iPad Pros and Cons

April 11, 2010

If you ask anyone how they feel about the iPad there are usually two very different responses. The first is similar to a little kids reaction to being brought into a candy shop; overjoyed, excited and ready to make an investment. However, there is also the perspective that this new digital device is just a glorified iPod Touch or iPhone. This has been the feeling for many people in my graduate class and even outside of Elon University’s campus.

So does this device has a

iPad 2

valued purpose or is it worthless due to its repetition of previous creations only in a larger format?


People who are pro iPad have said that there are several positive aspects of the device that make them want to purchase it. They have stated that it is:


-easy to use/ intuitive

-when compared to other portable Internet available devices like the iPhone, its larger size is a benefit (especially for those with larger fingers), and unlike the Kindle, can handle many different file outputs.

-10 hours of battery life

-it has a digital compass and GPS

-quality, high resolution images (which makes for better video watching)

– and, found within a CNET article, “Productivity versus consumption: “My home computer will suffice for the number crunching, code compiling and media encoding needs. The iPad will be my encyclopedia, mailbox, newspaper, library, music jukebox, video player for the home and on the go.”


People who question the iPad’s purpose have arguments which state:

– we already have devices that do the same things and are less expensive, the device may offer even more options

-iPads are not really generative electronic pieces

-it’s a novelty product that people are purchasing because of brand loyalty

-can’t handle Flash

-no multitasking; you can only do one thing at a time, meaning you can’t be streaming music while performing another task on the iPad

-no 3G coverage automatically, which forces you to make an additional purchase

-the battery is built in, meaning if it dies so does the entire product

-no camera, no Skype

As you can see, this has many ups and downs, and even I am still on the fence when it comes to the iPad. I don’t think it’s completely pointless though, if anything it has shown us how advanced technology is getting. We’ll find more efficient ways to implement and integrate it into our lives…even if this way isn’t it.

For example, the healthcare industry is finding more benefits in adopting the iPad (or some tablet like it) then most of us. From a recent article within http://www.mobihealthnews.com, they found that the high resolution images displayed from the iPad actually help them do specific tasks at work (and with more tweaking, could provide medical applications that will benefit doctors, nurses and other medical professionals even more).

“SoftwareAdvice surveyed 178 care providers, health IT professionals,  and medical students to gauge their interest in the iPad and tablets in general. Here are the features this group listed as “must haves” for any tablet (not the iPad is lacking many of these)”:

Medical Tablet Feature Must Haves

According to Rob Campbell, the CEO of Voalté, “The form factor is ideal for patient education, medical image viewing and interacting with the EMR (electronic medical records). However, point of care workers need a smaller footprint, that can go into the pocket of their scrubs. Everyone needs more effective communication, so you can expect Voalté on both platforms!”

Maybe, with the improvement of the device (smaller in size and the addition of medical applications), it will better serve the public in the healthcare field.


Let’s Shop Interactively!

February 6, 2010

To fellow shoppers and anyone in or interested in advertising…

While reading about interactive media I stumbled upon a more interactive way to shop online. What if you could see the product on a person and watch how the clothing changes with movement (including the movement of dancing to music)? Check out this youtube clip that shows how Wrangler can use drag video functions so that visitors can see the clothes on a person, make the person move, or remove, unzip, and button up their products.

For Your Entertainment

November 18, 2009

While going through some of my bookmarked sites, I discovered a common thread. Interestingly enough, many of these are either interactive sites or webpages where the public has been the main creators of the content (they have also been saved purely for entertainment purposes). These are considered some of the most popular and most viewed websites today.

This shows exactly how powerful interactive formats and content created by the public can influence the sites traffic and interest. The focus on having an entertaining site is also a huge factor in whether or not people decided to participate or follow them.

Post Secret
Go Fug Yourself: Because Fugly Is The New Pretty
Exploding Dog
Graph Jam
A Softer World
texts from last night
Fail Blog
Awkward Family Photos
My Life Is Average
Chrome Experiments
Ugliest Tattoos
You Should Have Seen This
Poster Boy
This is Photobomb
Passive Aggressive Notes
1000 Awesome Things

A Hodgepodge of Information

October 27, 2009

While immersing myself in my research, I have stumbled upon a variety of interesting interactive media news pieces. Since they are unrelated to my research, and we aren’t having a face-to-face Friday this week, I thought I would share the hodgepodge of sites I have learned from or found entertaining this past week.

