Orangutans to use iPads, video chat thanks to Apps for Apes project

Orangutans to use iPads, video chat thanks to Apps for Apes project
Clearly it’s Friday, when the hard core tech stories give way to the human interest stories. Only in this case it’s an ape interest story. Early success at introducing tablets to orangutans in the Milwaukee County Zoo has inspired the non-profit organization Orangutan Outreach to launch a drive called Apps for Apes, which aims to not just equip the primates with mobile devices, but allow them to hold “play dates” with individuals in other zoos via video chat.

The Apps for Apes program allows people to donate used iPads, which are then distributed to selected zoos. The program has apparently been quite successful, and the plan is now to introduce WiFi to many of the orangutan enclosures to enable video “chat”.

This may sound a little to “Plant of the Apes” to you, but orangutan handlers are excited about using the tablets as a form of enrichment, as great apes frequently exhibit signs of boredom or even depression if not given something to do in zoos. Orangutans in the Milwaukee, WI pilot program enjoy digital paint apps, playing favorite songs (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star), and watching videos of other orangutans. In other words, teach them how to post status updates and it’s more or less the same way most of us use tablets.

While enriching the lives of the animal’s is an important goal, Orangutan Outreach will also be making the video play dates available online for humans to watch (talk about your invasion of privacy!), in an attempt to help teach us about the individuality that orangutans can exhibit. Even in video watching there are apparently many differences; at the Milwaukee County Zoo a young orangutan named Mahal is reported to enjoy videos of penguins, while his mother has a preference for David Attenborough wildlife documentaries.

Perhaps she expects to catch a glimpse of a relative?

Orangutans to use iPads, video chat thanks to Apps for Apes project

source: Yahoo News via The Verge

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28 Comments

1. haroonazeem638

Posts: 141; Member since: Mar 29, 2011

LOL. Waiting for the funniest, meanest comments by fanboys. GO!

7. Mandroid

Posts: 209; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

Hmmm....I got one! Even a primate can see the "new"ipad is the same thing apple released a year ago! That's actually what the one in the pic is thinking "you uh, you said this was the "new" ipad and yet you hand me an ipad2. I may be a dumb primate, but do not insult my intelligence, sir."

23. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

You will newer get this iPad:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK7LyxgrWS4

24. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

You will newer get this iPad:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK7LyxgrWS4

2. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Oh great... just when I was hedging my bets on the Robo Apocalypse beating the Zombie Apocalypse to the punch, the possibility of the Planet of the Ape-Pocalypse has to jump into the mix!

3. jibraihimi

Posts: 800; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

Ooh sh*t now Apes will have reason to overtake the planet earth, and convert it into 'planet of Apes'.......... That reason will be ipads, apes will demand that every new ipads launched in future, should be launched exclusively for them, or else they wll over take earth....... :)

5. haroonazeem638

Posts: 141; Member since: Mar 29, 2011

Lol. Apes (iApple users) have already taken over the world. But no worries...that is why Android was made to kick their as* ;)

4. Republican

Posts: 99; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

i knew it!!

6. Mandroid

Posts: 209; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

Awesome. We have the worst educational system of the first world countries, astronomicla crime rates, people losing their homes an jobs, folks that can't even feed themselves, and we're giving tablets to apes just for s***s and giggles. Priorities.

8. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Hold up! Did I just read that right? They want to supply primates with iPads and develop apps for apes? WTF??? This is stupid!

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

yooooouuuuu damn dirty apes!!!

10. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

LMAO!!! Yeah, Charlton Heston is gonna go...APE SH*T... When he hears about this!

12. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Or simpons version Dr Zaius Dr Zauis!!!

25. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

why? thats already been happening since the first iPhone :)

11. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Instead of helping the homeless or starving kids they give ipad to apes? Isnt there cheaper alternatives. Sell the ipads and make money for kids. People these days are dumb as hell.

13. TROLL.ISAHA

Posts: 535; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

What an iJOKE!

14. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Siri might have trouble understanding primates!

20. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

andro: This might come as a surprise to you but android users are also primates.

21. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Nope, If I remember, Android was given military testing while iPads were given to monkeys to play with. That kinda already tells you what OS is for what kind of "people".

27. robinrisk unregistered

Yup. Also all human beings are primates. No need to separate android users from Apple users. Unless Android users are Primates and Apple users are sheep. That would be a valid distinction. :P

15. youmadbro

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Well that's not much of a surprise as it was designed for them in the first place.

16. Cyan3boN

Posts: 446; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

as far as I know, orangutans are not much fond of apples.

17. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Wow, if an orangutan can use an iPAD, then I am sure TACO can use one, too!!

22. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Are you want to say that taco sits down in the cage and writes comments for PhoneArena with his iPad ? It reminds me:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK7LyxgrWS4

18. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

apple stop animal testing

19. adi4u4882

Posts: 137; Member since: Jan 10, 2012

It was designed for ape's in the first place who blindly buy is**t.

26. chapizzo

Posts: 116; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

Hahahaha, this really some crazy stuff. I hope the ipad users don't take it as an insult to their intelligence.

28. Republican

Posts: 99; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

Can they teach mexicans???

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