Posts tagged “convention”

A trip to MacWorld: Going mobile

A relative newcomer to the Bay Area, I decided it was mandatory to attend MacWorld. I was not as much on the look-out for the latest whiz-bang technological innovations, as I was interested in where small-scale entrepreneurs were putting their energy. Where are people are going with this whole iThing?

Focus was squarely on the iPad and iPhone, with Macs getting little attention. They chould call it iWorld. Let’s go mobile!

The now-iconic iPad billboards always made me laugh because I thought, “No one sits like that!”

But I was wrong. This guy does!

Of all the many, many (many) stands and cases at the show, the product he’s demonstrating, PadPivot, was actually among the most inventive, folding up into a tight little package. It’s a versatile combo stand/lapstand/pivot that can help you orient the iPad to an angle that is comfortable to use no matter where, or how, you’re sitting. Bonus points for not having an “i” in their product name. Of all the wonders that the iPad has unleashed, it possible that one of them is an altogether new way to sit?

iFusion must think that we have very short memories. This iPhone docking-station that strongly resembles an old-school phone is being marketed as “revolutionary.” Useful? Yes. A good idea? Probably. But revolutionary? Complete with “i.”

Your wife is tired of kicking and nudging you when you snore.This app will now do it for her.

Act quickly! iGrill is perfect for the big game, enabling you to check out various SuperBowl-related marketing gimmicks, watch highlight videos and keep tabs on the turkey, which is, against all logic, talking to your grill and your iPad. It took the spokesman a while to explain the concept to an interested couple, who nodded agreeably. iTurkey?

With the TVHat you can enjoy “adult entertainment” whenever you want, and your friends, colleagues and wife will be none-the-wiser. Careful with your hands though – they are not covered by the privacy shield. It’s worth checking out the flyer they were distributing, which is remarkable for the both implications of the photos and the fearless copy (“Privacy and watching what you want where you want is a basic right! Enjoy adult content anywhere.”). The TVHat has been around; curious why they chose to market it for it’s adult-entertainment-enjoying potential at this particular event. Are they in possession of some revealing market research data on MacWorld attendees?

This man and his friends had the most “Off Tha Chain” idea at MacWorld, though they weren’t eligible for a statuette claiming such a prize as they were handing out flyers and marketing their incredible product unsanctioned. The kits they promote through their Dallas-based company Digital Trend Setters turn your iPad/iPhone around to face the world. With flair. The group was proudly broadcasting their favorite music videos and personal graffiti-esque art. While everyone else in the hall had the devices turned onto themselves, using them to create and enchance their own personal world, these guys literally turned it around.

I saw a lot of good, bad and ugly in my spin around MacWorld, but running into this crew at the end rendered the rest of what the show offered rather drab and dull by comparison. Their relatively simple, low-tech spin on the technology really is revolutionary. It may not be for everyone, but for some, it can fundamentally change motivations for purchasing, as well as the way the product is used and perceived. In their own words, here’s what Digital Trendsetters is all about:

This group of highly-motivated individuals insist on working together to inspire the world through creative works of art and talent using the latest high-tech gadgets as part of fashion. Our main objective is to offer outstanding ideas and styles to secure cell phones, iPods, and other mobile devices while on the go. The skills we have obtained are utilized through these devices to show, express, or promote media as an inexpensive way to create awareness. Our mission is to constantly be innovative & expand our products into different markets to create a cycle for generations to follow. The products we sell provide the best marketing solution for promotional use & enjoyable moments during events, ad campaigns, workouts, and performances as a fashionable idea.

And all with nary an “i.” Rock on!

Check out the end of Steve’s post from last year’s SXSW festival, Cutting through Clutter at SXSW for another iPad-wearing observation!

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from julienorvaisas] Inside the Real 2011 Detroit Auto Show [] – [A detailed and amusing insider's take on the theater of the absurd, the self-caricature that is the Detroit Auto Show on Press Day. Time to rethink, perhaps?] Mini, which Scion-like seems more and more in danger of losing the thread, had one of the most peculiar press conferences: After obligatory brand back-patting, it was time to see the Mini Paceman concept, but wait! First, an auto show model named Brandy, which probably narrows down which model we are talking about by half, comes out with a huge white cardboard cartoon thumb on her hand. Narrated by an overly enthusiastic announcer, Brandy is first presented with a flexing muscleman: Big cardboard thumb down. Then a very limber acrobat: Thumb down. Then a sneering pretty boy: Thumb down. Then the Mini Paceman: Thumb up! Interesting that everyone seems to have run out of auto show ideas at the same time.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • What were arcades like? – This thread is making the blogosphere-rounds. The video game arcades that I and many of the posters grew up with are gone; gaming takes place in the home. But the question has produced a lot of good (if not yet thick) descriptions of the environment, the participants, and the social rules that developed. Personally, "arcade" suggests a dedicated business that would provide video games, pinball and billiards. But in high school, we would typically go to local merchants and hang out. Variety (or convenience) stores were obvious candidates, but we spent a lot of time and money in a laundromat/laundry service place. I opened my first ATM account at the bank next door and would take out $5 and get change from the laundry proprietor and play after school for a few hours. Even though we had computers at home with games on 'em, this was more fun.
  • WonderCon: Comic book subculture now mainstream – "This is popular culture now," said Ferioli, 41, of Oakland, who attended his first comic book convention in New York when he was 16. "Look at Heath Ledger winning an Oscar for playing the Joker (in 'The Dark Knight'). These things that used to be fringe are now icons. It's not a subculture, it's the popular culture."
  • Steve's photos from WonderCon 2005 – There's something utterly delightful seeing an Imperial Stormtrooper at a drinking fountain


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