10. 15. 2005
As rain found a way to drip into the Javitz Center for the 2005 Digital Life show, hundreds of people stood in a line that snaked its way across the exhibition floor for their free TiVO. I considered joining them for like, a minute, but decided that trying to haul that box through the torrential rain was not worth the trouble. So what was my first impression of this year's Digital Life? It was pretty game-heavy. It was alot of boys playing video games. nonstop. everywhere. With LucasArts releasing Star Wars Battlefront II and XBOX previewing the 360 to a packed audience, there was alot for gamers to get excited about. But I'm not a gamer so I tried to seek out things that held traction for me.
Walking around the Javitz, which is cavelike to begin with, amidst gamers staring into screens and Stormtroopers wandering the floor was pretty dark and surreal. Then after turning a corner, I was greeted to an aisle awash with bright colors. I guessed this was the accessories aisle as I surveyed laptop bags, iPod cases and the like. I talked to the creator of Case Closed Bags who exclaimed "There's so much fashion stuff this year!". I don't know if it's because they lumped all the accessories and bags together, but the juxtaposition between this little sliver of the show with the rest of the floor felt too jarring and somewhat divisive. Cosmopolitan magazine (of all publications) had a presence there with attractive, brightly colored scooters, but I couldn't find a person in their booth to explain what their connection to the scooter or Digital Life was.
Most of these booths seemed lonely, particularly the Delapod - those iPod encasing handbags - which looked weirdly out of place, and I started wondering whether a different show would showcase these products better. I mean the Delapod is an interesting idea, but I had little desire to go check them out in this context. So whose digital life is this? I guess I was hoping to see a wider range of products - new and innovative gadgets and appliances for the home, for example, that were not entertainment related. But I guess we still have a way to go before we no longer have to experience a show where girls in tight shirts attract booth visitors and celebrities like Carmen Electra make special appearances (I mean what does she have to do with Digital Life??).
The best thing I saw at the show was a spoof on the iPod printed on a baby onsie that read iPood.