The DigitalLife 2005 breakfast was sponsored by T-Mobile, Juicy Couture, and Mister Cartoon to introduce the new SideKick II.
I must apologize, but I just couldn't bring myself to concentrate on a discussion of the importance of organically growing a market by being "cool" yet not caring about the fact that something is "cool". I did enjoyed the free breakfast because I was REALLY hungry :-)
The show started around 10:30 AM... the first couple of hours were for the press only so we knew we needed to make the best of it before the crowd really decend upon the Javits.
eMagin was the first booth we visited. We had seen their goggles at the SID '05 show in Boston. The Z800 3D goggles with built-in head tracking and noise cancelling mic are now shipping.
The display in these goggles are fast! They had no problems keeping up with my natural head movements. It will be great if there were more non game-related activities for these displays. It would help justify the $900 purchase. Although there are probably plenty of gamers that can justify the purchase in their minds :-)
On Saturday and Sunday, many of the serious gamers will be on hand to compete against each other at this year's ProAm Tournament.
There should be a high turn out judging by the number of folks that were already lined up to register for the tournament.
The folks at RainyDayMagazine generally do not play a lot of video games, but we were drawn to a few companies showing products with a more interactive interfaces. A company named Xavix had a series of sports (boxing, golf, and fitness) titles which were both engaging and physically challenging.
What DigitalLife Expo would be complete without an entire section devoted to all things iPod. Many of the vendors were showing "just announced" cases to protect the fragile surface of the iPod nano... like the folks from Speck, whom we had met at Boston MacWorld. They were showing their new line of nano coverings, some with very tactile surfaces!
Altec Lansing was showing their external speaker for the iPod. This unit had an adjustible adapter that can be adjusted to precisely fit whatever iPod was placed into the dock.
Of course, the world of DigitalLife extends beyond the iPod. There were the non-Apple MP3 players. All of them were out at the show vying for an ever decreasing share of the pie. We got all of the vendors to agree to send us one of each to review... we know what we'll be doing for the next few months :-)
The world of DigitalLife also included the RoboSapiens, RoboRaptors, and RoboPets!
These mechanical beasts may not be fuzzy and warm like our office cat, but they were every bit as entertaining. Maybe it's time for a pet upgrade?
We did see one device at the show that had caught us by surprise. It was a small computer called the PepperPad.
It was smaller than a typical laptop and way bigger than a PDA. It was like an oversized color Newton! In any case, we played with it a bit... its response was snappy, had most of the features one would need for surfing at home (Wi-Fi, email, web), and ran on Linux. Its only problem was it retails for $800. One can buy a lot of computing power these days for $800.
With the convergence of all the different media (digital video, music, photos, etc...) many vendors were showing systems which will allow users to store, access, and backup all that data on their home network. We chatted with the Maxtor folks about some of the gear they were showing at DigitalLife.
It is now possible to have a terabyte (Yes... 1000 GB) of storage at home. This unit will be shipping later in the year. We hope to review it for you before Christmas.
The one REALLY useful feature of a cellphone, besides being able to make a call, is real-time GPS guidance.
ALK Technologies was showing a version of the CoPilot GPS software which ran on SmartPhones. In combination with a Bluetooth GPS, the combo gave real-time location information in a variety of display formats. The best thing about using the coPilot software instead of signing up for the GPS service from your cell carrier is... no extra monthly fees!
ALK has been updating and improving the CoPilot software over the years. We have been using the iPaq/Navman/CoPilot trio since 2000. We hope to bring you an updated review in the near future.