This is not an iPad or a tablet.
This is a 27" table PC. It weighs about 17 pounds. Retail price is approximately $1,700. The article implies that it will bring people together... they can sit together and work, look at pictures or play a game, on the same device. (http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/gadgetbox/first-table-no-not-tablet-pc-comes-lenovo-1B7852546)
Years ago I saw this concept advertised as "coming soon to a restaurant near you". The tabletop computer was demonstrated as essentially replacing the waitress. Customers would order from the menu on the computer and then entertain themselves with games and computerized distractions while waiting for their food. The computerized ordering menu is not a new concept. Sheetz and Rutters have had them for years. But at a sit down restaurant, a few more questions are raised in my mind...
Off the top of my head, at 0630 in the morning, these are the questions that come to mind instantly. What kind of controls/limitations should be required for internet access? Will you be forced to watch commercials for the restaurant while you interact with the technology? If internet access is an option, where will the filters be established? Can more than one web page/site be accessed at one time so each person at the table can be entertained? How will volume be controlled? What happens when it is hacked and all of a sudden naked people start popping up while you are enjoying a basket of crinkle fries with your kids?
I also wonder, how did we go from wanting to make the desktop PC into something small yet powerful, like the iPad, Kindle, etc., and now we are going in the opposite direction again? In this economy where many people are unemployed, college costs are skyrocketing and homes sit on the real estate market for months and even years, where is there room for this piece of electronic bling? It isn't like the $400 Starbucks gift card that you can whip out in local coffee shop so everyone can see how rich you are and how important your coffee is to you.
One positive result may be... if these are available as restaurant tables, perhaps they will replace the multitude of televisions that currently surround the interior perimeters of so many eateries. I won't have to be accosted from all angles by every sporting event, news headline and/or game show while I try to eat. I can choose not to participate in the distractions and maybe.. just maybe ... have a conversation with my dinner companions.
The best use I can see for this right now.... if I can Skype or Facetime, I can have dinner with Katie!
What do you think? Would you want one of these in your home? What do you think about it at a restaurant?