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Gear & Gadgets...


This weekend was RainyDayMagazine's first Annual GadgetFest.  Our guests were invited to come and get some "hands-on" time with the various gear and gadgets we have reviewed this past year.  At last count, over 80 companies had gadgets represented!  Click here for the complete list of vendors present at GadgetFest 2005.

The products were grouped into various categories (Gear&Gadgets, RainyDayKitchen, RainyDayGarage, RainyDaySports).  Each category had a separate room.  Guests were encouraged to wander around, touch and play with all the gadgets and ask questions.  All the reviewers from RainyDayMagazine were there to answer questions... and to encourage them to figure it out on their own! 

Here is just a sample of some of the items that were available for folks to check out... iKuff LED cuff links, Solunar watch, SleepTracker, and the NeverLate 7 Day alarm...

... LumaRay LED and SureFire Halogen flashlights, BionicWrench, CarChip, SmartGlow Fuses, and ColdHeat soldering tools.

We had a table of phone gadgets (Charge2Go, Plantronics, AZIO), iPod cases (InvisibleShield, theBestSkinsEver, Speck, Slappa, iKeyChain), and iPod speakers (JBL, Harman Kardon, Logitech).  We wanted to let folks try installing the iPod, but it was just too ambitious...so we gave them out to go here for installation directions.

Slappa had a big presence at the event.  Folks were checking out their new NBA branded iPod cases as well as their signature DVD/CD containers.  All of the guests received a special promotional code for Slappa discounts on the cases.

Guests had a chance to get up close and examine the various bags (Bihn, Kata, Moonsus, Marsus) reviewed and ask us about the features of each.  The bags from Tom Bihn were voted as one of the GadgetFest TopTen.  Congrats!

Those interested in storage for their digital video had a chance to check out gear from Maxtor and Plextor.  They also had a chance to play with Orbit and iSight video cameras, ConvertXPVR TV recorder, and Logitech's Harmony "super" remote control.  We actually had a live iChatAV with our friend Junko in LA!

We had set up a section for our "Unaccompanied Minors".  They were able to try painting with the pressure sensitive Wacom pen and tablet or use Digital Blue's QX5 microscope to see the closeup of the four color ink dots that actually makes up a printed picture in a magazine!

The folks at RainyDaySports (new section for 2006) had a lot of gear out already because last week was OutdoorTechWeek on RainyDayMagazine.

They had gear from Adidas, Aquasphere, CamelBak, Columbia, UnderArmour, Tubbs, Magellan, HighGear, YakTrax, and Brunton.

A lot of guests were amazed at the flexible solar panel from Brunton.  Most of them were familiar with the rigid units on rooftops, but not many had heard for a flexible one that can be used to recharge devices out in the field.  All the wildlife digital photographers immediately saw the benefits of having something like this on their next outing.

The RainyDayKitchen staff were busy demonstrating the various machines from SodaClub, BackToBasics, Braun, and Waring

They weren't hurting for gadgets either.  There were Teasticks from Gamila, garlic press, egg timer, refrigerator air purifier, temperature probes... on and on.

After a few hours of gadget-mania, folks were ready to sample the TurDucKen.  We feasted on this New Orleans specialty, along with the cornbread and rice stuffing, green bean, roasted pepper, squash, and rosemary new potatoes.

To reinvigorate everyone, we let folks make their own coffee, cappuccinos, espressos, and hot chocolates using the Tassimo Hot Beverage system.  We also put them to work cleaning up :-)

The cleanup was made a lot easier with stuff from our friends at Method!  Folks got to try the great hand soaps, dish detergent, wipes, and sprays.  In no time, the place was shining and ready for next week's gadget reviews.

We ended the GadgetFest with the drawing for the door prizes (OnTour, Teastick, SleepTracker, Graphire4, Egg&Muffin toaster, Creature II, BrainCell, Edition1, FL6, and SolarPort).

Congratulations to the nine special GadgetFest 2005 Winners... and participating vendors!  All of our attending guests also received special RainyDayMagazine discount codes from vendors such as American Innovative, Slappa, Gamila, and SodaClub.

Note: Premier Subscribers are automatically notified of future RainyDayMagazine events.





By Wan Chi Lau

GadgetFest started out as an off-handed comment from one of the guests at a RainyDayMagazine party in the summer.

It went something like..."Why don't you guys have a party and invite everyone to come play with all the cool gadgets in your office?"

We thought about it a bit and realized... "What a GREAT idea!".  It would be a great chance for us to hear from our readers first hand about some of the gadgets we have reviewed.

Well, we invited over some of the RainyDayMagazine readers that live close to Boston this weekend for the first annual RainyDayMagazine GadgetFest... and it was a BLAST!!!

Top 10 GadgetFest Products:

1. LumaRay FL6 LED Flashlight

2. Logitech Harmony Remote

3. Brunton SolarRoll

4. Gamila Teastick

5. Egg&Muffin Toaster

6. Tom Bihn Computer Bags

7. Method Cleaners

8. JBL Speakers

9. Wacom Tablets

10. PicoPads

We had originally thought we would take pictures and videos of guests trying out different gear, but it was pretty clear from the moment the first folks showed up that we would be spending all our time demonstrating the gadgets and answering questions!  Good thing we had taken some shots before folks started arriving :-)

Next time we will have to have a dedicated GadgetFest photographer to capture all the action!

The RainyDayKitchen folks cooked up a huge TurDucKen and fed everybody.  They also served some amazing meatless meatballs...for those that wanted food that never had a face.

The event ended with the drawing of the door prizes.  We had great items donated by various companies for the GadgetFest drawing.

We had over 80 companies represented at the GadgetFest.  When the guests first arrived, each received an event packet with literature on many of the products at the GadgetFest. 

Included in the packet was a sheet of paper with a list of company names. 

In order to be eligible for the drawing, the guest had to wander through the various RainyDay Magazine sections (Gear&Gadgets, RainyDayKitchen, RainyDayGarage, RainyDaySports) and match 12 companies with its product.  Some clearly could not limit themselves to 12 products and decided to "write-in" votes for some more :-)

In exchange for this effort, they were given a chance to pull a number out of the bowl to win fabulous items from participating GadgetFest vendors. 

We had free PicoPads for the first 30 guests and nine lucky guests went home with awesome prizes!

BEST of GadgetFest 2005

After all the votes were tallied, bribes paid, results massaged, and random decisions made...the following items managed make their way to the top of the list:

1. The LumaRay FL12 LED flashlight was the clear overall First Place winner in this year's GadgetFest.  It garnered two times more votes than any other gadget! Congratulations to LumaRay for being selected BEST of RainyDay Magazine GadgetFest 2005!

2. The Second Place honors went to Logitech's Harmony 880 "super" remote control.  Everybody agreed that having "one remote to control them ALL" was a good thing!

3. The Brunton SolarRoll won Third Place and also won the "Best Outdoor Gear" in this year's GadgetFest. Congratulations to our top three winners!!!

Other Category Winners

Best Outdoor Gadget:

Brunton SolarRoll

Best Kitchen Gadget:  (Tie)

Gamila Teastick

Egg&Muffin Toaster

Best iPod Gadget:

JBL Speakers

Best Computer Accessories:

Wacom Tablets

Best Computer Bag:

Tom Bihn Computer Bags


Photography by Wan Chi Lau
Rainy Day Magazine is a Publication of Rainy Day Entertainment Group © 2005