Pilots, preachers, politicians and football teams pick up the tablet
It's almost enough to test one's vow never to speak of the mythical "paperless office," because the iPad in its relatively short lifespan has managed to remove quite a few tons of paper from quite a few workplaces... and other places. What follows are only a few examples, including the locker room, classroom, glove compartment, cockpit and church pulpit.
1. 'Son, go see the coach... and bring your iPad'
According to an article in Sports Illustrated, two NFL teams are issuing their players iPads instead of paper playbooks, with another 14 considering the move. It's estimated that the league consumes 7.6 million pages of paper annually (no wonder they can't line up correctly) at a cost of more than £60,000 per team.
2. Lightening the load on pilots
Before they started swapping their flight bags for iPads, some of us didnundefinedt even know that airline pilots were lugging up to 40 pounds of maps and manuals into their cockpits day in and day out. Alaska Airlines was among the first make the switch, with larger players such as American Airlines and United Airlines following suit. The change didn't come without controversy, but even the US Marines are on board now.
3. And schoolchildren, too
According to Apple, some 600 school districts have already ditched textbooks in favour of iPads. Saving paper and money are not the only objectives. One principal says: "I don't want to generalise because I don't want to insult people who are working hard to make textbooks, but they're pretty much outdated the minute they're printed, and certainly by the time they're delivered. The bottom line is that the iPads will give our kids a chance to use much more relevant materials."
4. Smaller than a glove box
An iPad instead of a car owner's manual? Sure it was a sales gimmick more than anything else, but when Hyundai started providing a free iPad with each Equus it sold last year it was replacing a manual that nobody reads with a tablet that everyone wanted. Hyundai recently discontinued the giveaway, with its CEO saying of its affluent customer base: "Not surprisingly, they didn't buy the car to get an iPad."
5. What would you expect?
Apple retail stores have started using iPads as signage instead of paper placards. The paper saved may not be measured in tons, but the point about the iPad's versatility is made clear.
6. You can fight City Hall clutter
Anyone who's ever been to a city council or school committee meeting can attest to the number of trees that give their lives to keep the actors in these productions on script. Some are putting iPads in the spotlight once occupied by those piles of paper. Is it really a good investment? Well, this investment firm estimates it could save £1,800 to £3,000 a year doing the same thing.
7. TV talking heads, too
A television news operation in Georgia went to iPads last year as replacement for the paper scripts you see anchors shuffling reflexively during broadcasts. An executive told The Poynter Institute "his station spends $2,000 a month on paper and printer repairs. Once he began thinking about the potential savings for the 15 stations owned by his company, Barrington Broadcasting, the experiment seemed worthwhile."
8. A higher calling? Sometimes
Will the iPad replace liturgical books? Having raised the possibility with nothing more than plans for an iPad application, an Italian priest immediately found himself on the defensive: "Liturgical books on the altar will never be replaced by the iPad. This is an additional instrument, not an attempt to get rid of paper books... If I went on vacation, I'd take along my iPad and celebrate Mass that way. Obviously in my parish, where I have the books, I'm not going to deliberately use an iPad." There may have been a "when in Rome" element to that answer, as there are preachers aplenty who have given up paper for iPads.