iPad For Seniors

by dovetailedlife

David Worthington at “Technologizer” interviewed his mother, 60 years old, on what it was like to use the iPad–her first computer ever. You can read the entire article here.

A fascinating read to be sure.

As John Gruber wrote, “if you don’t think this kind of perspective matter, you’re nuts.”

I have often wondered if tablet computers will replace computers for most of the world. I have documented before how I use the iPad for 90% of my day to day activities. (This probably explains why people see me with the new iPad and think it is a waste. They see it as getting a new toy. I see it as getting this iPad so that I don’t have to buy a new computer. It is, for me, a new tool.)

For senior citizens, ones that primarily email and play games all day, this is a serious proposition. You can easily play on the iPad while watching your Soap Operas. Big plus.

It is not perfect though.

When I think about my dad’s mother, the one I think about using one of these the most, I’m not sure it would work perfectly for her. She has committed to a group of games that she has played for years and she would not like losing her points, money, or whatever she has inside of each of those games in order to move to App Store games. In addition, a lot of her games are online and in Flash. That really isn’t available on any tablet in full from yet.

But there is another problem, a fundamental one for someone like this. To use the device, you have to hold it. You can rest it in your lap (as I am doing now to type on it), or you can sit it up on a desk, but interacting with the device still requires a decent amount of dexterity and strength, something many senior citizens simply don’t have.

There are also soooooooo many good parts.

The icons are big. The install of apps is easy. Everything, for the most part, seems to make sense. FAR more sense than ANY typical computer, or computing platform. You don’t have to move a mouse. It has direct input. The keyboard comes up only when you need it. The screen is clear, it is travel-able.

If you read David’s post, you’ll understand some of the great parts about it.

I really do believe this to be the future. I encourage you to come along for the ride.

-B

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