Yesterday, Yonge Dundas Square saw it’s second annual Best Buy Life Tech Fashion Show. The event combines the runway with wearable tech products and offers the opportunity ti see the latest gear close up. If you’re at all unfamiliar with Yonge Dundas Square, it’s a wide open space in the middle of Toronto’s downtown core and regularly sees different events pass through. While the fashion show element of the event was the cherry on top, the experience before it was the ice cream. Anyone walking by could experience everything from Bluetooth speakers and headphones, to the latest in VR, to life trackers and health monitors.
Best Buy Life Tech Products
Smartwatches and other wrist wearables were probably 50% of everything on display. Samsung had their fitness trackers out. FitBit showed off their Blaze Fitness watch. Fossil had their beautiful Skagen watches – which look more like a traditional watch, but have smart features. Garmin showed off about a dozen different activity trackers and watches.
There weren’t a ton of camera based wearables or cameras in general. Even Samsung kept their VR camera behind a case (disappointing). One interesting wearable was the iON SnapCam, which is a small clip on camera that shoots 720p video. While I think the concept is neat, after seeing the quality of the video I wasn’t too impressed. They have a good idea, they just need to modernize it.
Then there were a wealth of Bluetooth speakers and headphones from Ultimate Ears, Monster, House of Marley, Skullcandy and Jabra. We really have reached a time where there’s no longer a need for wired headphones. Bluetooth is at a point where the connection is solid, and battery life (while it can be improved) is pretty good too.
The Actual Show
Now, the event was marred by a storm that came through at about 5PM. Prior to the storm, the Square was packed with people who quickly sought shelter when the rain started. Exhibitors and attendees alike basically were just waiting it out in hopes that it would clear up. It didn’t… for two hours. Torrential rain unlike anything we’d seen this summer (Toronto had almost no rain this summer). Nearing 7PM, the talk among organizers was that the Best Buy Life Tech fashion show was going to be canceled and held privately within the media tent.
Fortunately, at the last minute… 7:03PM, the rain stopped… the clouds started to open up. The show would go on for the public. It was interesting how quickly the Square went from nearly empty to filled with people. The show itself was alright, it’s not how I prefer to get to know tech. The loud music, the models and the are itself are just far too stimulating to understand anything that the hosts were saying – and you’re too far away to see a lot of the tech (and I was front row). Alas, I give them credit for trying new things!
Plus, having a tweet in regular rotation to the busiest area of Toronto is kinda cool.