1. The Internet Makes You Smarter: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2009-10/internet-makes-elders-smarter

Apparently the work from a UCLA research team has discovered that the use of the Internet actually changes brain functions and increases activity in areas of the brain that are related to complex reasoning. The results of this study were presented at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference on October 19. I guess that means it’s not necessarily rotting our brains away like our parents told us.

2. Mercedes Vehicles Getting Safer:  http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/10/02/in-future-america-ca.html#more

Mercedes have recently demonstrated their newest safety technology entitled “Smart Stop.” This  wireless safety device, when it detects a red light, automatically stops the car if the driver fails to slow or come to a stop. You can watch the presentation of the new feature on the website above.

3. Life Savers (Not the Candy): http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/10/22/a-real-lifesaver/

This Yanko Design product is the newest version of the rescue lifesaver ring. It includes a built in GPS, heating feature to ward off and delay hypothermia and compartments to store food and water. This was created to save lives and increase the chances of survival of those lost at sea.


4. Interactive Clothing: http://www.oobject.com/category/best-interactive-clothes/

This site is a little entertaining. Although it shows creativity and interesting clothing interactivity, I couldn’t help but laugh at things like the bikini life jacket.


5. And lastly, if you are bored….. an Interactive Online Game: http://balldroppings.com/js/

Turn up the volume to hear the sounds you create. If you want to test out some other interactive games check out http://www.chromeexperiments.com/.

With constantly advancing and emerging technology, organizations have continually had to adapt to these changes.  Although the evolution of these companies has been amazing, some are still new to the idea of incorporating online interactive strategies.

While there are a few who are hesitant to attempt these methods, the ones who have jumped right in have found benefits to utilizing interactive media.  More specifically, philanthropic efforts and organizations have seen many changes in their awareness levels and donor support when they have integrated these online techniques with their campaigns.

To delve further into this topic, I will be looking into how non-profit organizations are currently integrating their awareness pieces and donation strategies with interactive media. For example, the organization known as “my charity : water” has created a visually interesting site which employs Google Earth, video and flash to send powerful messages to their viewers throughout the world. By forming groups and profiles on Facebook and Twitter, they gained so much awareness that they were able to triple the amount of money they could donate to build clean water wells in Africa.  FreeRice.com is also a successful non-profit site that has taken advantage of viewer interactivity. Through an online word or math game played by website visitors, they have been able to raise enough money (from sponsors) to feed people in poverty around the globe.

I am also planning on researching what new developments are being created or theorized (in social and interactive media) for non-profit organizations. For instance, some organizations believe that, in the future, the use of interactive media will become a staple in running a foundation. Organizations would then begin online and work backwards from how they are normally established. Others feel that the consistent use of interactive media and social good networks in the future will strengthen relationships, which will lead to more loyal groups of supporters.

Understanding the current standings of interactive media and philanthropy, as well as the future of this field, will only help a foundation evolve tactically.  The knowledge that is gained from their growth now will help give a glimpse of how much further they can go.  Maybe one day we will be raising money for a philanthropy through an XBOX game or creating something to help a need through Second Life.

In order to gather the timeliest information, I am going to try and contact (face-to-face or online) or research people who are knowledgeable on the topic of interactive media within foundations.  Some of the possible sources I am hoping to either contact or learn more about include:

  • Dean Paul Parsons (who will be teaching a senior seminar course based on philanthropy and communications)
  • Professor Tom Arcaro (a sociology professor and advisor to the philanthropic organization at Elon University known as the Periclean Scholars)
  • Professor Mandy Gallagher (who teaches a strategic communications course that incorporates a variety of online mediums)
  • Case Foundation’s spokesman and consultant Rich D’amato (who helped to organize the 2007 Giving Challenge, which was solely based on charitable giving online)
  • Sarah Ross of Causes on Facebook and TechCrunch.
  • Tom Shoes
  • Free Rice.com
  • Gates Foundation
  • Make a Wish Foundation
  • Beth Kanter (non-profit tech consultant and blogger)
  • Connie Reece and Susan Reynolds of the Frozen Pea Fund
  • John Kenyon a Technology Consultant and Strategist for non-profits
  • And my charity : water