Is Apple’s iPad as innovative as the Model T Ford but we just don’t realise it yet?

In 1908, Henry Ford gave his customers something they didn’t know they needed – the first mass-produced car. But if he’d asked them what they wanted, he said it would be a faster horse.

By knowing ‘what’s in it’ for consumers, innovative companies like Apple meet our changing needs and stay on top of tougher markets than Henry could ever have imagined.

So how would you use the tablet-sized iPad?

My husband thinks it could replace expensive back-seat entertainment units in cars. He reckons someone should design a cover with a pocket for the iPad so that children can watch movies or play games on a high-quality screen at far less cost than the factory-fitted option.

As a journalist, I can see it developing into an all-in-one publishing tool, from taking notes on a digital shorthand notebook to writing and emailing the finished article to the editor and seeing it published online.

Apple Insider says Apple applied to patent an advanced handwriting recognition tool in November 2009. Will the next generation of iPad come with a stylus? If so, shorthand notepad and biro makers had better watch out.

What uses can you see for it?