With the ever increasing popularity of smartphones, the tablet is a fancy mobile device that is a cross between a laptop and a smartphone, with a promising future.
Launching in April of 2010, Apple was the first to make the tablet idea mainstream with the release of the iPad. The Samsung Galaxy Tab was released next in late 2010, followed by Motorola's Xoom in early 2011, and releases throughout the remainder of this year will be from HTC, ASUS, Blackberry and HP.
As these devices acquire more software applications, they become more practical for a wide variety of uses. Working in the field of litigation, I've noticed that there potentially is a land of opportunity with tablets. Being just a skinny slate, they are much easier to transport, very thin and very light weight. This also helps with the battery life making it last longer than most any laptop. One of the most important features in my mind is the camera. Taking a picture or video and then instantly being able to view and edit them on the screen would drastically help speed up the preproduction process of multimedia cases.
The major implementation towards production that comes to mind is the ability to write or draw on photographs immediately after taking them. This would come in handy when recording measurements of a structure or distances between objects at the scene of an accident. Normally you would take photographs and write down the measurements separately on a sheet of paper, but this can sometimes create a disconnect and can also be much more time consuming when implementing the measurements later on. For instance if you were recording measurements of a building for 3D presentation you write the measurements directly on the photograph.
Another use for tablets in the legal world that I foresee as being very beneficial is during a courtroom trial. What if each member of the jury had a tablet which they could use to interact with a 3D presentation? What if each person in the jury could choose what angle they view an accident from by moving around the screen at just the touch of their finger? However, there may be some objectionable admissibility issues between the presentation of the lawyer and what juror has control over while interacting with it. Even schools now are considering replacing their classroom books with tablets because of the wealth of information you can have at your fingertips. With developing 3D technologies now being implemented into screens and all sorts of creative software being put out by developers I look forward to the progress of tablets in the future.