Posted: May 11, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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The iPad is by far the most adored tablet in the human world. The numbers speak for themselves. But what you may not know is that members of the animal kingdom dig the 9.7-inch tablet too — particularly a clan of six orangutans at the Miami Zoo. At the Miami Zoo’s Jungle Island, handlers are interacting with orangutans using the iPad. The apes use the tablet to identify items they’re familiar with, and express their wants and needs. This is done primarily through an app designed for autistic children that displays an array of object images onscreen. “We’ll ask them to identify ‘Where’s the coconut?’, and they’ll point it out,” Linda Jacobs, who oversees the Jungle Island program, told Wired. “We want to build from that and give them a choice in what they have for dinner — show them pictures of every vegetable we have available that day, and let them pick, giving them the opportunity to have choices.” Orangutans are very intelligent, but lack voice boxes and vocal cords, which can make communication difficult. Up until now, zoo keepers have been using sign language to communicate with them. Using the iPad gives the orangutans another form of communication with humans, provides them with mental stimulation, and also gives those who don’t know sign language a chance to interact with humans. (via Orangutans at Miami Zoo Use iPads to Communicate | Gadget Lab | Wired.com)

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