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Technology

NextFest 2005 57

Adnan Akbari writes "NextFest 2005 is this weekend in Chicago, IL. Efficient transportation, Home Automation, and advances in the medical were all big themes. Everything from a shoe that graphs your physical fitness to bionic arms were displayed. A summary of all displays along with images are at QuenteCafe.com"
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NextFest 2005

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  • to the phrase "knock boots"....
  • damn good show (Score:5, Informative)

    by squarefish ( 561836 ) * on Saturday June 25, 2005 @08:35PM (#12911634)
    at first I thought it was just going to be a huge ad for GE- all you see are GE displays at first and then the farther you get in, the more of an organic, research oriented feel takes over the rest of the place. NASA has some really cool stuff on display. the gaming area was awesome and irobot had a packbot there.
    lot's of robots.
    I found the most interesting stuff to be in the medical and military fields. definitely go if you're anywhere near chicago. It's an easy show to spend the entire day at.
    • Re:damn good show (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Council ( 514577 )
      at first I thought it was just going to be a huge ad for GE

      At first I thought it was going to be a huge celebration of a failed Steve Jobs company.
      • Failed Steve Jobs company?

        They assimilated the dying hulk of Apple, and made it successful. (kept the better-known company name, though)

        • Are you talking about NeXT? That wasn't my understanding. I thought they were basically liquidated. I read this Steve Jobs bio, and I didn't hear anything like that.

          Also, why was I modded alternately 'interesting' and 'flamebait'? I was making a pun. Unless . . . oh, crap, don't tell me NEXTFEST actually /is/ named after NeXT. But if not, I was making a pun! What did I miss?
    • damn good show

      Except that it couldn't be at a worse time. Not only is NextFest happening, but you've also got the Tastes of Chicago, [vacationsmadeeasy.com] and Gay Pride March going on at the same time. Considering that I *live* near the McCormick Center, I'm darn glad I got out for the weekend. It's got to be absolutely nuts over there.
      • You forgot the ALA Conference! [ala.org] You forgot the ALA Conference!! [ala.org]
        • Err... yeah, the ALA as well. In other words, Chicago is friggin' busy this weekend. Getting anywhere downtown is probably a nightmare on wheels.

          On the bright side, at least the city has the infrastructure to absorb it. You should see how San Francisco shuts down every time the JavaOne Expo rolls into town! I would really love to strangle the guy who thought that taking the conference to the Sony Metronome in SF was a good idea.
          • Err... yeah, the ALA as well. In other words, Chicago is friggin' busy this weekend. Getting anywhere downtown is probably a nightmare on wheels.

            On the bright side, at least the city has the infrastructure to absorb it. You should see how San Francisco shuts down every time the JavaOne Expo rolls into town! I would really love to strangle the guy who thought that taking the conference to the Sony Metronome in SF was a good idea.


            As someone that lives in downtown Chicago (and walked over to the Taste for s
            • As I said, I live near the McCormick Center. Trust me, Michigan/King Drive can be hell on wheels when Chicago fills up. On foot is probably the best method of getting around, but it doesn't help much if you're trying to get from 30th all the way up to Millennium Park. :-/
              • > if you're trying to get from 30th all the way up to Millennium Park. :-/

                Metra Electric is your friend :) ... and only $5 for unlimited rides on the weekends.
      • I took public transit in- no problem at all.
        the march is tomorrow and it's north of downtown, which should actually help the activity downtown for going to the nextfest or the waste, if you're so inclined.
        I find more events at the same time better because it means fewer people will be at the one thing you want to go to.
      • "Taste of Chicago"

        More like food poisoning of Chicago... You should have seen all the flies sitting on the food. Garbage and waste all over the place. I got sick after I came back from the taste back in 2002. Never going back there again.
        • I got sick after I came back from the taste back in 2002.

          I went there last year and I really didn't have any problems. It was busy like you wouldn't believe (elbow to elbow), but everything was served fresh, hot, clean, and at a maximum rip-off ratio. ($5 bucks a "taste"!?! Yikes!) In the last year, I've also been to a few Chicago ethnic events at the Daley center (mmm... Mid-Eastern food), and the food at those events was usually quite good as well.

          My guess is that Chicago businesses have gotten fairly
    • Nice sig. I'm from the South. I'm not racist. I've lived in the North for 4 of the past 7 years of my life. I recall having several friends of various races in high school, and never really having the race card come up.

      Interestingly, the first time that I ever heard someone make a truly racist statement was my freshman year of college. Don't get me wrong, I had heard off-color jokes. I'm talking about the first time that I ever heard "don't trust that man, he's black." This was, of course, in a Nort
  • Not worth the money (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This show was not worth the money. There was very few new things there. If you have Discovery and History channel you have seen almost everything there!

    The show was laid out pretty horrible too. Hard to move around to see the displays. Some of the Displays had Audio and Video but you couldn't hear it because of some horrible music in the back gound.

    They also had signs up to read but they were so small you couldn't read them with out blocking everyones views.

    This show was a crappy scam for your $15.
    • You didn't mention that you get a year of Wired magazine with your admission, so admission works out to nearly free. Even if I have seen some of these things on TV, that's not the same as seeing them up close and having a chance to chat with the developers. A guy at the iRobot booth did a demo of the packbot just because I asked. I really enjoyed the show - might go back tomorrow. /K
      • Not sure about today, but they were handing out free issues of wired as well. So that right there makes it cost ~ -$5 (assuming newsstand price).

        Chatting w/ the researchers and inventors was damn cool. I killed my boss at brain ball, so that was easily worth an extra few $$.

        I wish it were larger, and completely agree that the layout sucked, but it would have been well worth the $15 at the door.

