Digital Experience! -- Medium Cool

While summer heat enveloped the rest of New York City on June 23, cool was the watchword at Digital Experience!, the high-tech showcase hosted by Pepcom at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Attending media professionals and industry analysts freshened their market knowledge at the 30 or so displays by top technology companies, and chilled out around the Japanese-themed drink and food stations.

The lords of innovation have clearly been up and at it, as confirmed by the latest computer, wireless and consumer electronics on display. But this being the start of vacation season – and us being -- the objects that particularly flagged my attention were the likeliest ones to punch up your getaway.

Take for kicks the Kodak Playsport video camera, a pocket-sized doohickey that shoots in 1080 HD in depths of up to 10 feet under water. So let's say you're attending the Anima Mundi International Animation Festival of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro this July 16 to 25, and want to take a break from watching to film a striped Nemo of your own. The Playsport features built-in stabilization, so you might swoon amid the waves, but your images won't. Priced at $149.95, this mini dream catcher surely costs less than one night at your hotel.

For your photo album, you may want to bring along the new digital camera from GE, the Active Series G5WP. AMong other colors, it comes in graphite gray, raspberry red and – in a nod to its waterproof materials -- ocean blue.

The optical zoom lens brings you four times closer to that shot of Sugarloaf Mountain you relish sharing with your hidebound friends back home. Plus the lens is internal, so there's nothing to get in your way, and it automatically adjusts exposure. With its 12.2 megapixel sensor, the GE-branded camera will also yield enlargements without getting all fuzzy, and the 2.7-inch LCD display and ISO up to 1600 further celebrate the sharpness theme.

The slim little gadget will set you back a reasonable $179.99, but the price may even come down a notch by October 1-3, 2010, in time to catch the Seychelles’ annual underwater film and image festival, SUBIOS.

For bookworms, I thought the Kobo e-Reader would make a fine travel companion. The sleek custom-colored tablet weighs 221 grams, just a mite more than your average book, and at 120mm x 184mm x 10 mm thick, it's designed to slip handily into your purse. I found its four navigation buttons (home, menu, back, display), easy to fiddle with, and toggled between screens without resorting to the sailor's vocabulary so many tech items manage to tease out.

Though the Kobo comes with 100 titles ready to leaf through, you can also download titles at The battery charge lasts up to 8,000 page turns, which you figure is equivalent to two weeks' worth of e-reading. Enough to make it to South Africa's Durban International Film Festival (22 July to 1 August, 2010) and back.

For additional info on Digital Experience! check out

Digital Experience!
Metropolitan Pavilion
123 W 18th Street

New York, NY  10011