Surprising uses for an iPad

Stand-up comedians to magic and surgery, the possibilities are endless.
1 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Stand-up comedian Lost Voice Guy made his debut at Mission in Sunderland on 4 February this year.

His slogan -- "(Probably) the first stand up comedian to use a communication aid" says it all.

Lee Ridley suffers from cerebral palsy and lost his voice at a young age, but it hasn't stopped him from being able to use it in comedy -- through a text-to-speech app called Speak It!. The iPad has taken the place of his natural voice on stage, and athough people may not know what to make of it when he begins, the video below shows that it can be used to his advantage. 

Lost Voice Guy has become a popular comedian through his iPad use, and currently performs in London.

2 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

On 4/19/11 at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall, pianist Lang Lang stepped out and played his first (out of three) encores through an iPad, choosing to tap away on glass instead of using his usual instrument and ivory keys. 

His rendition of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" at the concert gained him laughter and applause from the surprised audience. The pianist is known for encouraging young people to become interested in classical music, so how better than to appeal to their love of gadgets?

3 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Mixing standard DJ equipment and an iPad, Rana Sobhany calls herself the 'world's first iPad DJ'. She uses a number of applications, including sets from IK Multimedia GrooveMaker.

As she waited in line outside an Apple Store in New York to secure the iPad on its release date, inspiriation came to her -- why not experiment with an iPad DJ rig, instead of the usual turntables? 

"I just started playing with some of the music apps that were available for the iPhone, specifically the IK Multimedia GrooveMaker apps,” she told Wired.

"I got really inspired by the basic functionality of these apps and I started thinking about ways to incorporate iPad into a live performance. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was entirely possible to build a set around solely iPad music software and applications."

4 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

There are few that would deny the iPad is cutting edge technology, but for the technologically challenged, that phrase may have another meaning. If you give an iPad to one of your grandparents, it may be an idea to keep them out of the kitchen.

5 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Chopping boards aside, there are some among us -- including writers who prefer pen and paper to tapping on gesture-based screens.

So why not turn your iPad into a typewriter for those moments of creative writing?

The USB typewriter keyboard can turn your iPad, Mac or PC into a retro-typing machine. As the name suggests, it is plugged in through a USB port on your device.

6 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Merging modern electronics with old fashioned slight of hand magic, Japanese street magician Shinya shows us how it's done.

7 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

In 2010, a surgery was performed in Kobe, Japan. iPads were used in conjunction with OsiriX 3D navigation software to help surgeons by acting as an interactive, detailed monitor. In the video, we can see assistants zooming in and out on the screen as others perform the procedure.

It was not the most elegant solution, as the device had to be wrapped in plastic -- not only to stop fluids breaking it, but for hygiene purposes. It also required two people to use it, one to hold the item and another to show the screen to doctors, but as iPad use in the medial profession continues to grow, it may yet prove as valuable a tool as a scalpel.


8 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

The iCade is an arcade cabinet designed for the iPad.

Originally, the idea to turn a modern device into a retro gaming system was an April Fool's joke, but the concept turned out to be so popular that it was developed and set into production.

Available for $99.99 to U.S. and Canadian customers, this product works by sliding an iPad in to a docking station, where the iCade connects to the device using Bluetooth technology.

Over 2600 titles from Atari are available through a suite download, whereas an accompanying app allows a user to download and purchase from a selection of 100 games. It is compatible with the iPad and iPad 2 models.

9 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

What do you give an Apple fan for her birthday? An iPad, of course.

Stefan Magdalinski, CEO of Multiply.com, decided to give his girlfriend an iPad for her birthday. At that point in time, it was unavailable in South Africa where they lived, so it had to be smuggled back from London. But rather than simply wrapping it, why not freeze an iPad in chocolate carbonite? Magdalinski enlisted the help of friends who ran a chocolate business and were willing to give it a go.

For those that wonder, it did manage to survive the process.  



10 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet
A world away from bones and chew toys, the iPad's interface can be used to play with your beloved pets. In the video below, an owner decides to have a game of air hockey with their dog.

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But, it's not only dogs. Using your cat's quick paws to advantage, how about a game of fruit ninja?

12 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

This prototype guitar-iPad hybrid, the Mantaray, aims to synthesize digital applications and musical technology to create a new DJ setup in the form of a guitar.

One thing that this design does facilitate is the ability to use multiple devices with both hands, rather than focusing on one at a time.

The video below is the promotional version of the prototype -- and includes its use with the iShred and Kaoss applications available on iPad. It is no longer known as the iTar, as another company owns the trademark.

13 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

The Code Red application's slogan is "Men's best defense against the monthly Her-ricane." A gimmick or simple way to keep tabs on your partner's 'monthly rage', the app was created and developed by Jon Rose and husband & wife team Kevin and Lisi Harrison.

It works as a calendar, pure and simple -- and your girlfriend's cycle can be input so a warning is given when it comes up.

Surprising or distasteful, application downloads have reached high levels on a global basis.

14 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

The perfect way to annoy people down the pub -- or something to keep the children occupied. "Accordion for iPad" is an app which replicates the notes and shape of the instrument on your iPad.

It also comes with a learning center, so you can learn songs of different difficulties as your skills improve.

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