Just as a quick recap before the vids get here, the event was a big success and completely exceeded my expectations. To clear the air, it was NOT a "iPad as a carputer" event. It was a "let's see what you're doing with the iPad" meet.
Seven presenters did their thing, with topics from the gap that the iPad fills in the tech world, to developers properly utilizing the expanded real estate of the iPad vs. iPhone (this topic I think was very undervalued, but is a HUGE influence on a successful program), the capabilities of jailbroken iPads, and even something I thought I'd never see - A presentation by the National Federation of the Blind, showing the accessibility features of the iPad. Yes, we had two blind participants using the iPad, and using it well. Blew my mind.
I had the opportunity to introduce the iPad being used in a car environment, and I think it opened a lot of eyes. Our community is small and definitely niche, and this audience was completely naive to the potential here. Introducing not only the basics of a carputer (not just the iPad - carputers in general), we got to discuss how to use the iPad safely in the car through the use of voice control, gestures, and Voice-to-Text to keep your eyes on the road while driving. (We did have a little faux pas, as I was talking fast to Vlingo and sent Heather an e-mail to the theme "Thank you about a finger"... laughter and mild embarrassment ensued)
There were a surprising number of car geeks in the audience who were blown away by Rev - both with the digital gauges (one guy told me he spent over $1k on his gauges and now feels ridiculous, as he already has an iPad) and the ability to read and reset engine codes. Lots of people do their own car work/car repairs (myself included) and absolutely hate coughing up $75 just to have the dealer plug in the diagnostic tool to read the code, not even fix the problem.
The event was supposed to run an hour, but ended up running almost three. Once we let loose, dozens spent another hour and a half popping in and out of my car. I'm not sure that the restaurant patrons enjoyed that, as (of course) we had to play with Rev and that meant a lot of noise... my car's not exactly quiet, though I did have the silencer in to try to help.
I'm sure I'm leaving some tasty tidbits out, but I have to thank Heather, Rob, Sean, and Stephen for putting on a great event, along with Mario Armstrong for being a fantastic host, MacMedics, MindGrub, and the Baltimore Sun for really stepping up and contributing big.