Monday, RIM announced their new 7″ “enterprise-ready” touchscreen Playbook tablet and it’s their first move to compete with Apple’s iPad. The device has all the standard tablet features, but also supports Flash in its browser, which may make a big difference in attracting consumers interested in playing web games. As the device is aimed at businesses, I thought I’d take a look at 5 ways the device may make your work life more social.
Simultaneous Slide Presentations
John in San Francisco is giving a presentation about the last quarter and you’re on a wi-fi enabled plane. Load the live slideshow onto your Playbook and plug in your earphones to feel as if you’re sitting at the meeting. BlackBerry is always secure, so they’ll ensure that your private presentation is seen only by company employees. Of course, your earphones are BlackBerry earphones and will include a mic so you can chat with the presenters, and even present yourself..
Bigger, Badder BBM (BlackBerry Messenger)
The device will no doubt include room for your BlackBerry messenger, which is one of the most social tools available to enterprise workers. As a secure IM client that works from any BlackBerry, it’s very common for work colleagues to add each other to their BBM lists. That said, what can the Playbook bring to the table? Images, live simultaneous video/presentation streaming and possibly big screen video chat. That stuff would be great for important meetings.
Collaborative Touchscreen Whiteboards
Well, if RIM decides to expand the BBM functionality, imagine opening up a quick whiteboard with somebody at another office, so you can both scratch some ideas down while you’re on the Playbook speakerphone, essentially creating the collaborative meeting atmosphere from different locations. You could both draw out diagrams, add photos and videos, and save while on the go.
It’s a small deal, but if you’ve been in as many meetings as I have where the only way to meet was to use a shared speakerphone, then you know that the Blackberry speakerphone, while powerful for its size, can’t always cut it. I imagine that the Playbook will have some larger speakers (akin to the iPad) that make big room audio more feasible, and that works great for audio conference calling.
In Person Collaboration
The Playbook replaces pads of paper for jotting down notes. Imagine coming up with a design collaboratively while on the plane and having it in a format that’s easily exportable to your PowerPoint presentation? This is the kind of work experience I hope to see from RIM in the days ahead.