O’Reilly Media hosted yet another invitation-only, mind-bending, inspiring, fun Foo Camp.
In years past, we’ve enjoyed these unconference sessions, laptops glowing, perched on laps, on tables. Technology everywhere. Notes being taken, emails and tweets constantly flowing.
This year, Sara Winge pointed out, “open laptops were rare in sessions.” iPads were everywhere. “They sit flat on laps and tables, like paper,” Caterina Fake mentioned that and the contrast to screens as barriers between people.
People appear to sit comfortably, posture and breathing less stressed while using the iPad. Some have specifically commented to me that while they notice they have email apnea when using their laptops, they breathe easily when using their iPad.
In the slow news session moderated by Steven Levy, Jennifer 8 Lee, and Kevin Kelly, the iPad as a platform for news and magazines was one of the topics debated.
It was during that debate that I realized — Apple has done for reading what the iPod has done for music. We tune out the world, that 24/7, always-on world, once we engage with our iPods. The iPad is the iPod of reading. The world around us disappears when we engage with it.
The iPad, so gorgeous, with such a natural interface, offers the same opportunity. Particularly in the case of the brilliantly designed (by Schulze and Webb) Bonnier magazines. The world around me disappeared when I dropped into this iPad magazine experience.
I don’t have an iPad (yet). I’ve enjoyed noticing the impact it’s having at various high tech gatherings as well as on less techie friends, many of whom seem to be making this their primary platform.