I finally gave in and ordered an iPad 3G this week. Although I do not have it in my hands right now (delivery scheduled for –cross my fingers– ‘late April’), I’ve already have some big plans for it and am looking forward to testing how much I can make use of it.

When I was listening to the podcast of the Law Librarian Conversations from last Friday (4/16), I heard someone (Jason Eiseman or Tom Boone) say that he enjoys his iPad, but what he really wants is something like The Daily Prophet newspaper you’ve seen in the Harry Potter films. Apparently, the iPad has some great features with newspaper-like information, but really lacks the integration of text, video and user-integrated actions that will probably be a reality some day soon. Add to this the idea of having something on a paper-like platform and you’d put a geek like me into a tech-induced coma!!

We’ve seen pieces of the technology for years… animated .gifs, flash and quicktime integrated video (like those “I’m an Apple / I’m a PC” ads that walk around the website you’re surfing), and the new HTML5 videos that are now hitting the Internet. However, we’ve still not seen anything close to The Daily Prophet.

Last fall, there was a couple of ‘video ads’ that appeared in print magazines like Entertainment Weekly. These were novel approaches to integrating multimedia into existing print materials, but probably too expensive and too clunky to go very far in that format. There is some talk about finally seeing “e-paper” video screens that would allow you to have a paper-like platform (although, let’s be honest, it will probably feel more like a stiff piece of plastic more than a piece of paper). This particular e-paper version uses the e-ink like the Amazon Kindle, which means it would be black and white rather than color. I’m actually okay with that. After all, The Daily Prophet is in black and white (although, I’ve never seen a Sunday version to see if they run the comics in color…)

I hope that someday we’ll get something close to The Daily Prophet (only more interactive and maybe in color). Until then, I’ll have to settle for what the iPad can do. I’m sure I can make do with that for now.