Apple’s latest coup, the touch-screen iPad, has already beat sales expectations in the United States. The director of FRANCE 24’s multimedia studio, Michel Levy- Provencal, discusses the iPad phenomenon and its technological advances.
FRANCE24.com: Less than 48 hours after it went on sale, has the iPad lived up to the eagerly anticipated expectations that surrounded its release?
Michel Levy- Provencal: It was indeed eagerly anticipated, and the iPad did not disappoint. It has real technical prowess. Most influential online commentators have rated the product very well, in particular praising its fluidity and independence, which is surprising in such a thin device. The applications are also high quality, even if those that were initially developed for the iPhone are rather ugly because their graphics are not fully optimised.
Of course, there are some drawbacks. Notably the “closedness” of the tool, which can only use applications available at the Apple Store, and its cost, which is a little crippling (at $499). But these defects were well known well before the product’s launch and thus will not constitute an unpleasant surprise for the buyer.
Even Apple’s usual detractors, like the influential French blogger known as Rafi, have welcomed this “revolutionary” new tool.
Why is the iPad, as impressive and innovative as it is, being hailed as such a revolution in technology?
M. L-P.: We are looking at a new machine that is neither a computer nor a telephone, and much bigger than an iPhone, contrary to what we heard about it before its release. This tool is at once interactive, practical, permanently connected and can be taken anywhere.
It’s a window on a world that is more hybrid and multi-functional, and increasingly Web-centred. This opening lets us imagine a world of “augmented reality” in which one would no longer be “on” the internet but more “in” the internet. Instead of only being connected in front of your computer you would be connected permanently, at home but also while on the move.
The prestigious US university and research centre at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is also working on a project that is headed in this direction: MIT is looking to develop a tool that would make it possible not just to project images on a screen but in the real world.
FRANCE 24 has developed an application that was ready for the launch of the iPad. What are the specifics of this application?
M. L-P: The FRANCE 24 application has indeed been operational since the very first day. Completely free and available in three languages – French, English and Arabic – it offers all of the website’s written content and the channel’s videos. It is also possible to watch the channel live in full-screen mode.
We have also developed a new tool, a map of the world on which it is possible to localise all FRANCE 24 content. A user can also consult articles or videos that deal with events in your region of the world.
FRANCE 24’s teams worked for two months in collaboration with Backelite on this application, thanks to a simulator. All of it was thus assembled and programmes without any of us ever having been able to touch an iPad.
Date created : 2010-04-05