Imagine it. What if there was an iPad application for reading financial statements. These won't be the static financial statements which are digital paper like HTML or PDF. I am talking interactive information, XBRL in the background allowing all sorts of interesting things to happen, things no one has seen before.
It is probably just a matter of time before we see something like this. I hope it is sooner rather than later. The iPad makes its debut in Apple stores tomorrow.
Some say that iPod, iPhone and iPad type applications are going to radically change computing. Maybe it won't be Apple, rather Google's Android will surpass the iPhone. One Google executive says that phones will make personal computer irrelevant. Or maybe Microsoft Smartphones will catch up.
Or maybe all this will turn out like the Apple Newton, in the dump. Or maybe Apple learned a lot from its experience with the Newton, that is why the iPod and iPhone are so hot. Maybe the iPad will change how we interact with computers.
Who knows how things will turn out. Personally, I am betting on that iPad application for reading financial statements, interactively of course. I will get an iPad and play with it, see what you can do with it. I have an iPod Touch and really like it. I use it as a music player and a way to show people photos and videos I take. I don't have an iPhone, but have been talking to the people who I know who do have one about their experiences. Pretty much every one loves it.
I think the bigger screen of the iPad will be a big game changer. It will be kind of like carrying around a clipboard. You certainly won't carry it around with you all the time, but I can certainly see the iPads utility. Maybe it is underpowered. Maybe the battery will not work long enough. These are details which will be worked out over time I speculate.
Imagine it. Everyone connected by the Web, not the current Web but the Semantic Web. iPads, iPods, iPhones, Androids, Smartphones; maybe a few PCs will still be around. IFRS used globally. Financial information in XBRL making it dynamic like a pivot table, rather than static like the legacy paper statements.
All this will make it easier to keep tabs on our investments, on how our governments spend the taxes we pay to them, on how the charitable organizations we contribute to spend our contributions, etc.
I think it is only a matter of time. What do you think?