We just got back from Wearable Expo at the Tokyo Big Sight, the world’s largest exhibition for wearable technology. This year, around 100,000 people are expected to attend. [Edit 2017-01-23: Actual attendance was over 110,000.] It was interesting to see more than just smartwatches. Some of the more unexpected products included helmet-integrated glasses and circuitry woven between layers of fabric.
While participating companies at many technology exhibitions like to regulate who they expose their products to, everything here was showcased out in the open. As wearables are highly visible by nature, it sufficed for many exhibitors to merely display their wares on a table or mannequin. But there were two booths that uniquely stood out in the way they drew in a crowd.
Hold an egg in the air, then just drop it
Eggs have little to do with technology and are seldom the focus of attention. But when someone is holding a box of them and announces that he is about to drop one, it isn’t something you miss.
That was a demonstration of a material by Orion. It attracted quite a crowd, with many people (including myself) scrambling to record the magic trick. I like this because it’s the perfect segway into a conversation. You can’t see from this angle, but the table to the left in the video is lined with products that use this material. If a passer by had any interest at all in shock-resistant foam, it would be difficult not to start talking with the exhibitor.
Demonstrate using a cosplay model
Attractive booth models are a staple of trade shows, but cosplay models are usually found only at manga / anime / game shows. So when Crescent Inc. put a cosplayer on the floor, it turned heads.
This is a great example of demonstration-style showcasing. The cosplayer is wearing sensors on her fingers that control the display behind her. The technology itself is image engineering, which is something I would have trouble conceptualising but immediately understood after seeing this. What I like is how well her act lends itself to what the company does. It isn’t often that a contracted model is so “on board” with a product or service.