A GadgetNutz PlayLand – The WIRED Store

WIRED Magazine has once again ‘popped’ up their WIRED Store which will open today (November 17) and stay around for gadget perusal until December 31st. Within those UltraCool walls in UltraCool SoHo you can find the smallest gadget – like the Motorola Red Bluetooth(r) Headset H500 – to the Infiniti G35 Sport Sedan one of which is actually in the store.

If you live in the metropolitan area or plan to be in Manhatten in the next six weeks you can get to 160 Wooster Street (corner of Houston and Wooster) via the subway. The closest stop is Broadway/Lafayette which brings in the F, B, D and V trains. That’s what I took yesterday for The Grand Opening. I arrived just before it started raining! Whew!

It didn’t take long for the place to get crowded. In between drinks (Hello Yellow Tail!!) and WIREDs waiters smoothly slide about holding large platters of little noshie things. I walked around like a kid in a candy store.

It’s impossible to see everything in one visit but here’s a few things that really caught my eye:

The iLIAD from iRex Technologies is something I noticed a few months ago. In my article (I, iLiad) I listed the features I thought were cool. Now I actually got a chance to hold one and play around. The gray tone background with black text is very easy on the eyes. The screen isn’t backlit so you really need to read this in a well lite room – just like a book or magazine or newspaper. I loaded up PDF’s and various text files and navigated around the pages. There’s a ‘button’ on the left edge on the tablet that you pull left or right to flip pages forwarded or back. When you want to draw or write something hit the ‘Notes’ button at the bottom of the tablet and using the stylus go at it. It’s very sensitive to the way you hold the stylus, by the way. write quickly and your strokes are light. Write slowly and your strokes are dark and heaver. As you can see if you click on the thumbnail I wrote on the tablet very easily. Imagine all the funny notes you can write to your friends with this!!

Battle-ready laptop

David Stipple of Allegro Rainbow personally showed me their Allegro Multimedia Piano Wizard Premier. We discussed the importance of music in the life and education of children. My mother had my brother and myself learn to play the cello when we were around six years old. And while my brother is the real musician in the family I certainly feel I benefited from the musical knowledge I received. This combination software and keyboard will present music as if it was a game. Children today are so familiar with video games it will fit seamlessly into their daily life. The program – for Windows and MAC – progresses from very easy to difficult levels. And has the ability to eventually let children play their own songs or songs they will learn. This is done by associating each key on the keyboard with a color and showing a moving object which heads toward a certain color. The child learns to associate the colors with the keys and eventually with the notes. I certainly don’t recall any real difficulty learning music ‘the oldfashioned’ method. But then in those days kids just did what they were told. No arguments. Not in MY family, anyway. But in this day anything that will help children learn music is a good thing. Unfortunately, some schools are being very lax about these very important skills. In my opinion this is a good gift for any child.

This car Infiniti G35 Sport Sedan was in the store and what makes it interesting is that many of the interior features are accessed via Bluetooth. And we know how much I lover Bluetooth. Can this be like having that talking car that was on TV? Well, in this case you do all of the talking, but someday guys all over America will find themselves living inside their cars, never to leave.
I saw a ZUNE sitting there unmolested so I figured here was my chance to see how easy it was to use. It basically has three buttons on the front. It took me all of 20 seconds to figure it out. I was able to navigate between videos, pictures, music and the radio feature quite easily. It even lets you change the background theme. It was, of course. impossible to hear what it may sound like because the store was filled with DJ music, but at least I know how to use it now!

For those people who just HAVE to have their electronics match their clothing there’s the Nike + iPod Sport Kit. They had these on display where they placed the matching colored iPOD in it’s same color running shoe. How cute.
The Blackberry Pearl is also featured in this store and I used MY demo Pearl to take some pictures of the party, check the map to the area, add the event to the calendar and make calls while I traveled. I’ll be writing more articles about this later. Just let me recover from the Par-Tay!

Just before I left I had to use the ‘facilities’ and when I entered the porcelain chamber I discovered a fish tank. I love fish in the bathroom! cool. And fortunately, even though it had rained quite heavily while I was in the store, it had stopped when I had to leave. I guess I must just know the right people.

The WIRED Store will host a range of events including:

  • Wired Wheels – Free Infiniti shuttles for WIRED Store purchasers on the weekends. Rides are limited to Manhattan below 34th Street
  • WIRED Music Spotlight Series – Diverse cutting-edge labels with DJs/live performances Wednesday nights from 6-9 PM
  • Pink Light Specials-Featured store product giveaways on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Shoppers can enter to win in store, online, and via their cell phones by texting ‘Pink’ to 94733
  • Weekend Warm Ups – Stop by on Saturday and Sundays from 11-1 and choose from a selection of hot drinks from Tassimo
  • Editor’s Gift Picks Free advice from WIRED Product Editor Mark McClusky on the best gadgets and gizmos featured in WIRED TEST 2007
  • Store hours: Wednesday-Friday from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m.

    Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

    Written by Cecilia