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7 Fresh and Innovative Uses for Tablets

Written By Amber L. Carter | Dec 16, 2015

Once upon a time, tablets were considered a life-changing slice of digital heaven, providing both a portable work station and an accessible way to consume media on the go.

Yet thanks to a lack of creativity and innovation in recent years, we’re now slowly skidding on the ice of tablapathy. We bring our phones everywhere, and still can’t seem to take care of business without our laptops, so tablets are now largely considered an at-home luxury.

“The fact is, tablets have already evolved to the point where they can do virtually everything consumers want, and in that regard they may have already hit the wall.” – James Kendrick for Mobile News

This also means that, unless you’re a clumsy butterfingers who can’t have nice things, that Kindle Fire your super rich Aunt Carol gave you for Christmas 2010 is still going strong, eliminating the need for an upgrade.

And unless you’re a tech-head, you probably don’t give a flip about processor power or RAM—you just want to be able to do really cool shiz with your new tech.

In recent years, there’s just not that much cool new tablet shiz to be had.

But if there’s anything we love doing in the creative community, it’s coming up with new….ahem, creative uses for things that have begun to feel like old hat.

So in that spirit, here are seven fresh and innovative uses for tablets:

At-Home Slide Show

Let’s say you’re single, and let’s say that won’t be changing anytime soon (hear that, MOM?)…because you’re independent! And focused on your career! And you hate cool stuff like tax breaks and longer life expectancies!

But since you’re human, you’ve likely attended a number of weddings which featured a slide show of the bride and groom’s best throw-back Kodak moments, set to some godawful song by Nickelback or Lonestar. You rolled your eyes and sighed loudly as the show rolled into The College Years, but deep down inside?

You wanted one, too.

Enter the tablet! Pull together a series of snaps showing the breathtaking sequence of how you went from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan (a WILD swan! One who CANNOT BE TAMED by MARRIAGE, MOM!), set it to your favorite love song, and hang it in a prominent place so all who enter your home cannot help but be enthralled by the slide show story of your life!

Thumbprint Analyzer

You don’t even have to turn your tablet on! Just have your current love interest touch its face at any point in time, and BOOM—you now have a permanent record of their unique thumbprint which you can dust off, copy and scan into the CIA database for lifelong tracking!

Much more efficient than following them via faux social media accounts, and a completely logical next-step after a successful second date.

Small batch, artisinal, repurposed Etch-a-Sketches

1) Gently, tenderly break open the body of your tablet. Post an Instagram about how innovation can also break *us* apart before building us anew.

2) Remove yourself from the bondage of technology by removing the wires and microchips inside the tablet.

3) Lovingly return the wires and microchips to the earth, thanking them for the gift of connectedness they have brought to your life.

4) Go to the nearest ocean. Fill your hands with sand. Take a moment to remember that all sand was once rock, beaten to smoothness by the rhythm of the waves.

5) Pour the sand into the tablet, whilst asking the universe to also fill you.

6) Sprinkle in a handful of small, independently-crafted, locally-sourced magnets.

7) Lovingly close the tablet back up again, thinking about how creativity completes you.

8) Using hand tools you’ve borrowed from a local tool cooperative, whittle down a lead pencil.

9) Use the lead pencil to make drawings of mountains, pine trees, arrows, and waves on your now repurposed tablet. Post an Instagram about the importance of play in the life of a creative.

10) Make a crap-ton more of those things and sell ‘em for a buttload’o cash!

Sun visor

Because actual visor hats make you look like a dork. But when you use a tablet to shield those baby blues from the setting sun? It looks like you’re staring straight into the horizon of technology, bro!

Portable Yule Log

Having recently moved to the Pacific Northwest, I’ve discovered a curious phenomena about the local dating scene: people here really like to go on camping trips.

Like, for dates.

And while I might happen to stand more on the traditional side of “please just let me sit here and drink alcohol while I pretend to be interested in whatever you’re yammering on about”, the idea of drinking alcohol and pretending to be interested in whatever the other person is yammering on about whilst sitting by a fire does sound a bit more romantic.

What if the wood is wet or the matches are too dry or the sticks won’t spark or however it is that fires work?

Enter the tablet!

Fire up the Cozy Fireplace app, place the tablet between the two of you, and get ready for sparks to fly!

(That was good, right? It’s almost like, when it comes to puns, I’m on fire. Or, or!…I have a burning need for puns…or even, puns are raging like fire inside of me! Yeah? I’ll see myself out.)

Video Player That You Can Attach To The Ceiling Over Your Bed & Dedicate Solely to Playing “Careless Whisper” by George Michael On Repeat

This one’s maybe just for me.

Sleek and Modern Breakfast Tray

Some of you were probably expecting a “use it as a coaster!” tip, right? Listen up, pals—this is an article about innovation. It’s time to set higher expectations for ourselves and others, okay?

So let’s level up: use that tablet as a handy, modern “breakfast in bed” tray! Even a Kindle Fire has enough real estate to fit a cup of coffee and a PopTart, so stack that sleek baby up with thoughtful culinary delights (maybe a seasonal PopTart?) with which to break your sleep-over buddy’s fast.

You’ll be telling them, “Hey. I’m not only thoughtful and considerate of your morning nourishment needs, I’m also made of money that I can spend on technology easily duplicated elsewhere.”

As you can see, innovation in the tablet space is still possible. If members of the UX design community simply look to the tablet to do everything a laptop and phone can’t—or shouldn’t—do, the tablet may still be ripe for tech world dominance.

Amber L. Carter is a writer, podcaster, and the author of three books. A former behavioral therapist, she now puts her background in psychology to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on the defining TV shows of our current times (The Bachelor, Vanderpump Rules). She can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland with her new residency.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.