Tablets are quickly taking over the uses of computers in diverse industries. Although tablets may have begun as a combination of eReader and smartphone, the latest versions have more computing power, which provides them with even more capabilities than ever before. Whether you choose to buy a Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK or some other tablet, you will find technology that allows you to do more tasks, so much so that they are quickly becoming comparable to a laptop computer. Additionally, many companies have debuted apps for tablets and/or tablet models that have specific and unique tasks to help consumers, and in some cases the general public, which will only expedite the replacement of computers in these industries.
Shopping on tablets is nothing new, since they have always had the capability to go online. However, the number of consumers using tablets for shopping is rising, and in some occasions more people use tablets for shopping than regular computers. According to the Mobile Path to Purchase Study by Nielson, xAd and Telmetrics, about 56 percent of tablet shoppers completed the purchase online, compared to smartphone users who tend to complete the purchase in store. This has led to stores creating tablet friendly apps and websites to make it even easier to go shopping.
Not only have tablets changed shopping online, it has also altered the point of sale capabilities for brick and mortar stores. Instead of having a large and cumbersome cash register that must stay in one location, many companies have developed tablet-friendly apps and hardware to convert tablets into a travel-size cash register. This has made it easier for customer sales representatives to help customers anywhere in the store, rather than just in one location. Apple, Nordstrom, Home Depot, and other large retail chains have already implemented this type of point of sales, and more and companies both large and small are beginning to do the same.
Tablets are also changing the healthcare industry. Many doctors’ offices are implementing electronic patient records with tablets. These can be used for the patients to enter their personal details upon the first visit. Additionally, the doctor can take the tablets with him or her from patient to patient, making it easy to look at the patient files.
However, it is not just in the developed world that tablets are transforming healthcare. According to the Telegraph, a new initiative, the Masanga Mentor Initiative, hopes to utilize tablets and other technology to help fight diseases in developing countries, namely Ebola. Experts hope that using this technology, which is provided by Immerse Learning, will reduce the mortality rate in half. The initiative strives to educate and train survivors, who also become immune to the disease, to prevent the spread of the virus and create trust between the healthcare workers and the local community. Because the technology is mobile, it makes it easier to be in the area it needs to be.
Another area seeing changes due to tablets is education. Many schools are opting to buy tablets for students, with 3.5 million tablets in 2013 purchased for the education industry, which was an increase of 46 percent from 2012. They tablets come with the students’ textbooks, reducing the number of textbooks needing to be purchased. Many teachers also supplement lessons with online tasks that can be completed with tablets, and students can also complete their homework, research, and other coursework on the devices. Some companies have created software and tablets that are geared specifically for schools. Although implementing tablets in school is still in the research stage in many places, the overwhelming success rate shows that it may not be long before tablets become the new textbooks everywhere.
The other area seeing tablets overtaking computers is in business. Many small businesses choose to invest in tablets rather than computers. Depending on the industry, tablets can do the same if not more than computers, while costing less and being even more mobile. Sales people can take the tablet to their clients and show the various presentations. According to a survey by the Small Business Authority, about 28 percent of business owners use tablets, which is more than the 19 percent who use laptops and 17 percent who use desktops. Almost half, or 45 percent, said they would plan to buy a new tablet, compared to 41 percent who said a new laptop and 14 percent a new desktop. This survey was focused on independent small business owners. However, Forrester Research estimated that about quarter of business computing around the world was done with mobile devices (including smartphones), while desktops performed 37 percent and laptops only did about 26 percent of the work. These studies show how more and more business owners are turning to mobile devices, especially tablets, to do the work.
As the technology improves for tablets, they will infiltrate the market share even more. Although tablets will not necessarily replace desktops any time soon, they are poised to overtake laptops in many industries. Many companies are starting to create hybrid laptop and tablets, which will expedite this process.