iPad great for autistic children

I know, I know, we talk a lot about Apple products. And, I know, we’re Apple geeks. But be honest. Every time again, the greatness of the brand is confirmed. And every time from a different angle. Take Shannon Rosa. Shannon won an iPad in a raffle. And when she came home she gave the iPad to Leo, her nine-year-old son. Leo is autistic. He is a very slow learner, he is not conversational and can have serious outbursts of anger. But when he, almost without any training, started to play with the iPad, his mother stood in awe. Intuitively he flicked though all the icons, trying one app after another. And he started to play with apps that help him how to spell, to make puzzles and to remember pictures. For 30 minutes straight. To the amazement of his mum.

In just the few months the iPad is on the market, developers many applications especially for users with special needs. And with success. Many autism experts and parents have used the iPad with these special apps in many occasions with autistic kids all around the world. All are amazed with the results it gives. Studies already show the results on the learning abilities of some of these children. In some cases, kids have been able to communicate directly with their parents for the first time in their lives, thanks to the iPad.

Rosa is very happy she won the raffle. And full of admiration with Apple’s CEO. “I don’t usually dabble in miracle-speak”, she says, “but I may erect a tiny altar for Steve Jobs in the corner of our living room.”

See SF weekly for the whole story: iHelp for Autism

The heat is on: Apple confirms January 27 event

What the entire geek world already hoped for has been confirmed yesterday: Apple will hold a special event on January 27 in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. At 10am EST Apple will reveal their ‘latest creation’, according to the somewhat psychedelic invitation. Wonder what that would be. Let me think… I guess some kind of tablet? May be they call it .. eehh.. iSlate? No doubt the internet will cover this live event intensively. Keep an eye on Engadget, that usually has a live stream with texts and pictures.

The Apple is opening up

Some companies are known to not participate in the Social Media trend, avoid a conversation with their customers. Dell was one of them, but that didn’t work out that well. Apple is one of the few companies that has a rare  form of customer. Many of these customers don’t see themselves only as a customer, but also as a salesperson, helpdesk employee and evangelist for the brand. I don’t think there is any other technology company which has such a true following than Apple. Many believe that it was this audience which made Apple survive in the mid-nineties (I can confirm that, since I was one of them). And yet, Apple doesn’t seem to communicate a lot with their community.

Recently Apple introduced MobileMe, the successor of their webservice .Mac. The introduction and transfer to this new platform went not without the necessary technological hickups, sort to say. Many people couldn’t access their e-mail and pushing data to the cloud did not work at all. It took them almost three weeks to fix things.

More interesting in this view is how Apple dealt with the situation. We would expect silence. Dead silence. Not this time. Several apology letters and a real blog (well, little blog) were set up to let the customers know what the situation was. Most customers even got one month free of charge MobileMe subscription.

If even Apple is joining the conversation, this whole Social Media thing must be for real…

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