As Gary indicated yesterday, TED released an iPad app this week and I gave it a spin yesterday to see what it offers.
First things first. What is TED you might ask? TED which stands for: Technology, Entertainment, Design, is a small nonprofit organisation devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”. In short, TED is a compilation of presentations that run from 2 to about 18 minutes that talk about a topic that is interesting.
Usually a presenter is on-stage, has slides projected and makes a presentation on a subject. Now these presenters are usually quite good, so I don’t think you can find a single boring presentation on the TED site.
Although the TED website makes all the presentations available for all, the TED application brings that capability and some interesting features to your iPad.
First, the application starts with a “Featured” section which allows you to browse to multiple pages of featured presentations.
You can find presentations by tags associated to the presentation. This is an interesting feature since it allows you to browse by keywords instead of theme. It might provide better results if you are looking for something very specific. Note that the “Technology” tag currently has 282 presentations associated to it, so it might not be hte best choice for a search, but if you were, for example, looking for something on “viruses”, well the “Virus” tag has 3 presentations to choose from.
One of the very interesting features of the app is that you can save presentations for viewing off-line. I love this idea since it can let you download some material to look at while on the subway or on the plane. Very cool.
Finally, if you are not sure what you want to look for, there is a button called “Inspire me” which allows you choose something random that is, for example, “jaw-dropping” (see the mage below for a full set of choices. It then asks you how long you have to spend on this and will queue presentations that fit that time allowance. As Forrest Gump would say, “This option is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get!”, but you will surely get something interesting.
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