Amazon: Playing with an iPad

Playing with an iPad

We spent a week at the end of June on the Amazon River in Peru with International Expeditions. Fantastic trip, more on that in a later post.

One afternoon, we visited a village — Nueva York — along the Amazon. We spent some time with the children of the village, learning a bit of spanish and teaching them a bit of english (Head! Shoulders! Knees and Toes! Knees And Toes!).

Fun with Photobooth

One of our guides asked me to show the kids my iPad as they had never seen anything like it before. It took a moment, but they were enthralled. The big hits were Photo Booth and a simple finger painting app.

It was quite gratifying to see the kids take to the iPad and start using the apps so naturally. They quite quickly learned how to change and control the effects in Photo Booth. Including taking their own pictures, as seen at the right.

Of this wonderful experience — the kids were fantastically good natured and the adults were warm / welcoming — there were two standout events that I shall relay, one purely cultural and the other just flat out cute.

When I first launched Photo Booth and showed it to one child, I was a bit surprised by the reaction. It was sort of, “Well, that’s neat.. but.. meh, weird pictures of a person isn’t that interesting”. When I turned the iPad so his friend could see, the second kid’s reaction was the same, but the first child completely lit up with laughter as soon as the second kid’s face was on screen! Then the same happened when I rotated back to the first child.

As it turns out, there are pretty much no mirrors anywhere outside of, maybe, a hand mirror or two. Children really don’t see themselves on a regular basis save for on the back of a digital camera in the hands of a tourist (we were encouraged to always show them any pictures we took). Thus, seeing “self” just wasn’t very interesting at all.

Once I suspected this was the case, I saw this same behavior with pretty much every child who saw Photo Booth for the first time!

The really cute event happened when I was showing a little girl — maybe 6 or 7 years old — the finger painting application. It took her a second, but she got into it and had quite a bit of fun making a smily face. I showed her that the color could change and then left the color picker (a little grid of color swaths) on the screen for her to pick.

She thought about it for a moment.

Then carefully tapped light blue.

Then looked at the tip of her finger to make sure the color was picked up.

Disappointed that her finger wasn’t blue, she tried again with yellow. Same thing.

Then I showed her that the color really did change and she was happily drawing away again. Still, every new color required a finger tip inspection…

Neat folks. I hope to visit again.








3 Responses to “Amazon: Playing with an iPad”

  1. BWJones says:

    Just goes to show you how natural the gestures interface are… Its almost like those movements are hard-wired into our genes.

  2. K.Y. says:

    May I ask what was the paint app you had?

  3. bbum says:

    Sure! It was Brushes. Easy enough to use and kid friendly, but there are a number of other sketch apps that you might like better (iDraw, SketchBook Pro, Inkpad, Adobe Ideas, and ArtStudio are occupying space on my iPad, but I honestly don’t use any of them with any consistency).

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