Drexel University installs iPad rental vending machine for students, library card holders

Posted:
in iPad edited April 2015
Philadelphians living near Drexel University can now rent one of a dozen iPads thanks to a new vending machine installed at the school's Dana and David Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.




The iPad rental program, created in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, lets both students and neighboring residents check out Apple's tablet for as long as four hours, reports Drexel University's news blog. Drexel's kiosk builds on a similar machine rental program that has been distributing MacBooks to students since 2013.

On the hardware side, Drexel's vending machine uses a swipe card reader to verify student IDs and Free Library of Philadelphia Cards before releasing one of twelve iPads from its docking slot. While system management software went unmentioned, Drexel is likely running operations through Apple's mobile device management (MDM) platform.

With personal data security an obvious concern, the school said any information entered while using a rental iPad is automatically expunged once the device is returned to the kiosk.

"We see this partnership as building upon the success of the Free Library of Philadelphia Hot Spots and Neighborhood Library Computer Labs that bring computer access, classes and the Internet to neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia," said Siobhan A. Reardon, president and director of the Free Library of Philadelphia. "The apps downloaded on the iPads have been specifically chosen to support the digital literacy needs for children, teens and adults."

Each iPad comes with a few curated app selections, including Browzine, Hoopla digital, Mango Languages, Overdrive and Zinio. Educational and self-help training software is also installed alongside games, music and video editing apps.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,417member

    Interesting idea... But surely a person wouldn't want to download any apps during the rental. Just for web browsing?

  • Reply 2 of 14
    That's what restrictions and single-app mode were invented for @spamsandwich :)
  • Reply 3 of 14
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

    Interesting idea... But surely a person wouldn't want to download any apps during the rental. Just for web browsing?




    Perhaps they have the iPad's setup with MDM to auto-reset after they are returned, giving the user a "clean slate" after each rental?

  • Reply 4 of 14
    milkmagemilkmage Posts: 152member

    assuming you have your own ipad (and just forgot it or whatever) what's the harm in buying an app.. it's still on your account.

  • Reply 5 of 14
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    What kind of a University student can't afford an iPad? Come on, iPads are dirt cheap now. Skip a couple of binge drinking sessions, then there's your iPad, your very own iPad that is only yours and not shared with an entire community of people who are too poor to afford such a reasonably priced and affordable item.

     

    I also don't like the idea of touching and using an iPad that countless other poor people have had their infectious paws on. Who knows what kind of grime and dirt these people have on their hands.

     

    Let me tell you, I'm a guy, and I always wash my hands after using the restroom. You'd be surprised at the number of males who do not do that. Just visit any public restroom and you'll see. Some people sure are nasty. Do I want to be using that guy's iPad? Hell no.

     

    I'll pass on any rental iPads, thank you very much.

  • Reply 6 of 14
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,591member
    Smart move. Drexel is in the heart of West Philly so this would be great for the area citizens.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,969member
    apple ][ wrote: »
    What kind of a University student can't afford an iPad? Come on, iPads are dirt cheap now. Skip a couple of binge drinking sessions, then there's your iPad, your very own iPad that is only yours and not shared with an entire community of people who are too poor to afford such a reasonably priced and affordable item.

    I also don't like the idea of touching and using an iPad that countless other poor people have had their infectious paws on. Who knows what kind of grime and dirt these people have on their hands.

    Let me tell you, I'm a guy, and I always wash my hands after using the restroom. You'd be surprised at the number of males who do not do that. Just visit any public restroom and you'll see. Some people sure are nasty. Do I want to be using that guy's iPad? Hell no.

    I'll pass on any rental iPads, thank you very much.

    You really need to stop watching movies. There's plenty of students that cannot afford an iPad. The only binge drinking they do is ramen noodle broth.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    deegee48deegee48 Posts: 66member
    What's to keep people from stealing them? Does it 'brick' after the four hours?
  • Reply 9 of 14
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 862member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DeeGee48 View Post



    What's to keep people from stealing them? Does it 'brick' after the four hours?

    Apparently the requirement for the student ID card or library card is enough deterrent to reduce/eliminate theft to a manageable level. This same entity put in a very similar system with 15" MBP over a year ago (and expanded it from 12 units to 30 units due to popularity). This sounds like a resounding success to me. College students love the Apple portables. If Drexel decided to turn on find my iPhone or install enterprise provisioning management software they could certainly brick it. They went with overtime charges of $5/hour on the MBP program.

  • Reply 10 of 14
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    You really need to stop watching movies. There's plenty of students that cannot afford an iPad. The only binge drinking they do is ramen noodle broth.

     

    Those Ramen are deadly, they should really stop for their own good ;-).

  • Reply 11 of 14
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,969member
    foggyhill wrote: »
    Those Ramen are deadly, they should really stop for their own good ;-).

    It's literally salt water.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,613member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

    Just for web browsing?


     

    You missed a bit...

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Each iPad comes with a few curated app selections, including Browzine, Hoopla digital, Mango Languages, Overdrive and Zinio. Educational and self-help training software is also installed alongside games, music and video editing apps.

  • Reply 13 of 14
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    It's quite a neat idea. It solves the problems of charging and data wiping which would be a real pain for the librarian to have to do. I wonder if it also cleans the screen.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    That's a great idea!
    Jeff Graber, The Mac Support Store
    rentals.macsupportstore.com
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