Tablet users don’t have to lose out to traditional book readers when it comes to making a physical statement.
Even with all the hype around paperbacks losing their sales to iPad and Kindle e-books, when it comes to making a style statement, books are a much better accessory to flaunt. There’s nothing like having your own study full of heavy classics and seeing people impressed by your taste in reading. While it is difficult to garner such attention with tablets, Future Lab’s Dominic Basulto says that by frequently using apps and having a “weathered” look on your iPad screen as a result or creating personalized inscriptions on them, it may be possible for readers to make a statement with their digital devices too.
How can Tablet users replicate these types of “statements”? One idea that a colleague mentioned to me involved the notion of “dynamic weathering” of applications — the more that you use an app, the more that it would appear “weathered” and used. People would know how often you were reading by how “worn” your iPad’s screen looked, for example.
Another idea might be new ways of creating emotionally resonant “signatures” for digital objects. During the Obama election disaster of November, one of the Internet memes for a short time was how one enterprising young man got Obama to sign his iPad tablet using an Adobe Ideas app. This is an important point about books and “emotion” — if you’ve ever been to a book-signing, it never fails that people want to get a “personalized inscription” on their books to make them more special. How can tablets replicate this as well?