Lexicon Systems, LLC Blog

lex'•i•con: the vocabulary of a branch of knowledge. Thoughts on environment, health & safety (EHS), sustainability and information technology to support them.


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The year of the tablet

Samsung Galaxy Note

Samsung Galaxy Note

It’s clear that 2012 was The Year of the Tablet with Android and iOS tablets creating market excitement for much of the year and Windows 8/RT creating excitement late in the year. Tablets extend BYOD (bring your own device) beyond smartphones in the business enterprise.

I have seen senior executives and mid-level managers tote tablets to meetings in lieu of notebook computers. In 2013, look for more pervasive tablet use as organizations begin to develop proprietary applications for 24/7, global connectivity. In 2013-2014, expect to find new business applications in the “app stores,” allowing tablets increase productivity and proving their value to businesses.

With the winter holidays a faint memory and 2012 coming to an end,

we wish you a happy, healthy and successful new year!

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The environmental impact of tablets

Industry analysts predict that tablet purchases will outnumber laptop purchases by 2013. The increasing use of tablets, both business and personal, has quite an impact on the environment. Their use results in lower ink and paper consumption, lower CO2 emissions, as well as lower water consumption during production.

Twenty-five percent of adults in the U.S. own tablets, compared to only 4%  in 2010. And 45% of tablet users say they have decreased printing. 

–morganstanley.com and appleinsider.com 

ID-10081890Uberflip, a Canadian company that helps organizations to deploy content on electronic platforms, identified four environmental sustainability trends related to tablet use:

A decline in printing. Although many people feel that they still require hard copies of just about everything, this is no longer the norm.  Printer manufacturers like HP are feeling the crunch as the demand for ink shrinks.

I work with more electronic documents than paper documents these days. I buy less paper and ink than I have bought in the past. When I need a paper copy, I print wirelessly from my iPad or notebook computer.

Eco-friendly devices. Over their lifetime, tablets result in lower CO2 emissions, notably when people use their tablets as e-readers rather than buying paper books. The CO2 equivalent emissions from a tablet are about 1/3rd that of a small notebook and 1/25th that of a 60-watt incandescent light bulb.

E-waste. The volume of electronic waste will double by 2025. To combat this, electronics manufacturers and big box retailers have implemented recycling programs. I took advantage of this free recycling service at least four times this year, giving up an old notebook computer, a desktop computer, a laser printer and an inkjet printer. I reused the computer hard drives, converting them into external hard drives with a simple enclosure kit.

Green business. More and more businesses use tablets to demonstrate products and services, and for sales transactions. My local grocery chain uses iPads to sign up customers for their loyalty coupon program, which has computer and mobile apps. This replaces printing and mailing costs.

A national electronics chain uses iPads to demonstrate how tablets connect to big-screen TVs to display streaming videos. The Apple store uses iPads that allow customers to compare products and view features. A sales technician is on hand to answer questions and complete the sale–by entering transaction information on an iPhone and then swiping a credit card. You get a small paper receipt and an electronic receipt by email. There is no cash register evident in the store (there may be one in the back for cash sales) and no waiting in lines.

See the full Uberflip InfoGraphic on Sustainability of Tablets.


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TIME’s “top 10 tech gadgets” list for 2012 has pleasant surprises

Most of us are familiar with David Letterman’s “Top 10” lists, the “best-dressed” and “worst-dressed” lists, etc. Time magazine released its “Top 10 of Everything 2012 with a whopping 55 lists in numerous categories. Here’s their list of the top 10 tech gadgets for 2012:

  1. iPhone 5
  2. Nintendo Wii U
  3. Sony Cybershot RX100 camera
  4. Raspberry Pi Model B
  5. Lytro light field camera
  6. Apple Macbook Pro 15″ with Retina Display
  7. Microsoft Surface with Window RT
  8. Samsung Galaxy Note II
  9. Nest thermostat
  10. Simple TV

The list includes two of the best smartphones, a new tablet and a notebook with a stunning display–no surprise. What did surprise–and intrigue–me is the innovation and ingenuity in three items on the list:

  • Raspberry Pi

    Raspberry Pi is a $35 computer. Yes, you heard this correctly! It’s stripped down to bare essentials; all you need is a monitor, mouse and keyboard.

  • Lytro cameraThe Lytro camera captures the direction of light rays, as well as color and intensity, letting the user refocus photos after they’re taken. It’s by no means a pocket camera, but it is affordable. 
  • Nest thermostatThe Nest learning thermostat incorporates simple form and function, with a touch screen display. Former Apple employees designed it.

You can view all 55 TIME Top 10 of Everything lists here.


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Converging IT trends cause IT organizations to refocus strategies

Four trends–cloud computing, mobility, big data and social networking are changing the face of how we manage, analyze and apply information–in a positive way. Like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), these trends are an example of IT Consumerization, which Wikipedia defines as

the growing tendency for new information technology to emerge first in the consumer market and then spread into business and government organizations.

These trends impact individuals, businesses and IT organizations. According to Aternity in Managing IT through the Lens of the End User,

The emergence of consumer markets as the primary driver of information technology innovation is seen as a major IT industry shift, as large business and government organizations dominated the early decades of computer usage and development.

four-color-puzzle-piecesThese four trends cause IT to shift from a business and operational focus to a user-centric focus. IT organizations need to consider IT availability, performance, value and ROI.