Jack Uldrich
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iPad’s Foldable Future

Posted in Health Care


Will Apple’s latest gadget, the iPad, become a commercial success? I don’t know. My personal guess is that it will be moderately successful in the short to mid-term. The applications for gaming, e-books and in the health care arena are all very promising and the developer community is sure to come up with some amazing (and yet-to-be imagined) “apps” for the device.

Longer-term, though, I believe the iPad will only be successful if it can transition to flexible electronics. Specifically, I think the device will need to be able to fold up and fit in a person’s pocket before it becomes a truly revolutionary device. Steve Job’s statement that the device fits a niche between the mobile phone and the laptop computer is correct, but he misses the broader point by not recognizing that this will soon be a false choice.

With the advent of flexible electronics, a single device should be able to morph into different objects depending upon need. (As Jobs said yesterday, “It’s phenomenal to hold the Internet in your hand.” It is but what I think people really want is the ability to hold the Internet in their hands and, afterwards, fold it up and put it away in their pocket or purse.)

I recognize that the technology does not yet exist (at least a commercially-scalable and affordable level) but it is coming as this visionary video from Nokia suggests:

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