Apps for Apes: Orangutangs learning to use Ipads
This is a very interesting project of which I have learnt lately.
Zoos across America and Canada are teaching Orangutangs to use Ipads, on a project called "Apps for Apes". Researchers are letting these apes have controlled use of Ipads, and while the apes learn from the use of the Ipad the researchers learn from the behaviour of the apes with the devices.
Meanwhile, apes have not been allowed to use the devices like in the picture. The devices are still in the hands of the handlers, and the apes play with them from inside a cage. But I can easilly see the project getting to a phase in which the ape would be able to hold the device himself.
The top-hits with the apes are at this point apps directed to infants, simple games and finger drawing apps. Apes also like very much to see video on the devices. But handlers are also beginning to try new types of apps with them, including communication software like Skype.
On thing is already sure, the apes are always excited to know that it's time to play with their devices.
You will find some video reports and a link to the project website after the break
You can see more videos, many pictures, and some info at the project website.
And then comes the question: won't this be the beginning of that alternate reality described by the movie sequence "Planet of the Apes"?