The rapid rise of tablet computing has created an interesting phenomenon in public spaces like retail and airports – AV and IT systems people trying to turn small, hand-held consumer devices into useful self-service tools that can survive endless use and abuse.
With some exceptions, it hasn’t worked out too well. Tablets are designed for the loving, careful embrace of their owners. They’re not designed to be poked at all day by a parade of people who don’t normally care if the units last much beyond their own time in front of them.
Consumer tablets are also just the right size for a pair of hands, but pretty small when locked in a kiosk stand or fixed on a lot of display shelves.
They also, particularly when it comes to Apple’s tablets, have locked-down operating systems that require both development and approvals from the people in Cupertino.
So … what are the alternatives? Continue reading