The idea of rhymes in history comes to me from David Thornburg's video, "Rhymes of History". The rhyme that echoes through history pictured here is communicating through print. This human need spans through the centuries from 600 AD in China to the current Google Nexus 7 (whose picture refused to go into the timeline in order and is omitted). I created here an incomplete history of the printing rhymes:
593 China printing press
1452 Gutenberg printing press
1875 Typewriter Sholes & Glidden
1895 Underwood Typewriter
1971 IBM Word Processor
1977 early Commodore / Apple II / Tandy desktop computers
1982 Commodore 64
1984 Macintosh / IBM PC Jr.
1991/1992 Powerbooks / Thinkpads
1996 Palm Pilots 1000
2007 Asus Eee PC
2010 Apple iPad
2012 iPad 3 / Nexus 7
The editors of the NMC Horizon Report 2012 Higher Education predict mobile apps and tablet computing will be mainstream in one year or less. For that to happen, and the devices to be truly useful in education, they will need to support Java.
The report predicts learning analytics and game-based learning will come into the mainstream in two to three years. The internet of things and gesture-based computing will be mainstream in four to five years. I would modify those predictions to game-based learning and the internet of things within the next five years. Wafer thin tablets are on the horizon as well, some in development in Japan.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009). Rhymes of History [Video]. In Emerging and future technology [DVD] Baltimore, MD: Author.