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Author's profile photo Ian Thain

Take Off for Mobile at SAPPHIRE NOW Madrid

Tickets at the ready, Passports at the ready… Euro’s bought? Well its finally upon us and all the SAP folks you will be meeting this week in Madrid are packing and getting ready to jet off!

I expect to see lots of Tablet devices in Madrid… iPads, Galaxy Tabs & probably quite a few iPad Mini’s as they have been available now for a week in some countries. Just like at TechEd in Las Vegas, it seems that most folks now rely on the lightweight, small for factor and powerful Mobile Tablet devices as their ‘weapon of choice’ and the laptop is now just a portable desktop machine. We really are now in a mLifeStyle!

Here’s an excerpt from one of my previous blogs in the Mobile section of SCN

Is there anything worse than being shut in a metal tube at 38,000 ft with no communication to the outside world for many hours? This has been the case for years, but for the International Business Traveler it could be classed as a ‘perk‘ of the job and a necessity for the holidaymaker. For the Business Traveler, it can be a number of precious hours to catch up on… practicing or creating presentations, report writing or offline emails (or online). For the holidaymaker, boring hours trying to keep sane and waiting for the flight to be over! For me in either situation the Tablet, such as the iPad, is the idea device with exactly the functionality and form factor I need, in such a limited space…But are we seeing the birth of a New Seatback?

On my last international trip to SAPPHIRE in Orlando, during the flight I noted the large amount of iOS devices, the majority iPads, being used on the 8hr 40min from the UK. These devices were being used in lieu of the inflight entertainment systems, even on my flight with Virgin Atlantic, which boasts a modern fleet and some of the most innovative in-flight systems. It seems to me that the new darling of the skies is a tablet device that far outperforms the games, films and music systems that are offered on today’s airlines (I have heard of some airlines already renting tablet devices to passengers).

Obviously the user has to have currently planned ahead somewhat, deciding what to entertain themselves with, but looking ahead I wonder how long it will be until we have a feature onboard to stream from an inflight server, at a price of course! In addition will we also have on device Companion Apps that will show more detailed flight stats & location on a map, give us the ability to order tax free goods and drinks etc. This could all be made available with the growing presence of inflight wifi access which is slowly becoming a norm.

But to end… Over the last few months I have been giving you my suggestions on what to attend but you can still check out the sessions at

Please follow me on Twitter @ithain & make sure to sop me in Madrid to say ‘hi’, if you see me on the show floor and around the event!

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