Gone was political analyst Tim Russert’s whiteboard of years past, and clasped in his left hand, as he sat with Tom Brokaw this election night, tallying and re-tallying potential combinations of electoral college points needed for the presidential win, was a Fujitsu Stylistic ST5020 Tablet PC. And so the country received a demonstration. In addition to learning of Ohio’s newfound power, many witnessed, for perhaps the first time, Russert writing with a stylus on the face of the tablet and his chicken scratch immediately transported to a large television screen behind the two men.
Like a coach diagramming football plays, Russert circled state names, scratched out unlikely options and connected the dots. At one point he quickly closed a document and launched a new one. While his scribbles lent few revelations (and perhaps were less clear than a more traditional news-style diagram he might have crafted in advance), the handwriting recognition technology performed perfectly, and the ST5020’s touted “wide viewing angle” made it possible to read the screen even while it was perched on Russert’s lap (while it might have appeared gray with glare on a different device).
A Fujitsu press release announced that the newsmen were also receiving electoral vote information through the tablet, and Richard McCormack, VP of product solutions marketing at Fujitsu, relayed that, “Fujitsu is honored its tablet PC was used as a part of NBC’s election day coverage.”
It’ll be interesting to see what affects all that transpired that evening will have over the coming year—both in the political arena, and the tablet’s role in the hardware marketplace.