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Dolphin uses iPad to learn to identify objects

Cats love iPads, dogs love iPads, and dolphins... love iPads? That's the word from a site called SpeakDolphin.com [PDF, here's the text], where researchers say they're using the iPad's touchscreen to offer up visual stimuli for dolphins to touch and interact with. A touchscreen for dolphins needs to have a few certain criteria, including being waterproof-able, sensitivity, and visual clarity, and apparently the iPad fits the bill, as you can see in the picture.

So what kinds of apps does a dolphin use? Turns out they're addicted to Plants vs. Zombies HD, too. No, just kidding -- they use just an image that contains pictures of various items that exist around the dolphin in real life. The trainer points to an object in real life, and then asks the dolphin to point to that same object on the screen, laying the very first groundwork for lingual interaction.

Interesting stuff. We haven't heard of dolphins using Apple's magical device before, obviously, but what's constantly surprising is that the iPad is slowly replacing all sorts of other technology, and being used in many ways that Apple's engineers couldn't even imagine.

[via BoingBoing]

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