The iPad is everywhere. It’s changing the way we read, do business, take surveys, watch videos, and more. Just the other day I tried out a new, swank karaoke spot in Seattle where singers could browse, select, and queue up their songs on an iPad song menu. My friends and I spent a fair amount of time cooing over the selection system as well as singing our guts out.
Last month, however, American Airlines introduced the iPad as a paperless replacement to pilots’ navigation charts. According to AppleInsider the iPads will replace flight bags of paper charts that can weigh more than 35 pounds and even though the iPad is classified as a “Class 1” electronic device that should be stowed during takeoff and landing, the FAA has granted approval for the pilot use of the iPad in this program that could save American Airlines approximately $1.2 million dollars in paper. It’s a green tactic with such a great savings that other airlines are thinking of launching the initiative themselves. Alaska Airlines paved the way, launching their program way back in May.
But there are many other businesses incorporating the tablet into their operations as well. Mundo Global Tapas in Australia was the first restaurant to offer the iPad to their customers so that they can browse and order food. They’ve been doing so for over a year and the iPad menu solution is still going strong. The Intercontinental Hotels Group has equipped their concierges with iPads so that they are no longer chained behind the desk and are also able to offer richer information to their guests (maps, videos, reviews, etc.).
The tablet that some people suggested might become an oversized mp3 player/ebook has proved itself to be a very versatile product. You can play “Flight of the Bumblebee” or set the tone for the evening with some iPad mood lighting. Or you can download the Ideascale application and get feedback from your customers with just a few taps of the finger.
So where will you see the iPad next? In the mall? At a church? (Tablet hymnal anyone)? At school? Just don’t put it to work the way that this iPad enthusiast has.