Era of the Bed & Bath Tablet

Era of the Bed & Bath Tablet

Anthony Nguyen
Oct 18, 2011

It seems everyone has jumped the tablet bandwagon these days, but where do these book-sized computers live when they're not constantly being used on the road? From what we've seen so far, two of the most popular spots are bedside tables and the precarious habitats of our bathrooms. But why, we ask, are these areas so darn popular?

Being tablet owners ourselves, we were curious as to the reasoning behind this odd preference towards bed and bath. After speaking with some folks, including several researchers at Indiana University's Human Computer Interaction Design program, we were told it has to do something with the current design of applications within these tablets.

Kindle owners can attest that the ability to store plenty of reading material in such a small, portable device can contribute towards creating a serene getaway from the typical TV noise and constant emails of normal everyday life. Getaway, you say? There's no surprise that the bed and bath would be a reasonable place to experience it.

As for Android and iPad applications, most are designed with the short attention spans, contributing to the ability to quickly go in and out of applications, creating 'quick wins' in terms of productivity (or in the case of games, unproductivity). They're not meant to be used for hours on end. However, for 15-45 minute sessions in the bath or in bed, these applications are perfect.

But the question remains whether these the convenience of a tablet lifestyle will ever take it to another level and provide empowering benefits, rather than be mere fancy replacements for books. Could they make us to be healthier? Help us make better decisions in day-to-day life? Create interactive portals to connect us to our loved ones?

The future is bright and we can only hope technology will light the way towards a stronger, more intimate, and fulfilling end-to-end experience in the home. For us, technology is not only a means of entertainment, but ultimately a tool to make us better people.

(Top Image: Delikatissen, Bowers & Wilkins)

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