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Jump on a train, tube, bus or even just walk down the street and chances are you’ll see someone using a tablet computer.
In the past few days we’ve seen people using them while queuing to pay for shopping, to idle away time while waiting for friends at the pub and even make notes during preview screenings.
With the era of 4G now just months away, we forget how relatively recently the idea of a single device which allowed users to watch films, stay up to date with breaking news, play games and keep in touch while moving freely outside, seemed like the stuff of sci-fi.
Yet the ‘convergence’ of computing and popular entertainment long predicted by futurologists and tech pundits is now firmly with us.
To a lot of people’s surprise, it happened not on our large screen TVs, or on our computer screens but in magazine and book-sized devices we can carry around with us all day.
In just a few short years tablets have gone from being an expensive niche product to a mainstream device easily spotted on public transport, in open spaces and in coffee shops across the nation.
According to telecoms regulator OFCOM, UK tablet ownership is rising “rapidly”, up from just “2% of UK households in Q1 2011 to 11% in Q1 2012”.
And research carried out by the body suggests “this growth looks set to continue” with around one in six (17%) households saying they intended to buy a tablet during 2012.
Given the perilous state of the UK economy and the worries households have over jobs and financial security, that growth is nothing short of remarkable and suggests devices like the Xperia tablet are now firmly part of the mainstream.
But once we’ve bought them, what are we doing with these wonders of modern tech?
Here at seenit.co.uk we use our tablets for a mix of work (live-blogging, note taking and even article writing), entertainment (ebook reading, film watching, games playing) and social networking purposes.
The info-graphic above suggests that’s a pretty standard mix, Meanwhile figures from a range of sources suggests regular use is on the up.
Seventy-four per cent of survey participants told OFCOM that they “go online on their tablet every day, or most days” while figures from the BBC show that iPlayer access via tablets soared by 40m between November and January – up almost 100% on the previous year.
It’s not just the BBC which has found itself serving up content to a growing army of mobile users, the entire content sector has had to adjust to a new way of consuming content.
As games playing has become something to do between other things, so developers have found themselves having to sell titles for less. (On the other hand, tablets have given them a platform to dust down and re-release classic titles from yesteryear.)
Movie studios have also found ways to harness the new devices – our pre-order of Django Unchained comes with a digital copy specifically to enjoy on the move.
And we’re not just doing things on our Xperia tablet and its brethren, we’re also busy telling others what we’re doing with them via social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
And of course we’re using the same device to do the telling as we do the doing. That’s our friend convergence at play again, see how easy it creeps up on you?
Are you wedded to your tablet? Or are you one of a decreasingly pool of tablet-refuseniks? Share your thoughts below or find us on Twitter.