More tablets than personal computers are expected to be purchased in 2015, according to a post from U.S. News and World Report.
It would be the first time that more tablets are sold than computers, with the number of the devices sold anticipated to hit 321 million next year, according to the article, which cites a study from technology research firm Gartner.
The proliferation of tablets in the marketplace is also reflected in several industries, where tablets are becoming the norm and changing the way people do business.
The improving functionality and multifaceted ability of tablets, along with their portability, has made them more critical to the evolution of many fields. Let’s take a look at some of the industries in which tablets are making their mark.
In the hospitality industry, tablets are being utilized in many ways.
At some luxury hotels and resorts, people can use tablets to access concierge services, allowing guests to check out nearby restaurants and attractions, according to a post from ZD Net. Instead of flipping through a three-ring binder, guests use a tablet. Similar features can be found on tablets aboard cruise ships.
Likewise, menus are also going digital at some restaurants, and many hotels now have tablets in rooms, front desks and bars, according to Good E Reader. It allows people to more nimbly access guest services—everything from room service to wakeup calls.
From checking up on patient records to finding the latest information about prescription drugs, tablets are making things easier and more accessible for those in the healthcare field, according to Health Care IT News.
According to the post, tablets are most often being utilized in four areas:
- Patient monitoring
- Compiling reports
- Scheduling appointments
- Prescription authorization and refills
The devices make it easier for nurses on the go, and improve record-keeping and information access, according to HealthLeaders. Tablets, and their related applications, can make health conditions easier to illustrate to patients and help providers educate people.
In the world of sales, representatives are using tablets to check inventory, show off products and complete transactions, according to TabTimes.
Businesses can use tablets to quickly go from showing a product and its price to videos and slides of the item in use. The devices are easy to carry around and offer an array of features that an “old-school” salesperson wouldn’t be able to do with paper.
On the retail front, beauty retailer Sephora allows customers to use iPads loaded with the company’s app, which in-store associates also utilize to help customers find the right product, according to Mashable.
The rise of tablet use in sales has given birth to the term “T-commerce,” according to TabTimes.
Schools across the country are starting to purchase tablets for classroom use, and Globe University was on the forefront in the fall of 2013, when it began issuing tablets to each student.
St. Paul Public Schools in the spring of 2014 announced its plans to put the tablets in the hands of all students and teachers by the 2015-16 school year. It’s part of an effort to give students more “voice and choice” and allow teachers to tailor their lessons, while at the same time enriching students’ experiences with technology.
For college students, the devices can reduce costs for materials and foster creativity and interaction with instructors. In high schools, tablets help introduce students to educational applications of the technology, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Tablets can play a vital role for attorneys and paralegals.
There are a number of ways in which tablets make life easier for those in legal professions:
- They condense the mountains of paperwork people have to wade through
- They can house apps that provide easy access to databases such as Westlaw
- They allow users to quickly switch from email to web research to document review
Law-centric apps have also made things easier for lawyers and paralegals, especially with the continued focus on electronic discovery. A blog from The Legaco Express for Paralegals outlines some useful apps, including:
- Fastcase: A legal-research service that provides access to a national law library.
- Litigator: A reference tool that houses rules of law and legal procedures.
- iJuror: Features a seating chart and information on jurors and perspective jurors.
- Court Days Pro: Offers a calendar that calculates dates and deadlines based on court rules and statutes.
Tablets: Game Changer
The above examples are but a few of the industries where we see tablets changing how business is conducted.
As the devices themselves become more advanced and new applications allow for more specific uses within certain industries, there’s no telling how tablets will influence different sectors in the future.