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The Best Tech Gifts From The WIRED Holiday Store Opening

PSFK and Mixhibit visit the annual pop-up shop in NYC's Meatpacking district.

PSFK
PSFK on December 25, 2013.

First on Scene brings our readers an exclusive look at distinctive cultural events, supported by the Smirnoff Mixhibit app available for iOS and Android. This week, PSFK is on the scene at the opening of the WIRED Pop-Up Store 2013. Check out our Mixhibit of the event, and share your Mixhibit using #PSFKonScene for a chance to win a PSFK Party Pack.

In its 9th year, the WIRED pop-up store showcases some of the best and most interesting in tech for the holiday season. The opening in Manhattan’s Meatpacking district proved to be an event to remember, with live music, great food, as well as a fun array of innovative products and interactive displays. If you are having trouble picking out the perfect gifts for those discerning people in your life, then this is the place to visit.

In this year’s store, WIRED set out to create a series of lasting and memorable interactive experiences, curated under the theme of ‘Check It Out.’ A variety of displays invited consumers to touch, twist, torque and test out each product to great effect. The opening party was DJed by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and featured expertly mixed cocktails, bringing together a diverse and interesting crowd, which in turn added another layer of excitement to the evening.

Check out our Mixhibit below to see the night in action:

photon shower

One of the most interesting products on display – although not for retail purchase – was the light shower concept from Delta Airlines. Dubbed ‘The Photon Shower’ the device is essentially a light chamber that explores how light can be used to realign a traveler’s biological clock after long flights across time zones. Travelers can input their flight information into the Photon Shower and it will adjust for their individual needs based on flight time and what their body is feeling.  The system provides a light sequence that recreates the effects of sunlight to alleviate jet lag and provide a pick-me-up for tired travelers. Although still a concept at this stage, hopefully we will begin to see the Photon Shower cropping up at airports across the country soon, and it was definitely fun to try out in the store.

IMG_2075

The main sponsor of the event – Corvette – also provided the store’s crowning centerpiece. The brand new 2014 Corvette Stingray was definitely eye-catching with its reworked design and sporty features. Visitors could sit themselves in the drivers’ seat, or test their reflexes outside the car with a fun driving inspired game. Based on motion sensing technology, the player was challenged to maintain a steady hand and trace out specific shapes while a driving video in the background reacted in real-time to the players’ actions.

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A little later in the evening we were delighted to find one of the most exciting display technologies of the past year hidden away in a little booth next to the DJ stage. Sonos, the wireless speaker manufacturer, had set up an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset where visitors could explore a digital apartment filled with Sonos speakers. As we moved around the 3D environment, Sonos’ Senior PR Manager Eric Nielsen explained that the sounds coming out of the speakers around us, in the real-life booth, were changing depending on where we looked and how we moved in the virtual apartment. Floating around in a fake reality of this quality was a surreal but amazing experience, especially as we were able to “walk” through walls and windows while we were there. Seeing this advanced display system interact seamlessly with a conventional technology like speakers that everyone has in their home was very exciting. It hinted at the fact that widespread adoption of the Oculus Rift could take place much sooner than we imagined.

skirt

Placed prominently in the front window of the space was a piece of wearable tech first worn by Katy Perry at the iTunes Festival back in September. This LED skirt by CUTECIRCUIT can display the text of tweets sent to a specific handle or hashtag, or react to tweets using specific hashtags as a voting mechanism, for example to change the colors of the skirt. Alternatively it can also host pre-programmed graphics, as CUTECIRCUIT CEO Ryan Genz told us, like the moving images of lions and tigers that flashed across the folds as Katy Perry sang her single ‘Roar’ onstage at the iTunes Festival.

The Wired Store is the perfect place to get some inspiration for holiday gift shopping this season. While the party itself was fantastic, the gear and gadgets inside the store are interesting enough to merit a showrooming visit anytime. Located at 353 West 14th Street in New York, it will be open until December 22nd so you can try before you buy; all the items shown in the Wired Store are available for purchase online at store.wired.com.

Check out more photos from the launch party in the gallery below:

WIRED Store 2013

First On Scene gives readers an exclusive look at New York’s most vibrant cultural events, presented by the new Mixhibit app from Smirnoff. Follow #PSFKonScene to catch all of the event highlights live, and share your own Mixhibits with us on Twitter for a chance to win an exclusive PSFK Party Pack.

The Mixhibit app from Smirnoff is a groundbreaking new tool that blends users’ best moments captured on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter into a one-of-a-kind video. In a digital age where good times rarely happen without a phone in hand, the Mixhibit app provides a seamless way for people to “show and tell”, as users of legal drinking age select photos and status updates, and a soundtrack from the app’s library of over 10,000 songs, to create their video. Check out the hype film to see how it works, join the #Mixhibit conversation on Twitter, and download the Mixhibit app now from the App Store or Google Play store.

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