I personally see another way of wide iPad adoption in Smart Grid or smart energy programs. As it is a “cool device”, specially crafted to bring unbelievable “touch” experience in everyday tasks, it is created for consumers, not for engineers, serving them. Yes, there are IT geeks, that have fun running Telnet on iPads, but most of the photos are of children and cats, playing with a new toy. Sooner or later, many households will have something of the kind. That means, that the interactive, easy to use and fun to play with energy management solution is already deploying through the market.
In DRFusion Demand Response automation framework we are using IPad exactly like that – as a sophysticated In-Home display, capable of showing the homeowners their consumption levels, manage their home appliacnes and fine-tunning demand response to develop an efficient energy management system. Only like that – handled by the consumer, this devices shows all the power it can reveal, helping utilities on the way to the Smart Grid.
And Engineers will use laptops.