As I read more about the Tablet PC, I’m becoming more and more impressed with the possibilities that this new technology may open up for innovators and creative thinkers! For a long time, I’ve been interested in finding devices that enable me to capture ideas — anytime, anywhere (see my article entitled “In search of the ideal device to capture ideas). The Tablet PC seems to have some definite advantages in this area. Namely, it’s highly portable, and can be used literally anywhere.
The pen interface is an efficient way to record sketches of new product ideas, mind maps and more. In fact, Corel has already introduced a drawing program called Grafigo for the Tablet PC that has some really intriguing features. For example, it can convert hand-drawn circles, ellipses, squares, diamonds and other shapes into straight lines — ideal for sketching process flows or organizational charts. An “onionskin” feature allows you to collaborate with others, by creating transparent layers over your drawing so that others can mark it up or annotate it.
Another incredibly cool software program that’s been announced for the Tablet PC platform is Alias Sketchbook Pro. This graphics program literally transforms a Tablet PC into a digital sketchbook and image annotation tool. It also enables you to present your ideas in an organized manner to coworkers and business prospects. Cool stuff! Some of the benefits of this platform, listed on the Alias site, include the ability to capture ideas as they come to you, collaborating to clarify meaning and organizing your visual thoughts. I couldn’t have said it better myself!
The Tablet PC user interface should be a boon for other developers of drawing and diagramming software. I predict that Microsoft will soon announce a new version of its Visio business diagramming software, optimized for the Tablet PC environment — trust me, it’s inevitable. Tablet PC already runs all Windows XP/2000 software, so Visio will work on it already. But I suspect that Microsoft may have a few platform-specific tweaks up its sleeve for Visio. It’s just a hunch!
Many of the initial hardware tablets announced by the major computer manufacturers include 802.11b wireless networking support, further enhancing the Tablet PC’s ability to be carried into conference rooms or informal meetings with colleagues (“corridor warriors,” Microsoft calls them). Try doing that with a laptop!
I will be attending a Microsoft presentation on Tablet PC in Milwaukee tomorrow afternoon. I’ll some highlights in this Weblog next week!