iPads at the Airport

Like iPads, and think they could work in a public space? Check this video out! I recently saw a bunch of iPads at the Delta terminal at LaGuardia airport in New York, and took a short video of them. Here’s a link to some photos, too.

Basically, here’s what I saw – hundreds of iPads in the airport terminal gates, secured to tables with a cable. Each iPad had airport info, news, games, a restaurant menu, and web access apps installed. You could order items from the restaurant via a credit card swiper beside the iPad. No signup, no waiting list – just find an empty iPad and start using it. Here’s a couple of news articles written about this experiment.

The only real problem I saw was one of sorta gross smudges on the iPads. Thankfully, I also saw someone walking around, cleaning the screens.

iPads in the airportI think this type of setup could easily work in a library setting! Here are some starter thoughts on potential uses:

  • catalog-only computers
  • computer “overflow” – get out the iPads!
  • Simple browsing stations. Who needs PCs?
  • Complete mobile technology in the library – no PCs needed (with those handy self-service tablet checkout machines that were being shown in the exhibit hall at ALA Annual). Just check out an iPad, then take it wherever you want to in the library.
  • Out-of-the-building events
  • For staff, they could work nicely as roving reference tools.

Question – how does your library use iPads or mobile tablet technology? I’ll start: so far, we have some iPads that staff can check out for a learning opportunity, we have experimented with them for roving reference, and we teach a class on using an iPad. How about you?

Playing with the iPad

Playing with the iPadOK – we bought two iPads at work, and I was greeted with one this morning!

So I’m seeing if I can create a blog post using it. And guess what? I can!

But not easily, mind you. Let’s see – the pic, I was able to log into flickr and copy/paste the embed code for the image pretty easily. I was obviously able to log into my blog too, to do this post. Interestingly enough, for those of you familiar without he back end of WordPress – I’m using the HTML simple editor to type this. The fancier visual editor wouldn’t let me type in the text box. Go figure.

Also, to scroll around in the text box window, I just discovered I have to hold one finger down, then scroll with another finger. Otherwise, the whole screen moves. And I’ll have to get into the post on a pc to add categories to theta oust – I can’t scroll down on that window.

Typing is interesting, too – but possibly because I’m not used to the keyboard yet. It feels clunky to me, and I would suggest getting the external keyboard for any serious typing.

That said … websites are beautiful on this thing. In the vertical position, it shows more screen real estate. And the touch/use your finger thing instead of using a mouse is amazing, as should be expected.

The next couple of years in computer technology should be amazing, revolutionary ones, if my first experience with this thing is any indication.