Word for an Internet-enabled computing device

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 26 21:45:45 UTC 2011

I should also note that "internet appliance" has died multiple deaths
only to be resurrected a few months later. See, for example, this one
from circa 2001: http://goo.gl/0uDDz

There are also some variations in what "internet appliance" means. Some
would actually exclude smart phones. Netbooks and tablets are classic
internet appliances, even though they were very late in arriving--long
after VOIP, game consoles, satellite receivers, TiVo, etc. So are the
latest TVs and BlueRay players, electronic weather station, etc.


On 9/26/2011 5:30 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
> I thought the generic term was "appliance"--as in "internet appliance".
> From Wiki:
>> An Internet appliance is a consumer device whose main function is
>> easy access to Internet services such as WWW or e-mail.[1] The term
>> was popularized in the 1990s, when it somewhat overlapped in meaning
>> with an information appliance, Internet computer, network computer,
>> or even thin client,[2] but now it has fallen out of general use.
>> Internet appliance was contrasted with any general purpose computer.
>> The basic design idea behind Internet appliance is that it can be
>> made cheaper and much more usable by narrowing its functionality and
>> limiting available configuration options. Modern smart phones and
>> tablet computers do approximately the same things, but are more
>> powerful, more successful in the market, and generally not classified
>> as Internet appliances.
>     VS-)
> On 9/26/2011 5:21 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>> At Diva Espresso, there is a notice that if you register your coffee
>> card online, you get five dollars. It says that the wizard will guide
>> your "computer or phone" through the process. Not reading the notice
>> with much attention, it took a second take to figure out that by
>> "phone" they meant "smart phone," but on further reflection, feature
>> phones might be able to handle something like this as well.
>> Clearly, the phrase "computer or phone" is trying to describe an
>> Internet-enabled device with computing capacity, which clearly
>> includes tablet computers and perhaps feature phones. Even though a
>> "tablet computer" is a computer by definition, I have trouble with
>> idea that an iPad is a computer. I've only touched an iPad once or
>> twice, but my understanding is that they are more like a large-screen
>> smart phone.
>> Perhaps "computing device" is the wise choice for being inclusive.
>> Benjamin Barrett
>> Seattle, WA

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