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The Chicago Tribune reports that “merchants from Gucci to J.C. Penney are experimenting with ways to use electronic tablets in their stores to boost sales and dazzle jaded shoppers.

“No retailer has the formula quite figured out yet, so most have limited their tests to just a few stores. But experts predict that within the next year iPads and other electronic tablets will make their way into all manner of merchants, from supermarkets to mattress stores to luxury jewelers.”

Among the in-store uses: “Retailers are using iPads as mobile catalogs so sales clerks and shoppers can browse inventory not available on store shelves. They are fastening the tablets to counters so shoppers can design their own products. They are arming sales associates with the electronic clipboards to gathering customer data. And they are testing the device's potential as a portable cash register.”

And, the story goes on: “Deloitte predicts that in 2011 more than 1 in 4 electronic tablets sold will be bought by businesses. And the New York-based consulting firm forecasts the figure to rise in 2012 and beyond. Retailers are among the most likely early adopters of the device, Deloitte said in a January report, projecting that retailers will purchase and deploy more electronic tablets than any other industry this year.”
KC's View:
I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been seeing a lot of people working at tasks that a tablet computer could make a lot easier. At retail, in hospitals and nursing homes, in doctors offices, on trains and planes - I’m probably annoying to many of these folks when I ask them if it wouldn’t be easier for them to do their jobs with an iPad.

It just seems that especially as the market is flooded with tablets to compete with the iPad, we’re going to see a major revolution in how people access computing power. With luck, it won’t just make them more efficient, but also more effective and even more creative.