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The last time I was at the Hammerstein Ballroom (311 West 34th Street, Manhattan) was to see quasi-fictitious metal band Dethklok, but now it is host to consumer electronics and fine wine. Conducted by tech exhibitor Pepcom, Wine, Dine, and Demo at the Hammerstein featured both tech giants like Sony along with burgeoning startups from around the globe.
Of course with Black Friday looming over us like a tsunami wave of Walmart shoppers, the show was geared towards the sort of electronics you’d want to get for that special someone. There were the expected electronics on showcase for the seasons like pristine Samsung televisions and Sony Playstation 3’s, but there were a few more interesting and innovative devices. The Koubachi, developed in Zurich, is a device that can monitor outdoor and indoor plants and uses Wi-Fi to send live data to your email or smart phone on what kind of care you plant needs (more sunlight, less sunlight, fertilizer, etc).
The TV antenna, which lives on in minds as a pair of gnarled bunny ears that exist only to confound us all, has been replaced by the Mohu. The Mohu is a tiny black box that screws into your TV’s RF input and is the highest selling antennae on Amazon. Compact to the point of being nearly invisible, the Mohu allows for any TV to pick up HDTV broadcasts.
Of course not every exhibitor dealt with physical electronics. Cozi had on display their new Dinner Decider app which gathers a week’s worth of dinners from a database, then depending on what ingredients you prefer and what dinners you did or did not enjoy it better tailors the selections of meals to your taste.
Decide, the online shopping price comparison site, has a mobile app version of its site that can compare electronics in stores, much to the consternation of big-box store employees. Meanwhile ShopRunner consolidates online stores into one easy to navigate website and is introducing a new function where you can order an item online and pick it up at any ShopRunner associated retailer near you.
Along with the fine electronics, Wine, Dine, and Demo featured a selection of Argentinian wines and food while Flamenco dancers were peppered around the premise, making it one of the more eclectic tech events I’ve been to. Overall, Wine, Dine, and Demo did a good job focusing on home electronics with a wide array of applications. Often times these tech events feel a bit more stuffy or distant, but Wine Dine and Demo was definitely focused firmly on the domestic world and made the whole event feel tighter for it.
To learn more, go to: http://www.pepcom.com/
Hammerstein Ballroom311 West 34th StreetManhattan, NY 10001
At the US Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (700 West 46th Street) Samsung unveiled the 75 inch model of their ES9000 television, along with announcing their sponsorship of the Intrepid Spacefest (July 18 - 22, 2012). Clearly Samsung is looking at the X-Box Kinect because this new TV contains a built in camera and motion sensing controls, 3D capable (with Samsung 3D glasses), along with the ability to interface with tablets, smart-phones, keyboards, Samsung wireless speakers, and other wireless devices.
Most proudly touted were the ES9000’s ability to be used as a Skype video-phone and a port of Angry Birds that uses motion controls that would be free to download, with promises of online videogames to come (though no specific titles or developers were named). Samsung wants to court developers for their TV since they also announced a new software development kit for programmers looking to make apps that use the ES9000’s voice, motion, and face recognition capabilities. The ES9000 will be available in August for about $10,000.
Also, it’s nice that these TVs have buttons on their remote that take you straight to Netflix and such, but it’s still a pain to navigate the menus and change the frame-rate settings so movies don’t have that weird BBC look.
On display was the Intrepid’s new gem, the Enterprise Space Shuttle, which was housed in a special inflatable display since a permanent structure for the craft is not yet ready. Certainly an impressive site, though I found the strains of Thus Spake Zarathustra constantly blaring in the background to be a bit tiresome.
For Spacefest, Samsung has also added a showcase area for their newer TV models including others from the ES series, all outfitted to show off internet, 3D, HD, and motion control capabilities. And I have to say, usually these tech-displays feature some god-awful kid’s movie like Yogi Bear or pabulum like Avatar, so it was pretty refreshing and visually impressive to see the 3D TV’s running the trailer for Prometheus.
To learn more about the Intrepid Spacefest, go to http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/spacefest.aspx
Spacefest July 18 – 22, 2012
Intrepid Sear, Air, & Space Museum 700 West 46th Street New York, NY 10036
Digital Experience! offers a vast array of hi-tech and digitally driven manufacturers, software publishers and online services an opportunity to showcase current products and feature their tech strategies.
Digital Experience! takes place Thursday, June 21st, 2012, from 6-9 pm at the Metropolitan Pavilion.
Though not open to public, for those of us in the press, it presents a chance to take in the trends at once and give us an opportunity to relay to our audiences, either in one burst, or over time, what is happening with various products and trends.
And given the focus on portability and compactness, most of the products featured are perfectly suitable to anyone traveling to a conference, trade show or festival of whatever kind.
Below is the list of the participants -- and their preview of what they will be selling and marketing from now into the Christmas season. And given the stuff mentioned below, they will undoubtedly be popping online here at FFtrav over the next few months.
Read more: Mothers Day Gift & Travel Guide
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