When Apple introduced the iPad a year ago, industry reaction was mixed at best. It was called an oversized iPod touch that didn’t have much going for it. But because of the much larger screen size, horsepower and battery life they gave it, along with the SDK, it became a fertile playground for creativity.
Fast forward a year to yesterday’s iPad 2 introduction. As I watched the keynote, you could easily get sucked into the blazing fast dual-core A5 chip, the thinner & lighter body or cameras. If it wasn’t the hardware, maybe it was the forthcoming iOS 4.3 software, the new iMovie or GarageBand releases. If you read between the lines, these were significant but tactical executions of a greater strategy at play.The underlying message that Steve Jobs delivered was about a shift in usage patterns and purpose. The iPad is no longer an lightweight consumption device, but now becoming a content creation tool and integral part of businesses as diverse as hotels to dental offices. However, the most poignant moment of the video was the segment on how the iPad is being used to help autistic children become independent. No amount of customer research or insight could have created that use case or predicted that a 10″ piece of glass, metal and electronics could give the gift of independence. Just ask Howard Shane of Children’s Hospital Boston or Shannon Des Roches Rosa who believes in miracles. Check out the video below, starting at 2 minutes in.