calling all innovators, make me some new peripherals

Today I was sent this link for a new tablet concept. The big feature being touted? Three USB ports. Sigh…

Let’s all stop and imagine for a second what it would be like to use an otherwise wireless tablet connected to three different peripherals with cables all at once. I don’t need to elaborate, any 5-year-old imagination should see how terrible that would be.

As it is, I can’t wait to be rid of that old iPod dock-connector on my iPad. Wireless everything. That’s the future. Putting USB ports on a tablet hinders forward progress by maintaining the idea that wired peripherals are good enough, and we don’t need to move on.

“But I can’t print from my iPad!”

Well, maybe the problem isn’t with your iPad! Why can’t I just email a PDF to my printer from whatever device I’m on, and let the printer figure out how to print? Device drivers suck. Just mentioning them makes me cringe a little. Why can’t someone make peripherals that suit the way I use technology now, rather than expecting newer devices to support an interface that’s decades old?

June 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

You’re still using wired printers?  Man, I switched to Bluetooth a long time ago. :)  You can also find printers which can be hooked up to a network, in which case you can access them via WiFi.

You still need device drivers, though.  How else will your iPad know how to tell the printer to print your PDF double-sided (or if the printer even supports it)?

I don’t know about iPhone, but Windows Mobile phones, as ancient as they are, have also been able to sync to a PC over Bluetooth for a long time.  It seems like a lot of these problems can be solved today if vendors created their products in such a way to support existing protocols.

Chris, June 11, 2010 at 3:55 pm

@skoda on @technochocolate on