Tablet devices considered harmful

Stand Tall

The limiting factor in user interface whatever BS are told on internet is the human condition. Human beings have two distinguishing traits other animals dont have :
  1. the opposing thumb (which does not concern us here);
  2. the bipedic position.
And because of our evolution, bipedic position put strains on our spine.

Since work accidents are costing a lot directly and indirectly to the economy, we have numerous studies on what might might and might not harm humans. They all revolve on the intrinsic weaknesses due to our bipedic position.

Recommended position for computer use
All the known dangers related to computer use as listed in wikipedia are basically linked to :
  • bending your neck;
  • not keeping your spine straight;
  • Prolonged use of the hands, wrists, back, neck, etc.
  • Sitting in the same position for a long period of time.
This field of research known as OSH is closely linked to the workers struggles in the late XIXth century that acknowledged the legal and financial responsibility of the companies regarding harmful work condition : what we commonly refer to occupational accident. And all the countries belonging to the International Labour Union will make your company liable for any harm coming from unfit working conditions.

Have you never wondered why Apple don't ship touch screen with their bigger computers ? 

Since liabilities are cascading,  if your working conditions are coming from some equipment provided by your company, if companies are misinformed by hardware manufacturers the liability will be cascading to the manufacturers.

As a result you may have noticed desktop manual first pages are always about safe working positions. These are codified in regulations that all revolves about conforming to normalizations (such as this one). These are mainly legal disclaimers : if you don't use the electronic device the «safe» way, then the manufacturer has nothing to do with your problems. People should always read the manual and contract :) 

You may think touch screen is a hipster technology?

So wrong.

It was one of the numerous technologies researched in the late 80's  in the famous Palo Alto Park (famous for having been the source of  most of so called apple innovations). And they had a term for the major defect of tablet devices : the gorilla arm. Plus as you can notice, when you use a tablet device you do not always think of:
  • your sitting position;
  • how you bend your neck.
Since Apple have very good lawyers, I don't think  the absence of touch screen for laptops and desktops is fortuitous. 

Science is about causality

And causality is the claim that the same causes produces the same effects, as long as you measure them.

Since the introduction of tablet devices, their use has been marginal. The more they will be used, the more people will interact with them, and as a result will present repeated strain injuries linked to the bad habits taken. Thus tablets are not yet harmful since no studies are made yet, but they will become because we have strong knowledge on technologies sharing traits with tablet devices : pocket books and touch screens ...

«We can predict everything, except the future...
But future is in certain circumstances a degraded version of the past»

I can therefore safely predict that :
  • studies will come in the next 10 years to prove tablet devices are a risk to the health;
  • hardware manufacturer will provide desktopish docks or laptopish docks for hand held computers (smartphones, tablets...);
  • tablet PCs users with a PhD or masters in CS or ergonomics are complete morons since they could have  seen it by themselves (this thus includes :  geeks, most of computer journalists, fixies user, and maybe you if you needed to read this post to understand the problem, ).

EDIT : since when so we know iPad/tablet position for reading is a bad idea ? 

Since copists are using «pupitre» the same as a dock.

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