iPad Mini, the Untold Story

Nationsmith writer K. David Du considers whether or not the iPad mini is a necessary buy, which triggers an episode of philosophical, futurist thinking.

I have to admit, many of us technophiles weren’t surprised by Apple’s October 23 unveiling of the new iPad mini. After all, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, and Google’s Nexus 7 – all miniature tablets— have been in the market for since 2011 or earlier this year.

But the main crux of this story today on Nationsmith isn’t about a blogger trying to convince you, the reader, into buying another relic from the altar of Steve Job’s.

No, in this post I’ve run into a dilemma: do I need to make another unnecessary purchase because somewhere, deep inside of me calls out, “there’s a gap between your smart-phone and 9.7 inch tablet that needs to be filled”?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m between a rock and a hard place here, people. With an android smart phone in one hand and an Apple iPad 2 on the other, do I need more smart technology in my life?

Thus I decided to make a quick tally of my smart tech at home.

Anyone who knows me knows that my room is a bit of a man cave: I’m rocking 42-inch plasma TV which is connected to my three other smart appliances – Apple TV, PlayStation 3, and Dish Network DVR; my desktop supercomputer has connected to it a wireless keyboard, mouse, and speaker set-up; a blue-tooth headset, and of course, a super-sophisticated Logitech webcam.

Tallying this list with my android smartphone and iPad, I smirked and gave myself a nod, validating my concerns about being someone who is addicted to smart consumer technology.

But bear with me further.

Here’s where the story gets interesting: I realized that Steve Jobs was correct after all. The technology in car, room, and living space has over the last ten years has become a living eco-system. Forget about the physical hardware, think about the strands of coding and software that is in the center of today’s technological revolution – I live in a place where my phone talks to my computer which talks to my TV which turn talks to my PlayStation.

Along with Jobs’s electronic ecosystem, Cisco system has made an interesting point that we’re quickly moving away from a purely information based internet into something else known as the internet of everything. Despite claims of a future Orwellian dystopia, smart technology has long ago crossed into the social sphere – consider when you check in on Yelp (or Facebook), get zapped with deals on your smartphone when you enter the mall, and Apple’s passport (no need for physical passports and tickets anymore, folks).

Without going further into the applications of the internet of everything, I’d like to go back to the iPad mini question: Do I invest into another smart consumer appliance to add into my junk heap at home?

The answer is qualified. I think I’d like to get an iPad mini, but I would like to wait a year or two before I make my purchase. But I believe there’s a real reason to buy the tiny device: it, along with other technology in my life, has a certain utility that supports the way we’re going to be living within the next ten years and I don’t want to miss the revolution when it comes.