Wired Magazine's yearly traveling technology shindig, NextFest, plants its roots in NYC this weekend. After starting in San Francisco in 2004 the show finally makes it to NYC. Billed as a WIRED's vision of a new world's fair, here you can "experience more than 130 exhibits from scientists, researchers, and inventors around the globe. WIRED NextFest features innovations in communication, design, entertainment, exploration, health, transportation, security, and green living."
We were able to get an advance sneak preview yesterday. If somehow you had a chance to see last year's event in Chicago, there will be a few items familiar to you. Still, they turned up the interactivity quite a bit, and it's just as exciting show off to your friends.
There is a lot to see at the show, and its less clear floor plan this year might
make it easy to miss some cool things. While last years space was held on Chicago's beautiful Navy Pier, this is held in the often loathed Javits Center.
Some of our favorites that you shouldn't miss:
- Laser Harp - Break the laser beams and make beautiful music
- Media Mirror - Watch 200 channels of live cable tv in real time. When can we get one of these for our home?
- GEs 100ft projection screen running an interactive piece by ny based tronic. (who
has also over seen the entire events experience and design from year one) connected to this display is a video capture system that takes your video image and projects it onto their screen, turning your image into a monographic wonder.
- Kick Ass Kung Fu - play a game of kung fu where the controler is you. You stand in the middle of a long rectangular mat with projection screens on either side of you.
Think 2D street fighter.
- Panascope Lan - An interactive panoramic display (think playing at the bottom of your cereal bowl) projects to immerse you in a hemisphere of game play. Challenge opponents in a game of chase among virtual rooftops.
- Brainball - A favorite of ours from last years show makes a return this year. The way to win is to be the most relaxed, so as a New Yorker this is a very tough thing to do. With the crowd gathered and cheering you on, it makes it quite difficult to find your inner zen. The calmest mind wins
- Conspiratio - Only the Japanese would invent a system that mimics the effect of drinking objects through a straw, without any of the nutritional benefit. Drink a shake, flan, asparagus and many other objects and have the strain of the straw accurately convey the physical sensation.
- Air Hockey - Who doesn't love this game? This version projects both court and puck on to a table surface, and with just a wave of your hand, you can have a very accurate experience
- Laptop Orchestra - By touching metalic steams at the base of this display, you create a visual and audio experience being played on the laptops in front of you.
- Vein Viewer - We know so many people that wishes their hospital had this. Hate to give blood and constantly being stuck trying to find the right vein? This is one of the things this product is trying to stop. Using a near-infra-red light, you can find the patient or in this case your veins instantly. Quite beautiful and quite freaky.
- Circles Mirror - This 25 foot circles mirror, consists of 900 overlapping discs that rotate to mimic the reception of shadows and light via your live video image.
- Power-aware cord - It glows a level of brightness based on the intensity of your watt usage
- Actroid Der: You may have seen her on the today show yesterday morning. But this android receptionist is designed to meet, greet, and entertain humans, while pretty accurately looks and acts human
- Archhouse - Walk through this amazing environmentally friendly prefab modular home. It takes advantage of south-facing windows for heat, and recycled and renewable materials to build a beautiful green space
We're sure we forgot to mention some equally exciting exhibits. There is a display from GM showing all their alternative fuel vehicles, but they don't let you inside them so it's a bit of a waste. NASA also has a great section displaying their next gen rovers and space equipment. If you go and have any favorites, let us know in the comments!
Besides the exhibit floor, there are some Panel Discussions worth checking on. One that peaks our interest is "Virgin Galactic, Cleared for Take-Off" as the people behind this exciting upcoming Ccompletion of SpaceShip Two will be on hand. Info on other panels and this one can be found in their schedule area.
If you're a Threadless fan they have a sponsored T-Shirt design available. At last years NextFest it was available for a killer discount at the show, but we couldn't find any info or the booth yesterday to find out.
Wired NextFest, is open to the public Friday-Saturday 9am to 6pm and Sunday from 9am to 3pm. Tickets are available online or at the door ($15 in advance, otherwise $20. various student and children discounts available). Today is Education Day, as many of New York City and surrounding area children get to go experience NextFest via a field trip.