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Japanese Sumo Wrestlers Given iPads




Sumo champ Asashoryu defeats Kisenosato with an under-arm throw or 'shitatenage' to win the 2008 Grand Sumo Tournament in Los Angeles on June 8, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Sumo champ Asashoryu defeats Kisenosato with an under-arm throw or 'shitatenage' to win the 2008 Grand Sumo Tournament in Los Angeles on June 8, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Japanese sumo wrestlers get an unlikely gadget to help their pudgy fingers dial some digits.

Can a person's hands be too big for a conventional cell phone?

If you're a sumo wrestler, maybe so.

The Japan Sumo Association, according to Reuters, has purchased 60 iPads for some beefy-fingered sumo wrestlers who find typing in numbers on their cell phones more than difficult. The aim is to improve communication among the roly-poly grapplers after a few incidents where they missed information sent by fax or telephone.

The iPad, a touch-screen "slate" computer from Apple Inc., features a 9.7-inch screen, much larger than those of most phones or even smartphones.

Japanese sumo wrestlers are not the only fans, it seems. In the developing Japanese trend, some older people and those with dexterity issues have also reported that using an iPad is easier than smaller devices or computers with keyboards.

To fans of The Simpsons, this storyline may also sound vaguely familiar. In one episode, Homer grows so fat that his sausage-shaped fingers are too big to punch the keys on his phone.

As he's struggling with this, he gets an automated message: "The fingers you have used to dial are too fat. To obtain a special dialing wand, please mash the keypad with your palm now."

Although the issue may seem comical, large-fingered phone users say this is a real problem, especially as more smartphones employ touch screens. Japan seems to have resolved the issue with this clever, albeit expensive solution.

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