Whether or not you’re one of the lucky ones to have an Apple iPad in your hot little hands after this past weekend’s release, chances are your kids — if they’re under the age of 10 — will end up with an iPad-like computer in the not-too-distant future. It may not be an actual iPad or even come from Apple Computer, but the odds are even that they’ll end up with a touchscreen computer in five years’ time.
According to the Gartner Group, “more than 50 percent of PCs purchased for users under the age of 15 will have touchscreens” by 2015. While touchscreen computers are nothing new — The Linus WriteTop, the first pen-based tablet with handwriting recognition, dates back to 1987 — the widespread acceptance of such devices is, thanks, in large part, of course, to the iPhone. And for kids today, the idea of a touchscreen computer seems perfectly ordinary, not the stuff of science fiction.
Part of this will be due to the natural adoption of touchscreens in education. Gartner sees this as a huge market where already as much as 75% of school districts will be adopting the technology. That makes sense because putting their fingers on the screen is as natural for kids as putting crayon to paper. Just ask anyone who has a laptop and a little kid.
So whatever you think of the iPad, whatever you think of pinching, flicking, and swiping, get used to it now because it’s coming to a kid’s backpack near you.
Photo: Apple Computer