being connected is now essential for business. Many of us have computers at home connected to the net, as well. There are about 312 million people in the US and approximately 75% of us have access to the Internet. Does that mean 80 million Americans still only read newspapers, watch TV for the news, or mail letters? This is not likely. Being too young or old to learn is only part of the reasons people remain off the net. I think one large barrier is the design of computers. I simply do not like to read news on a computer screen because my computer is often not convenient. Email has changed my life, but even email is inaccessible at times. Smart phones are cool, but I cannot manage data on a tiny little screen and type on a tiny keyboard.
Media readers have been around for a few years, but until last week, these readers made little sense. Apple has quickly taken the lead position in this market. I believe their iPad product represents another paradigm shift and my reasons are simple. The touch-screen interface and potential for hundreds of applications makes information more approachable, efficient, and convenient. I believe my 79-year old mother could even use this product. The iPad’s near instant on capability means convenience and flexibility. I will carry one like a portfolio. It will likely become my preferred method for daily digital tasks such as reading news or email. Expect to see mobile data entry applications, and interactive kiosks. You will see them in police cars and in offices. They will become GPS navigators, maps, a remote for your DVR—the potential is nearly endless.
Other vendors will close rank and follow Apple’s lead. Whichever model you buy, the glue that holds them together is the digital communication network. Without a network, these products become insignificant. Making sure digital networks remain uninterrupted during renovations and construction is Critical Environment ConstructionTM. It’s what we do at KBS Constructors. Making sure your portable digital media is delivered portably at all times. That’s pretty critical.
Joseph Bramlage -Director of Marketing and Information Technology