The rise of the single-purpose tablet

In 2 short years tablets have begun to fundamentally shift personal computing. We consume more, share more and are always connected. However, beyond personal computing, tablets are also giving rise to entirely new use cases as single-purpose devices. Walk in to a local ice cream shop and the traditional cash register will have been replaced by a shiny new iPad point-of-sale, complete with a cash drawer, credit card reader and a printer. Soon you will be able to buy products in retail stores at an iPad or Android kiosk integrated with a credit card reader. We have already seen shoe retailers replace paper signage with iPads, creating a unique and highly energetic experience for customers. iPads are a the most cost effective way to create beautiful, interactive experiences for your customers.

But it takes more than just mounting an iPad on the wall to create these compelling experiences. Natively these devices have been designed for personal use, so it takes a more work for non-personal uses like these. Of all the projects that we have seen, the biggest failure point has been the lack of remote management for the app and the iPad (iPod Touch, iPhone or Android device).

After talking to dozens of companies trying to use iPads as kiosks, digital signage, POS and more, the idea for our +MDM platform was born. We want to give users remote management and control over both the apps and devices running those apps.For those on iPads, that means locking the home button, pushing wifi settings, removing iTunes, Safari, YouTube and more. For apps, +MDM enables the remote management for app settings from any browser. No longer is it necessary to have someone standing at the device to change the way it runs. Whether you have 1 device or 10,000 +MDM lets you manage all of them from a single location.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is at the core of what we do, but isn’t who we are. MDM isn’t new, of course. Traditionally employed by enterprises, MDM delivered the most efficient and secure way to protect sensitive corporate data and apps. But these new single-purpose use cases don’t fit the mold for traditional MDM. Because a user/owner has been removed from the equation, these non-personal use cases requires greater centralized control over how the device operates. We are focused on enabling solutions for tablets as single-purpose devices, whether that be as a kiosk, digital signage, point-of-sale….whatever your solution might be.

+MDM enables these new use cases through a combination of a web-based management console, webhooks and REST APIs. For those solution providers that already have a web-based console for their solution, our device management features can be easily included in your own console. For those who have a killer app, but no central management for the app, we can help you with a role-based console that can reflect and manage all the settings in your app.

This is a very exciting space, in just a few months time we have worked with customers putting android tablets into taxis, iPads as point-of-sale, conference room signage, kiosks for hotel concierges and payment terminals at retail stores. We will be highlighting many of these use cases as we continue to demonstrate the many ways tablets can be used beyond personal computing devices.

If you are using tablets in new, innovative ways and need to lock them down or manage them remotely, tell us about it.

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About the Author: Michael Girdley