There are a lot of great blog posts out there about Maker Faire 2012 and the surrounding festivities, so I'll link to those and keep mine short. First, the Make Hardware Innovation Workshop - a lot of great talks by well known makers. My favorites were presentations by Jay Rogers (LocalMotors - innovation and rapid development of automobiles), Carl Bass (Autodesk - new technology to enable makers) and Bunnie (making at scale via China)- but all were very good, primarily focused on key innovations and next steps for the maker movement. My photos show some of the presenters, and a lot of the Rally Fighter. [nggallery id=4]
On Thursday I ventured from Berkeley to Noisebridge for the Dangerous Prototypes Taco Crawl - which was awesome. It was fun to meet a lot of the hackers I interact with online, and the food was great. I took a bunch of photos of the Noisebridge hackerspace as well. Kenneth has more photos of the crawl.
Finally, the big show at the San Mateo fairgrounds. The number of exhibitors was probably 2-3x the size of the Austin Maker Faires, but the number of people was a good 10x more. It was crowded! The photos tell the story, I thought Autodesk/Instructables had a great booth, as well as all of the open source hardware teams (EMSL, DP, Sparkfun, BeagleBoard, etc). My son really liked the Robobrrd and the electric giraffe. Unfortunately, we missed his favorite "Big Roomba" aka R2D2.
Ian from Dangerous Prototypes did a great Maker Faire 'How to' Video as well:
Other Maker Faire 2012 posts and photosets to check out: