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Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers

From the warehouse to the sales floor, see how companies creatively use iPads and other tablets to save time and money, sell more, and delight customers. Tablets may even find a home on garbage trucks.
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Tablets haven't been a big hit in retail stores, says Gautam Lohia, head of emerging technology for the digital marketing agency Blast Radius, since they're a two-handed device. That makes it awkward to do things like pick clothes off a rack to suggest to a customer while holding on to a tablet. In those cases, it's better to have a kiosk if there is a need to look for more information or find an out-of-stock item online at another store.

However, Stoli vodka gave iPads to people doing promotions in bars, says Jamie Manalio, a producer at Rust who worked on the app. The app played off Stoli's "Would you have a drink with you?" ad campaign. The people doing promotions used the app to ask the customer a few questions, shook the device, and the app suggested a vodka drink to fit their personality. Likewise Blast Radius worked with a perfume maker on a tablet app that asked a number of questions to direct a person toward a scent. Tekserve did something similar for a cosmetics maker.

Cash register interfaces also could be a growing use for tablets, says Lars Kamp, of Accenture, replacing conventional, costly point-of-sale terminals, especially for small businesses.

The big question is whether a tablet gets in the way of a retail experience, rather than enhancing it. Manalio worked with a retail shop owner who wanted a virtual reality app, where people could point an iPad camera at a product and get more data on it. He talked the store owner out of it because he thought people would be looking at their devices and "walking by products you want them to buy," he says.


Tablets In Business: Hard Lessons From Early Adopters

iPads For All: One Sales Team's Story

Do iPads Belong At Sporting Events?

iPads As A Better Tool For Face-To-Face Collaboration

Tablet Shootout: Which Fits Your Enterprise?

10 Tablet Tricks To Try

Tablets of CES: Visual Tour

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User Rank: Apprentice
2/16/2012 | 6:10:20 PM
re: 9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers
Speaking as a minority, an IT professional, and someone with an MBA, I don't find her attire unprofessional, and I didn't even notice until you pointed it out. It occurs to me that the biggest problem faced by minorities (and likely women, though I can't speak to that extent) in IT, and indeed in general, is self-righteousness masquerading as championing minority issues.
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2012 | 4:44:47 PM
re: 9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers
Mr Murphy. The photo associated with this article "9 Powerful Business Uses For Tablet Computers" plays into preconceived stereotypes of Minorities and Women involved in Technology. This is very sad.... :-( Why is the only minority in this photo dressed unprofessionally (low cut blouse and high skirt)??
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