When Techi’s Ransler Dier posted a waterproof case for the iPad that renders it fully-functional in extraordinarily moist environments (including but not limited to underwater) I, like you, scratched my head, knowing full well it could never find a use in the real world.
You’re looking at Merlin in this photo. No, no, the dolphin, not the guy with the beard. The bearded one is Jack Kassewitz, a researcher with SpeakDolphin.com, and Jack is helping Merlin speak through the magic of the iPad. Yeah, that’s right. We’re no longer the only species using computers.
“The use of the iPad is part of our continuing search to find a suitable touch screen technology which the dolphins can activate with the tip of their rostrums or beaks. After extensive searching and product review, it looks like our choice is between the Panasonic Toughbook and the Apple iPad,â said Kassewitz. Judging by the photograph, the choice has been made. âWe think that once the dolphins get the hang of the touchscreen, we can let them choose from a wide assortment of symbols to represent objects, actions and even emotions.â
Kassewitz presently has Merlin identifying real-life objects via the iPad’s touchscreen, in an effort to get him used to the technology before building more complex interactions.
You know, I’ve always been of the mind that the only thing separating us from dolphins is their notable lack of opposable thumbs – now that they can use technology, it’s only a matter of time before we’re battling them for control of the world’s coasts.
Just you wait. Stop laughing.
[Via 9to5 Mac]