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We use our tablets for all sorts of things these days, from surfing the web to playing games, and we expect to get a full color experience that's super responsive to our taps and swipes. But what if we were to swap out that full color display for a much slower and decidedly less colorful e-ink display? Would you still want it? And would you spend almost as much as an iPad mini 4 to get it?

That's the seemingly outlandish proposition set forth by a device called Joan, except it's not really tablet in a conventional sense and it's not being used for more traditional tablet purposes. Instead, Joan is positioned as a "meeting room assistant" that you'd hang outside the meeting room in your busy office. It replaces what might otherwise be an ugly, non-smart whiteboard or chalkboard to indicate whether the room has already been booked.

There are some offices that have already replaced the analog signage with a digital alternative, like an actual tablet. The problem is that battery life on a tablet is such that you probably need to have that connected to power almost all the time. By contrast, the battery in the Joan meeting room assistant should last up to three months between charges. You don't need to drill any holes either, since Joan can mount with a simple magnet.

Joan: Does a $349 E-Ink Tablet Make Any Sense?

The other advantage is that Joan is WiFi-enabled, syncrhonizing with the office calendar. This way, you can book up the room (and check its schedule) from the comfort of your cubicle too. People who walk past the meeting room can tap away to check on availability or book the room too, of course. But then there's that price. At $349, Joan isn't exactly cheap. Then again, the new Kindle Oasis is $290 and that's just e-ink too, though for an entirely different purpose.

Joan might not be the perfect solution for every office, but it could be an interesting product for the right startup or small business. Check out JoanAssistant.com for more information.


Via The Verge

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