Who would have thunk it? When it comes to the ranks of so-called early adoptors - folks who run out to buy the latest consumer technology, your run-of-the-mill Congressman doesn't immediately come to mind. But that perception may be out of date. Check out this Politico post describing how Apple's new tablet computer setting more than a few Congressional hearts aflutter. (Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz wins the Friday quote du jour competition for calling the iPad "the bomb.")
Just months after the revolutionary gadget was released, tech experts and lawmakers are predicting the iPad is going to revolutionize the way Congress does business - potentially, in a bigger way than the BlackBerry has - allowing members instant access to their staff, constituents and other details that make a congressional office tick, with more typing, editing and communication abilities than any smartphone. Indeed, the iPad may be the ultimate paper saver for an institution that prints millions of pages a year and still piles huge stacks of bills outside the House chamber every day.
"This thing is the bomb,"said Chaffetz, who carts his midsize tablet everywhere but the House floor, where technology like laptops is still banned. It's light; it's portable. it's accessible information. I love it."
Despite some halfhearted reviews from consumers, the iPad is largely receiving rave reviews from lawmakers, who are finding the tool invaluable for editing legislation, carrying paperwork and e-mailing staffers while on the go. Technology experts predict that the aversion to technology on the House floor will soon change, with iPads replacing the stacks of papers and enormous binders of legislation that lawmakers often lug with them through the Capitol corridors. In the coming years, staffers armed with iPads will be able to send out updates directly from the cloakroom about proceedings on the House floor, other experts foresee.