Thursday, January 28, 2010

More on the iPad

People keep telling me how smart Tyler Cowen is, so he must be. Still, writing about the iPad he says,

In the longer run the iPad will compete with your university, or in some ways enhance your university. It will offer homework services and instructional videos and courses, none of which can work well on the current iPhone or Kindle. The device also seems to allow for collaborative use.

Can you imagine one attached to every hospital bed or in the hands of every doctor and nurse?

In the longer run? I don't think it's obvious that, in the longer run, the iPad will exist any more meaningfully than the Cube or the Mac Mini does. To simply assert that a 24-hour-old piece of equipment is going to compete with the university . . . My goodness.

And as for how the iPad will revolutionize medical care, isn't this already happening, sans iPad? For the last couple years, two of the three doctors' offices I frequent have been using really sexy, mini-netbooks for all docs, nurses, and assistants. They have touch screens and seem to contain medical records, patient intake information, prescription information, etc. Perhaps an iPad could add marginal benefits to an already improving system, but this isn't the invention of the wheel.

Don't get me wrong: I think the iPad looks like a neat toy. And with a medium-sized list of improvements and modifications it could be made even better. But let's not get carried away by the Steve-o-mania.

Exit question: I saw that Al Gore was in the front row at the Apple event yesterday. I wonder what the carbon footprint of that entire show was--including transportation for guests, lighting,etc. I hear that the internet and technology is so amazing these days, that Jobs could have just sat in his office and streamed the whole spiel over the web without incurring any unnecessary carbon expenditures.

I mean, I wouldn't be concerned about these little nickel-and-dime C's except that the planet is under imminent threat of cataclysm. So you would think that every little bit counts, no?

1 comment:

James said...

That iPad sounds even more revolutionary that the helper monkey. FX