Meet Jim Banks, “bed surfer.” A self-proclaimed information junkie, Banks couldn’t wait to buy one of Motion Computing’s Tablet PCs for $2,600 last December. As vice-president for sales at Movaris, a Campbell (Calif.) consulting company, Banks loved the idea of getting rid of mountains of notepads and handwritten logs of all his meetings. When he brought his Tablet home, though, he discovered a side benefit. Instead of squirreling himself away in his home office reading e-mail and doing other work, he sits in the living room with his two children. In bed, he pages through an e-book about Jack Welch and GE and checks on the latest sports scores. “It’s a great opportunity to do research, to do pleasurable stuff without getting in trouble with the wife,” he says, chuckling.
As consumers cut the cord and use mobile devices to surf the Internet, the bedroom is quickly becoming a comfortable place to lounge. And Wi-Fi is speeding the transition, extending broadband services that were originally confined to the study. In Singapore, for instance, K.O. Wong uses a Philips’ iPronto — a combination Web pad and master remote for the television — to browse the Internet while her husband and 6-year-old daughter battle over watching sports or yet another Disney movie.