Apple just came out with the iPad yesterday, with the release date being March 27, and I’m already thinking of improvements. I’m not here to bash it, not knowing much of it aside from reading articles on it and the awesome video above. I’m just the type who likes to think about the future.
The iPad seems like a great product, but I expected a few pieces of common technology with it that are not exactly futuristic, though are few are cutting edge. Mostly, I’m talking about some multi-media features and a few casing features.
For starters, I thought Apple could have included a camera, even if just a photo camera and not a video camera. I mean, the cell phones have them, for crying out loud. Would it have been too much to ask for one on the iPad to make it completely multi-media? Imagine, being able to “webcam” with someone on a tablet. How futuristic would that be?
Fold out stand and handle
The docking station allows you to perch your laptop in easy ways to view hands free, but what if it had a portable handle that folded out and in? It could swing from about 2/3 of the way up so as to fold out back to make a stand, or flip all the way up to make a handle. I recommended the 2/3 distance up so folding up, it would be higher than the top (1/2 way means it’d hit the top). If you have it around the home, which I imagine you just might, having the carrying case all the time takes away the magic of that pad feel.
Hey, now there’s an idea! Have a projector built in like some projector cell phones are going to have as early as April, when the iPad is due out. Put the projector on the horizontal top side, with the mic on the vertical bottom (horizontal right but you’d use it vertically) and the webcam vertical top (cause your face is long so you’d probably prefer to see your face in its natural frame). Why have your friends look at your pictures and videos on-line a few people at a time, on that relatively small screen? Really show them to the world with that projector! Or do your PowerPoint presentation right from your machine without having to rely on audio/video set up.
Remote Control / Light Pen / Laser Pointer
Now you’re talking! Have a light pen / remote control / laser pointer embedded in the length of that handle, or snapped in somewhere in the back of the iPad. In that “stick”, you’d have the remote for like 3-4 generic buttons that have various functions in different programs the way the PC mouse has 3 buttons. That way, you can be a little away from your iPad while showing friends stuff they need to be closer to see since you’d have already seen it, like flipping your presentation slides you could be showing, with or without your projector. Or if you’re lying down and want to flip a page as you read on-screen at bed time. Reaching out can be annoying, as ridiculous as it sounds. But if it weren’t, why are remotes all the rage? Remote operations could also be great if you had that projector going.
Of course, the remote control gadget can have a plain tip like a pen on a mouse tablet, as the remote signal could come out of a little slot in the direction of the “stick”, not necessarily the front of it. Sure, fingers are good with the iPad, but if you touch up photos and such, or make digital writing notes, scribble Etch-a-sketch ideas, and so on, a pen would be better.
On the opposite end of the “stick”, have a laser pointer there. I mean, if you’re going to be able to project a presentation from your machine, how nice would a laser pointer be. Learn to twirl it like a drum stick and you’re half a magician. Twirl it to remotely activate the next slide, twirl it to point to things with your laser pointer as you speak, and do it again for each slide, turning on audio as you need to, etc. Having a laser pointer on you most of the time is not a bad idea, either. Ever been in a big space and wanted to point something out to someone, exactly?
And yes, all this would be possible. I’ve seen laser pointers and camera remotes a third the length of a short pencil each. Your AAA battery would fit in the other third, if you can’t design one using a smaller battery that is too wide and flat like the ones in your watch.
I do realize adding some of the features I’m suggesting will make the iPad unaffordable to many people. However, it shouldn’t be exorbitant. Besides, what’s wrong with having a deluxe model?
Improvement during lag time?
I don’t know what Apple’s production schedule is like, but with the product not being available till April, essentially, I can’t help but wonder whether they may redesign a few things between now and then. In the tech world, two months is a long time, and I wouldn’t put it beyond the bright people at Apple to be thinking some of the same things I am and putting it into the final model.