Heck, since touchscreen tablets became ubiquitous, there has even been scary talk of them rewriting our very biology. You might have even tried to pinch and zoom on a magazine or newspaper article, or tried tapping on a headline using a dormouse sternum.
Now get this freaky claim: the touchscreen tablet has been with us for thousands of years. Yes indeed; you are quite right to exclaim "Wha... wha... whaaaaaa?!"
Admittedly, they didn't work originally like an iPad does - the ancient Minoans used wet clay tablets, which they scrawled upon using a reed stylus, before leaving them to dry in the sun. Consequently, it's hard not to wonder whether the rectangle-and-stylus combination was hardwired into us long before the iPad and Palm Pilot came along.
In the 60s and 70s the idea of using screens for entertainment started to gain in popularity. Obviously, we had the rise of video games - but what of the other forms of early tablet-based entertainment (by which we don't mean recreational pharmaceuticals)? Here we list just ten, which suggest that maybe the iPad isn't that new an idea after all...
While installing a light fitting cover, he had overlaid it with a translucent decal. Cassagnes discovered that when he pressed on the decal with a pen, the image imprinted on the opposite face of the sticker. Suitably inspired, he created his prototype "L'Ecran Magique" - or The Magic Screen - which he debuted at a German toy fare in 1959.
The rights to manufacture the device were snapped up by The Ohio Art Company, and it was launched in time for Christmas the following year, after being given a rebrand. It subsequently became a worldwide phenomenon, despite the fact that the most anybody could draw using its complex system of vertical/horizontal control dials were some steps, half a Mayan pyramid, or the first part of their name.
However, wily children would prise open the Etch A Sketch using a screwdriver, and drink the sweet black nectar within...
Lights Alive was like that, but with coloured lights instead of coloured crayon, overlaid with a black plastic cover that was covered in dots that could be punched through. Not with your fist, mind - but a number of ribbed and pronged "pokers", like your mother has in her bedside cabinet.
Spinning the wheel at the bottom of the device would cause the colours to rotate, in a spectacle of psychedelic luminescence, which could only be improved upon by quaffing a handful of "shrooms".
Abakanowicz's system was purely designed as a mathematical tool, using a system of gears and wheels to calculate an area delineated by curves, whatever the ruddy fack that means. However, it was Fisher who saw its potential as a toy for the sort of nice children who say please and thank you, and have adventures on sailing boats in the summer holidays, where they foil the plans of robbers, with their dog, Jasper.
Before you argue, no - this toy doesn't use a screen, but it did use a pen. And a pen is a bit like a stylus. Why don't you get a better look at this one... WHILE WE JAM IT INTO YOUR EYE?!
This one boasted a picture of a bald cartoon face, hidden beneath a plastic cover filled with iron filings, and came equipped with a magnetic stylus. These were all you needed to give the Wooly Willy in question the full head of hair he so desperately craved. Invented by Pennsylvania toymaker James Reese Herzog, it was inspired by a three-dimensional map used by the US Army - which employed a similar method of magnetic drawing.
According to art on the back of the product, among the many disguises that Wooly Willy could adopt were "Harry the Hermit" and "Dick the Dude". Which, coincidentally, was an instruction once issued to us by the man who lives in the underpass behind the bus garage.
The company which produced Wooly Willy, Smethport Speciality, went on to create many other similar magnetic products, with names such as Doodleballs, Fish N Fun, and The Magnetic State to State Game. Sadly, of these only Doodleballs offers any obvious potential for innuendo.
After viewing the prototype - originally made from waxed cardboard and tissue paper - Watkins asked to sleep on a decision. He was woken in the middle of that night by a phone call from said individual, who offered him all patent and product rights to the idea in return for bailing him out of jail.
Which is but one of two possible stories Watkins spun about the creation of the Magic Slate. The other has him as a caretaker of an abandoned corset factory, who aimed to create a reusable time sheet. When he took the product home, and his children showed interest, he realised its potential as a toy.
Perhaps the truth lies somewhere between the two, and it was Watkins who is the unnamed individual, who was imprisoned in an abandoned corset factory, where he offered himself the patent to The Magic Slate in return for securing his own freedom.
Here's how the Magic Slate works: a waxed card is covered with an opaque plastic sheet. When pressure is placed on the sheet with a stylus, the plastic will stick to the wax - making it appear darker. By lifting the plastic, it's possible to reuse the slate again and again.
Regrettably, while being billed as a "paper saver", it doesn't double up as reusable lavatory tissue. Trust us on this. It barely gets anything off. Although doing this does make it "appear darker". Depending on what you've eaten of course.
Resembling a portable telly long before such things existed, the Two Tune TV plays - yes - a choice of two tunes (Row Row Row Your Boat and Smack My Bitch Up) when it is wound up (which, after listening to the tunes 500 times in succession, is also a fate that would befall most parents).
The music is accompanied by a scrolling image illustrating said song, depicting the sort of rural idyll we all now live in, following our collective decision to part company with the European Union and all those rascally immigrants.
"Look, mama! Look - I've turned the fridge into a touch-screen!"
"Stop hitting the fridge door with that hammer, you hooligan!"
"It's not a hammer, mama. It's a stylus."
Shortly afterwards, it began producing its Action Transfers range - depicting sci-fi and comic book scenes, with rubbable transfers of popular characters, that could be applied to a fold-out scene.
Readers of a certain age may remember Star Wars transfers being given away in boxes of Shreddies. Unfortunately, this meant you then had to justify to your parents why you wouldn't want to eat the revolting dust-flavoured cereal, after pestering your mother to buy it all the way around Sainsbury's.
Again, like Spirograph it's the sort of toy that nice children would use to recreate hospital or farmyard scenes, and sadly there was very little potential for it to be abused. Unless you put two of the felt figures together in a sort of compromising position.
It was created during World War II by one Lois Allen, who worked "manufacturing felt gaskets for sealing tank components". She would take discarded felt home with her, and was apparently inspired by watching her children sticking the pieces to felt table mats. Which is the sort of behaviour we would've been shouted at for when we were younger.
"Stop sticking things to the table mat, child! And when I say things - I'm referring specifically to the dog's testicles."