One stumbling block in the tabletâs path to dominance is screen size. At 7 to 14 inches diagonal, tablet screens are too small to handle the gamut of computing chores comfortably. Thatâs where frames come in, according to Forrester.
Frames will be large, stationary displays that a person can use to wirelessly show video, documents and any other tablet-based content. Theyâll be laden with sensors, so people can interact with them through touch, voice and gestures (via motion sensors similar to those in Microsoftâs Kinect). Forrester envisions frames as fixtures in homes, offices, hotel rooms, coffee shops and conferences. Forrester analysts expect them to reach the mass market in 2015, when they will spark an acceleration in the displacement of laptops.
The presumed ubiquity of frames might be the reportâs most iffy prediction. But the technologyâs forebears are already on the market, Forrester points out, including the Apple Thunderbolt, Samsung Central Station and Sony Power Media Dock. Apple AirPlay wireless technology enables the iPad and iPhone to send video and audio to TVs or external speakers via Apple TV, and Intel Wireless Display technology moves content from PC to TV.