What makes a device “magical?” It’s not about being the fastest, thinnest, well-built, or mobile in its class. No — In my opinion magical devices are made by the impact they have on the world, not by any features they posses.
Early in the iPad’s life we learned that people who have never used a computer were now using the iPad as their first foray into the computing world. A 99 year old woman who never owned a computer started using an iPad to read and write — pastimes she had given up due to glaucoma. The iPad’s innate ability to resize text enabled her to once again enjoy reading and writing.
This week a touching story broke about a child with a genetic condition that affects her vision, and how an iPad has changed her world:
But the sight problems that once made school a struggle for Holly are now largely a thing of the past – and her parents thank her touch-screen tablet.
The iPad has replaced a weighty magnifying glass as Holly’s classroom companion, and a simple swipe of her finger now zooms in on text that once had to be enlarged by teachers on the photocopier.
Holly’s attention span has increased and her mother, Fiona, estimates “visual fatigue” now takes twice as long to set in.
“Holly’s enthusiasm to read has grown so much, and it’s definitely increased her independence,” Ms Bligh said.
My grandmother suffered from severe glaucoma in her later years, and I wonder if the iPad was around then how much of an impact it could have had on our relationship. She was always so patient trying to understand my fascination with technical things, but in the end I don’t think she ever quite got it. After all, most of what I tried to demonstrate to her she couldn’t see very well (if at all).
Apple has billed the iPad as a “magical” device. No, it’s not perfect; yes, it has room to grow. But is it magical? Yes — and I challenge anyone who says otherwise.