For the past several months, WIRED Magazine and Marriott Hotels & Resorts have been hosting events around the country designed to bring together people with an interest in art, music, technology and travel for unforgettable evenings of inspiration and creativity. Think of them as salons for the 21st century; a veritable and ever changing Bloomsbury Group of diverse and interesting topics and people. The 2012 series concluded last week in New York at the annual WIRED pop-up store. Every year the editors at WIRED put together some of their favorite items from the past year and showcase them around the holidays for the general public to see, learn about and ultimately covet.
The crowd at the event was not unlike the readers of WIRED and guests of Marriott, hip, smart and ready to have a good time. While I walked around the store ogling at all of the cool gadgets and fun pop culture merchandise I couldn’t help but think how impressed I was with everything. I loved the toys, sure, but I also loved playing with the Marriott Hotels and Resorts Aura Cam that analyzes users and then spits out the best Marriott hotel match for them. The box of travel knowledge, or Hotel HAL as I called it, decided that I should be in Curaçao, something I definitely couldn’t argue with.
Also highlighted was the new Marriott Greatroom; a space that completely redesigned the tired old lobbies of yesterday and replaced them with fun and functional areas. I’ve written about this before, but I am honestly very impressed with all the changes at Marriott and I’m excited to continue staying with them whenever I can, be it for work or pleasure or a mix of both. Sure, I’m working with Marriott on this project but I’m an unfailingly honest person, as my frequent readers can attest to. When I don’t like something I really don’t like it, but when I do, when I am in love with a hotel or brand I gush. A lot.
The night though ultimately was about the WIRED store and while it was difficult to narrow down my choices, I decided to share with you all my Twelve Favorite Gadgets and Doodads from the WIRED store, some of which I may just have to buy for myself.
This remarkable device integrates GPS, Bluetooth® and more with a host of onboard sensors into a heads up goggle that shows everything from maps and altitude to where your friends are on the slopes.
Created using text from the first 17 chapters of The Three Musketeers.
A special kit for the 2012 holiday season, LittleBits is a system of electronic bricks that snap together with magnets to create just about anything. The Holiday Kit includes instructions to makes special projects such as a Christmas tree ornaments, a dancing skater or a New Year’s party hat.
This Mixtape is made on a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D printer and houses a 2GB electornic music module, three control buttons and a boatload of nostalgia.
The death’s head shape of the Stratton electric violin definitely makes a statement. That statement is backed up by a rich, focused tone from the Barbera bridge, providing a strong output – great for acoustic styles and exceptionally well-suited for high-gain effects and high-volume performances.
The book is housed in a pedestal display complete with lights, removable documents and an audio introduction by George Takei. Assembled for Special Exhibit on Memory Alpha, this exhaustive in-world history is like no other.
Immediately claim the nickname Calves of Steel with these Superman Caped Knee-High Socks.
A revolutionary product with ground-breaking StarSense technology. SkyProdigy turns anyone into an instant astronomer. Take a tour of the night sky based on the exact time and your location. Stargazing has never been this easy.
This new, innovative creative tool and toy is a cross between Legos and Origami. It enables anyone to build their own paper toy masterpiece with four simple steps: punch out, fold, build and customize. The kits are all-inclusive and no scissors or glue is need.
Waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof and shock proof protection lets you take your iPhone where you never thought possible. LifeProof gives you the freedom to make your iPhone your constant companion—so get your case on and let’s go!
An organic table lamp based on how veins form in leaves. Each lamp is a completely one-of-a-kind design, 4-D printed in nylon plastic. The lamps are lit by eco-friendly LEDs and cast dramatic branching shadows on the wall and ceiling.
Designed to look like an ugly Christmas sweater, this festive holiday sweatshirt features superhero twins She-Ra and He-Man against a snowflaked background. He-Man’s so jolly that he’s even wearing a Santa hat.
What is your favorite of the featured gadgets and gizmos from the WIRED Store?
Please note: This post is the latest in a collaborative partnership with Marriott Hotels and Resorts. I was compensated for my time but as always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.