There has been, and surely will continue to be, a lot of speculation in these weeks leading up to the expected announcement of Apple’s tablet computer on January 27. This is the normal state of things, it seems, ever since the iPod’s original introduction in the fall of 2001, but in this case the murmuring has a higher pitch, due mostly to the fact that rumors of an Apple tablet have been circulating for years.
The problem with all this speculation, of course, is that it’s very easy for the hype to exceed the reality. So, in that vein, we at GeekDad would like to add our voice to the choir of excess hype, to fan the flames of overreaching expectations, and perhaps a few other metaphors, too. Here, then, is our list of features without which the Apple iSlate, or whatever it ends up being called, will be a huge disappointment:
10. BarTablet – Want to make a couple cocktails for friends but don’t know what you have the ingredients for? This app uses the integrated camera to scan your liquor cabinet and the contents of your fridge (for mixers, of course) and will list all the drinks you can make with what you have on hand. Also allows you to rate the drinks, so if you enjoy a nice amaretto sour but can’t stand fuzzy navels, it will tailor its recommendations thusly.
9. iMozart – The perfect application for a tablet computer, this would present you with a page of blank sheet music and allow you to sketch the notes you’d like to play. Tell it what instrument(s) you want to play the music, hook it up to some decent speakers, and listen to the mellifluous sounds of your creation.
8. Advanced anti-theft system – You think fingerprint scanners on laptops are pretty spiffy? Well, this tablet computer not only scans its users’ fingerprints, but, if an unauthorized finger touches it, will automatically activate the recovery system: It will take a picture of the person using it and automatically email the photo to its owner’s registered address; and it will send its GPS-determined coordinates to the owner for tracking purposes. Should the thief try to use the tablet’s built-in GPS navigation technology, he/she will be surreptitiously directed to the closest police station.
7. Immersive defect resolution – Can’t fix a problem with the tablet on your own and don’t have time to wait your turn at your local Apple store’s Genius Bar? Activate the special problem-solving app and stand still as the built-in laser digitizes your body and takes you into the computer, where a friendly program played by Bruce Boxleitner will help you track down and defeat the problem, played by David Warner.
6. Automatic Photoshopping – Are you about to have a conversation via webcam, but you haven’t shaved and look about 30 pounds heavier than you’d like to? No worries: the webcam in this little baby will tweak your transmitted image in real-time to make you look just right.
5. Lenticular screen – Put your Bluetooth earbuds in and watch your favorite movie on the tablet — anytime, anyplace! But you’re at work? No problem: switch it to Boss Mode before starting the video and the screen will look, when viewed from anywhere but head-on, like it’s showing whatever document you want it to.
4. Rock Band integration – Expert mode on drums too easy for you? Try iExpert mode, with your new tablet serving as a fifth drum pad.
3. Mind meld – Want to do a real brain dump? Just load up this app and press the side of your face to the tablet’s screen. Enable the voice option for 99 cents to hear Leonard Nimoy’s voice saying “Our minds are merging… our minds are one.”
2. Holographic help – Need guidance on how to use your brand new technological toy productivity tool? Just chant “Help me, Steve” three times and a fully-interactive holographic Steve Jobs will appear to offer assistance. Upgrade to the VIP edition and the holographic Steve will not require you to genuflect while he speaks.
1. Seriously – The Apple tablet must have a mode that makes it look and work like the Enterprise control panels and PADDs on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Really, it must. Any tablet computer that doesn’t have such a feature represents a missed opportunity and is consequently fundamentally inadequate.
What features do you think the iSlate (if, again, that turns out to be the Apple tablet’s name) needs to have, lest it fail to be the greatest tablet since the Ten Commandments?
[This post originally ran on January 8th, but we had to re-run it because, well, IT ARRIVES TOMORROW!]