Phil McKinney, Vice President and CTO, Hewlett Packard; James Ledbetter, Editor, The Big Money, Moderator
They differentiate between tablets and slates. Slates are touch devices with no keyboard attached. Been working on them for years. Fundamental technology challenges. Had a number on the shelf 3 years ago, but technology wasn’t ready yet for consumers. Pricing was much too high 1,500 to 1,800 dollars and technology wasn’t available to get the price down. One of concerns on high contrast displays is eyestrain and worked of 3 years on this problem
Slate form factor is a converged model, but don’t see that consumer will stop using one device to use another one. Consumers will use a plethora of devices. Battle ground over next 3 to 4 years will be smartphone vs the netbook. Competitor tried a 7″ slate and had a 70% return factor, too small. Consumers will be using 2 or 3 different devices. Consumers will no longer have to make “abnormal” choices but will pick several favorite ones.
Areas of innovation: form factor and business models. App store models put a wall between consumer and content creator and this will eventually change. Shows a sample of HP flexible display technology. It’s a piece of mylar that is rolled up. He unrolls it. The display is printed on the mylar. Could roll up the display and carry it around in your pocket and then plug it into your table. 24 to 26 months out.
Barrier people have when thinking about the future is that they are blinded by the technology we have today. In 5 years there will be new stuff that people have never even thought of.
Challenges of getting into slate market: problem is whether you can take an existing operating system meant for one purpose and re-purposing it for another. Very hard to do. Probably best to start from scratch. Interest in Palm is to get access to WebOS. Truly the only native HTML5 OS in the marketplace. Need no other tools to write for it. Want to take WebOS and put it onto other form factors – including a slate! WebOS is a complete new start and a refresh. Liked Palm philosophy on app store in that it doesn’t require that all apps run through the store. Third parties can establish their own stores as well as putting it onto the Palm store. Gives the content creator the ability to set his own business model as opposed to dictating it to him. No value to being a “toll gate” to the subscribers.
Technologies that will fail are those that try to shoehorn the old technologies into a new space. Need a new solution/ecosystem and this applies not only to consumers but to content creators.
Challenge with e-ink approach for showing color is the range of colors it can show. Colors will never be vibrant and bright and consumer is trained to expect this type of color. Don’t like “dull” colors.
HP will not dictate about Flash on slates. This will be driven by content providers. Will be able to deliver a good experience with Flash. HP worked with Wired on the redesign along with Adobe.
Hp will differentiate itself in slates because of its experience with touch – have been doing it for years. Touch in different parts of the world is different. In US point with a finger, in other parts of the world people won’t point with one finger, but will use two fingers or a thumb. In large parts of the world people don’t know what “pinching” is. There are different touch dialects all over the world. Korea has a different touch language from the rest of the world and HP is compiling a “directory” of touch from around the world.