1 min read

Ideas are Cheap: Touch screen device with a browser

Use case

Mom asked me to find out the name of the God in the temple at Gokarna. I just had to visit Wikipedia and find out. She could have done this herself but she’s too intimidated by the PC. The same goes for checking movie listings. And so on.


What if there was a simple device that has just a web browser. They keyboard is brought up via the touch screen. It has absolutely nothing else. Then, would she use it?


  • Since we can do pretty much everything on the internet these days other than work with hardware, why not a device dedicated for that? Makes it extremely easy for people to use the internet and hence computers.
  • Can use available WiFi or uses built-in GSM card for internet access
  • For geeks, it is a quick way to use the internet, no need to boot up a full computer.
  • What if you wanted to open a Word document? Well, that’s where things like the “Open IT Online” Firefox extension come into the picture.
  • It’s different from a mobile phone because it has a much bigger screen. And it won’t cost an arm and a leg like the iPhone.
  • The popularity of Amazon’s Kindle shows that a reading ebook reader device can become very popular. But why restrict to just books on Amazon? Why not the whole internet?
    • I would love the ability to pace myself and read stuff such as the O’Reilly Safari instead of being forced to sit in one place.
  • With the rising internet penetration in India and the expectation that it will increase much higher, people may not be always comfortable with the small screen of a mobile phone/UMPC nor want to buy a Rs.20K PC, what if there was a device that does the middle ground – a large screen, internet access and, say, <7-8K cost?
    • The cost is not based on reality, just trying to find what would be the right price point.


Bottom line

Would you buy it? For yourself or for someone you know.

(This is a continuation of the “Ideas are Cheap” series).

Update on April 9, 2009 : Here comes The TechCrunch Tablet.