Today, Apple unveiled the iPad, a 9.7 inch device with a multi-touch LCD display. The iPad will come in 16, 32, and 64 GB capacities for $499, $599, and $699 respectively. It will run the 140,000 apps currently available on the App Store. Because the apps were designed for the iPod’s resolution, a new SDK was released today for developers to meet the iPad’s higher resolution. The iPad with WiFi will be shipping in 60 days, and the 3G version will be shipping in 90 days. For more information, watch Apple’s iPad video, or read articles from CNET and TUAW.
The iPad will have huge implications for assistive technology and speech-language pathology. The biggest, I believe, is the potential to run an augmentative communication app, like Proloquo2Go, on a switch accessible iPad. That will enable anyone, including individuals with severe motor impairments, to access a very cool, augmentative communication device for $1000 or less. The price is much lower than the $8,000 dedicated devices currently on the market. I can’t begin to express how exciting that is for me and my profession. I’m really looking forward to the future of augmentative communication on the iPad.