Get Your iPad Out Of My Face

In the past few months, Web-technology pitches and demos have begun to change.

Formerly, live technology demos would require a consensual gathering around a laptop, or a computer monitor mounted on a desk, or a trade-show booth. There was a formality and a definitive commitment of attention involved with these rituals. But thanks to the iPad, which launched in April, a new, nonconsensual form of demonstration and pitching has emerged.

These nonconsensual demonstrations have become especially prevalent at Internet conferences and expositions. It’s now impossible to attend one without getting a demo jammed in your face. All you have to do is casually walk a trade show floor — or initiate small talk with a stranger. With little warning, eager developers and aggressive evangelists will whip out a hidden iPad. In the blink of an eye, they’ll launch their application and dive into their pitch — with their tablet just inches from your face. You can always decipher the person’s unique fingerprints on the glaring touchscreen.

To be sure, there’s novelty and utility that make the iPad an effective technology demonstration tool, especially at this early stage. That’s why I encourage the use of iPads for technology demos and presentations.

However, this has introduced a new sort of gadget promiscuity and aggression, which can quickly get annoying and old. Universal laws of permission in marketing still pertain. Ask permission before shoving an iPad demo in someone’s face.

This also was my latest MediaPost column.

(Photo credit: josh.liba)

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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