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article imageDolphin learns to use an iPad to communicate with mankind

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By Kim I. Hartman     Jun 5, 2010 in World
Last week, a young bottle-nose dolphin named Merlin became the first of his species to join the growing number of enthusiasts using the Apple iPad when he was able to successfully recognize and touch pictures on the screen to match objects he was shown.
Why can't everything be that simple for dolphins and humans to teach and learn?
The world is in trouble in every direction you look. The news headlines are disturbing and filled with stories that range from the deaths of humanitarian workers, drug lords, crimes against humanity, ecological disasters, fires, volcanic eruptions, starvation, disease, wars, rockets going up, bombs raining down, suicide attacks, kids killing kids, natural disasters, hate crimes and weapons of mass destruction.
While humans are hellbent on destroying each other one Florida couple have been busy in Mexico teaching dolphins how to use an iPad, in an effort to facilitate communication between people and an enthusiastic and willing dolphin and his friends.
It's important to note these dolphins are not being rewarded or bribed with food, they want to interact with people as much as we want to interact with them during this cutting edge research that's taking place.
Dolphin research scientist, Jack Kassewitz of SpeakDolphin introduced the iPad to Merlin the dolphin in the first steps towards building a language interface.
“The use of the iPad is part of our continuing search to find a suitable touch screen technology which the dolphins can activate with the tip of their rostrums or beaks. After extensive searching and product review, it looks like our choice is between the Panasonic Toughbook and the Apple iPad” Kassewitz explained.
SpeakDolphin is dedicated to the research into expanding communication between dolphins and humans.
“We think that once the dolphins get the hang of the touch screen, we can let them choose from a wide assortment of symbols to represent objects, actions and even emotions”.
Jack and Donna Kassewitz are also dedicated to spreading the Universal World Peace Message of May Peace Prevail far and wide to embrace the lands and people of this Earth.
This multifaceted couple combine both passions one day per year as part of their research into cooperative games with dolphins by holding a Peace Ceremony for the Ocean as shown in the above video. Each summer Donna and her daughter, Noel, use a waterproof Earth Flag with the printed phrase "May Peace Prevail On Earth", and custom-made waterproof ribbons (from their own innovative Dolphin Ribbon Game) for an underwater parade with the dolphins at Dolphin Discovery's facilities in Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, Mexico.
Jack Kassewitz is President of Global Heart, Inc., a non-profit organization that he co-founded with his wife, Donna, in 2001. His greatest focus at this time is Global Heart's SpeakDolphin.com - Dolphin Communication Research Project - seeking to significantly expand communication between humans and dolphins. Jack's passion for this research has propelled him to search out and obtain cutting-edge technology for recording cetaceans in the broadest spectrum and highest definition possible.
Hang out with dolphins for a little while  and you ll soon observe that games play an important part...
Hang out with dolphins for a little while, and you'll soon observe that games play an important part in their social interaction. People have observed dolphins playing with leaves, seaweed, and even plastic trash bags, draping them across their rostrums (beaks), dorsal fins, pectoral fins and tail flukes.
SpeakDolphin
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Kassewitz explained the requirements of the technology, saying “Waterproofing, processor speed, touch-sensitivity, anti-glare screens, and dolphin-friendly programs are essential. As this database of dolphin symbols grows – we’ll need fast technology to help us respond appropriately and quickly to the dolphins.”
The research was being conducted at Dolphin Discovery’s dolphin swim facility in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico along the picturesque coast now referred to as the Riviera Maya. The dolphin, Merlin, is a juvenile, born at the facility only two years ago. “Merlin is quite curious, like most dolphins, and he showed complete willingness to examine the iPad” said Kassewitz.
The researchers are working at getting Merlin used to the touch screen by showing him real objects, such as a ball, cube or plastic duck, then asking the dolphin to touch photos of those same objects on the screen. “This is an easy task for a dolphin, but it is a necessary building block towards our goal of a complete language interface between humans and dolphins”, Kassewitz said.
Now, if they can just get Merlin to learn how to communicate with presidents, government leaders, foreign countries and the people of the world and tell them to stop killing each other and the environment it will be a significant global achievement.
Imagine that, a voice of reason that could be heard over the sounds of war and planetary destruction in hopes that some day Peace May Prevail on Earth.
Harmony Band sing of their message of One Love www.harmony-music.de
www.myspace.com/harmonymusicde
Harmony Band sing of their message of One Love www.harmony-music.de www.myspace.com/harmonymusicde
One Love- Harmony Band screen shot
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Every act of compassion makes a difference. Every day counts for a better world. One heart, one iPad, one dolphin, one couple, one dream, and One Love.
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More about Speakdolphin, Dolphin, iPad, Communication, Apple
 
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