Back in 2009, after traveling in Europe, I wrote on my ideas about using an iPod as a travel device and the what could be (aka the tripPad™). (Note: this was several months before the 2010 iPad announcement.)
Now, I have heard of boutique Hotels giving guests a per-loaded iPhone for their guest, so this isn’t the first move in this direction.
So, I am pleased to see a steps towards my vision, with several caveats :
The 9″ inch size of the current iPad is not pocket friendly, nor makes it easy to be taking out every 5 minuets to help with navigation, read up on a sight, or use in augmented reality mode. Until Apple has a 7″ version of the iPad, the iPod or an iPhone remains a better option. Android devices in the 7″ size are also a currently a very viable option. My though was something the you could hang on a lanyard, around your neck.
The daily price is reasonable, but the deposit is steep (although understandable), and the fear of losing it – by accident or not – will be a disincentive.
I do understand why did go with the current iPad. They use the version of the iPad that comes with 3G Data cellular connectivity, which is not an option on a iPod. By sticking with the iOS platform, the most well know mobile operating system, they reduce training issues.
Pad In The City’s reservation system is a simpler way to get this in the hands of travelers, and easier to get started as a business.
Nonetheless, and despite my issues, this does look to be a nice test of this kind of device and business and a big step towards my LWR (lazy web request). First Madrid, next Paris, London, New York and Tokyo. (and the World!)