Apple has sold 2 million iPads in its first 2 months of production. With that many iPads out in the world (and mostly in the U.S.), it's no surprise that iPads are popping up everywhere. From the device's first celebrity appearance with Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report to being spotted in the lap of Poker pro Andy Bloch at the World Series of Poker, the iPad has quickly become a fairly ubiquitous gadget. To explore just how popular the gadget is, here's a few examples of the iPad in the wild that you may not have seen yet.As announced yesterday,
European Parliament Hands Out iPads to All Members
Last month a Belgian newspaper reported that the European Union would be providing iPads to each member of the European Parliament. For those keeping score, that's 736 people for a grand total of anywhere between 300,000 and 600,000 in iPad sales depending on the model. Additionally, the money is being taken from a taxpayer budget of 5 million and could represent as much as 12% of the budget spending.
iPads in America, however, are still banned from the House and Senate floors where similar technologies, like laptops, have remained absent. The EU says they are passing out the iPads to parliament members to make them more accessible to their constituency, but shouldn't that responsibility be up to the members themselves?
The iPad Street Magician
The iPad apparently isn't just good for browsing the web and watching video in style. It can also bend spoons, and make books, birds and money appear out of thin air. At least that's what one Japanese street magician wants you to believe. By combining some sleight of hand, camera trickery, rehearsed timing and a personalized iPad video, this magician, Shinya, proves that the iPad can be a useful tool for magicians.
Long gone are the days where magicians would invite viewers to participate in a global magic trick on their TV sets - the iPad is the new magicians friend, it seems. Online video sharing sites like YouTube have created a place for talented street magicians like David Blaine to share their amazing videos with the world. Perhaps the magician seen in this video will adopt his trick of pulling a sandwich out of a print advertisement for the iPad.
Flying High With the iPad
Kim Heras of The Next Web reported today that budget airline Jetstar would be renting iPads to flyers aboard trips longer than 90 minutes. The devices, which can be rented for $10, will come preloaded with books, movies, TV shows and games for the passengers to enjoy while soaring at 30,000 feet. Not only is this an incentive for travelers to pick Jetstar, but it is great marketing for Apple which can put a device in your hand for a limited amount of time - just enough, perhaps, to convince you to buy one.
Bluebox, the U.K.-based company providing the iPad service for Jetstar, should be rolling this out to other airlines in the near future, says Heras. Of course, this service would be greatly bolstered by the proliferation of in-flight WiFi, which is slowly migrating across airlines in the U.S. and internationally. Heras hits the nail on the head, however, stating that the real killer app is allowing passengers to stream the entertainment features straight to their own devices without the rental.
Other iPad Sightings
It's clear that the iPad has quickly become a iconic representation of cutting edge technology and wealthy early adopter geek toy. If you have other great examples of the iPad being used in new and interesting ways, send them our way or post a comment below. In the meantime, please enjoy this highly entertaining video about the marriage between two of America's greatest inventions: the iPad and velcro.
Photo by Veronica Belmont.