As a gadget enthusiast, I tend to get so immersed in technology that I often lose track of what has become mainstream and what still remains within the geek realm. A sure litmus test of a device's success (or at least arguable proof that it has made it to the mainstream) is watching late night television and seeing talk show hosts like David Letterman and Stephen Colbert playing with said device.
Now, we all know I'm talking about the iPad, and regardless of your opinion there's no denying that you have heard of it. Whether or not you know what it actually is, though, that's a different story. Just before David Letterman's "Top Ten List" asked the same question ("What the hell is it?"), Letterman gave the iPad a little whirl to show the audience it's capabilities. Here's a few notable clips from his skit, along with the list itself (check out the full video above):
When discussing where it comes from: "They have things like the iPhone and the iPod, and now they have the iPad... and last night iPeed"
When discussing practicality: "For people who don't have kids, or don't like the kids they have, it comes with photos of a family, so you're not buying an unnecessary device, you're buying a family."
When it wouldn't work: "The problem is you just have to make sure you coat your fingertips with magnetic dust..."
TOP TEN LIST:
Questions to ask yourself before waiting in line for the iPad
10. What the hell is it?
9. Will this make Steve Jobs notice me?
8. Really, what the hell is it?
7. Is it Kosher for Passover?
6. Should I wear my Spock Ears?
5. Wasn't I saving this money for a hot tub time machine?
4. What? Ricky Martin's Gay?
3. Is it a bad sign no one can explain what the hell it is?
2. Will there be a hot tattooed woman in the line? (Jesse James only)
1. Can't Apple invent something that will wait in line for me?
Stephen Colbert also managed to get his hands on an iPad (apparently he's been lobbying for one for the past few weeks). He opened the show by saying "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining 'us' (as he lovingly stared at his iPad)!"
He goes on to say that "The big story tonight is that I have an iPad, nevermind how I got it. I had two kidneys, [but] luckily there is an app that filters urine."
Colbert then pokes fun at the Amazon Kindle which has an advertisement on the back of a NewsWeek magazine, while the iPad has free advertising as the cover story. He then goes on to describe the iPad by saying, "If you've got an iPhone already alot of this will be very familiar to you. The same touchscreen technology, the same apps, and just like the iPhone you can't make calls with it." He ends the skit by using the iPad to "cut" vegetables in order to make salsa, perhaps to display the thinness of the device.
So there you have it folks, a brief summary of the iPad from the perspective of your beloved late night talk show hosts, where if you spent $500 on an iPad and you still can't figure it out, lick it and go make some salsa!
I'll see you (and Greg Packer) in Manhattan on Saturday!