When computers first appeared in the hands of consumers, they came with grayscale (aka monochrome) displays. The same was true for laptops and PDAs. Now, we're seeing that trend repeated with digital book readers. Books generally use black ink on white paper, so who needs color?
As digital readers like the Amazon Kindle, the Sony Digital Reader, and the Barnes and Noble Nook continue to evolve into a type of tablet computer, the need for a color screen will become inevitable. Soon, we'll be back to a tablet PC, but these devices won't have the same type of processing capability as what's found in modern computers. Let's see when Apple releases the iSlate.
So how will these digital readers evolve? I think it's fair to predict that they will incorporate color screens, have Wi-Fi, and have Internet capabilities. They will also be capable of e-mail and some type of multimedia (such as browsing images, playing videos, etc.). Will they get classified as a mobile internet device or MID? Perhaps they will get called a tablet internet device or TID. That will get confusing for physicians who prescribe drugs TID (three times/day).
At the end of the day, they will resemble very simple tablet PCs. How will this impact the medical community? Will health care students and working professionals get more comfortable working with slate tablets?