        The Saturn car's display has to be the coolest use of projectors + kiosk I have ever seen (I didn't care about t
      • A year of Wired is worth what? It's gotten to be so much filler and hype (well, always was, sadly. Mondo 2000 was the mag. Wired was a bad ripoff of) that it's like that big sheaf of unbound advertising material in the mailbox that you shoot direct to the wastebasket.
  • the shoe phone. And the umbrella of silence. We were promised shoe phones and umbrellas of silence.
    • For real. I was going to post about the shoe phone thing too. I think the reason we don't have shoe phones is that you'd have to put a solid roll cage in your shoes so the electronics don't get crushed, so walking would be uncomfortable. Secondly, nothing like putting a dirty shoe into your ear. Still it'd rule to see people's reactions to it. *inspector gadget ring tone plays*, *you pull your shoe off and start talking into it*: Priceless.
  • I remember Nextfest 2004 in San Fran last year and it's major disappointment... the invisibility cloak. Man o man everybody wanted to see that thing... but it could only be viewed from ONE SPOT because it was using a projector and a videocamera!

    Doh!
  • Not too exciting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UnapprovedThought ( 814205 ) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @09:02PM (#12911695) Journal

    I think the future is going to demand more inventiveness than what I see there. A Skycar is efficient transportation? A Hydrogen powered Hummer is efficient transportation?

    Some of these things may sound fun, but unless some basic thinking starts to change I think what we're actually going to need is a farm that picks up and moves as climate change happens, artificial noses to breathe oxygen depleted air and so forth.

  • Where is the implant that allows you to use excess fat to support the server's bandwidth.. that would probably be just as useful as any of the devices shown. Mirrors please?
  • When I saw the headline, I was expecting a bunch of crochety old geeks having a big LAN party with their black magnesium cube workstations.... [wikipedia.org]
  • A summary of all displays along with images are at QuenteCafe.com
    ...or at least, they were.
  • "A summary of all displays along with images are at QuenteCafe.com"

    You mean, Was available...

    Networkmirror.com Mirror [networkmirror.com]
    Mirrordot.org Mirror [mirrordot.org]
  • If you're in the city, even getting to where you need to go is a hassle. I wouldn't wish the commute around this time of year on anyone - it's horrible. Couple that with the weather and you're looking at one hot crowded journey no matter where you go.

    After seeing some of the less than enthusiastic comments about NextFest, it doesn't sound like the effort in getting to it would really pay off. There are other places [holographiccenter.com] to go to in the city all year round to get your geek fix anyways.
  • > a shoe that graphs your physical fitness

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!!

  • Overall NextFest was cool. My only problem with it was that it got frustrating not knowing at what stage of development many exhibits were.
    For instance: my favorite exhibit, the hydrogen cars with replaceable bodies over a universal chassis, didn't mention if these cars were functional, and if so to what degree. I feel like if they're just showing off a plastic model and an idea they should have made it more clear.
  • by K8Fan ( 37875 ) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:32PM (#12912073) Journal

    I saw everything at NeXTFest, and sadly didn't see too many things I hadn't seen before. One thing in particular that was bizzare was the number of "interactive video displays" that featured:

    A video camera.
    Processing that camera to derive a one-bit image.
    Edge-detecting that one-bit image to interact with graphical elements.
    Keying the original video over the graphics.

    At the risk of sounding like a crank...we were doing this stuff on Amigas back in the late 80s! There was a program called "Mandela" which was specifically designed to produce interactive video displays. And frankly, some of the demos that shipped with that program were cooler than the ones at NextFest.

    Seriously, I'm not an Amiga crank...I have some of the old machines, but haven't fired them up in several years. I just am annoyed that there has been little to no evolution in this area in nearly 20 frickin YEARS!

  • My wife and I went, and were quite disappointed, even though both of us fall squarely into the "geek" crowd. Most of it was "Look at all the cool stuff you can't afford to buy from <CORP>!" or pushing hybrid Hummers, or tech stuff we'd heard about a long time ago. After about 90 minutes, we'd seen everything we wanted to see, and the crowds had descended (we got there early). The floor layout is poor, and there were several "choke points" that were real traffic jams. I also noticed that an hour

  • Something about expecting flying cars would be in order, I think. Perhaps a beowulf cluster of flying cars. With Microsoft Flying Car 2010 crashing during demonstration, killing Bill Gates.
  • While the link to QuenteCafe is nice and all, it by no means includes summaries of all of the displays. It would be nice to see a site that did, though.
  • ...for a book to be published in 40 or 50 years similar to the 1980's "Whatever Happened to the Future". In that 80s book, they asked the question like:

    1. Where's my flying car that was mentioned in Popular Science in the 1950s?
    2.How come I don't have a four day workweek now like some science and technology magazines predicted in the 40s and 50s?
    3. How come our city streets aren't air conditioned and climate controlled as we were promised in the 50s?
    4. Where are the family cars that drive themselves while
    • 2.How come I don't have a four day workweek now like some science and technology magazines predicted in the 40s and 50s?

      You're in the wrong country for that sort of thing. Try moving to France...
  • I am here at WIRED, I am finishing up in the press room right now. They are kicking me out. Check out my NEXTFEST LED blog. Also, not to try and promote registration, but if you at least register I will email when I post my 10 min video exclusive interview (to be released July 1st) with the Drew Shutte, the Publisher of WIRED. No promises, but you should be able to stream it.
    http://www.ledmonthly.com/ [ledmonthly.com]
  • I spent yesterday at NextFest and had really interesting conversations with the scientists and engineers behind the technologies. Whereas most trade shows have marketing-folk, NextFest had the "real deal" folks there. Conversing with them about their projects was quite easy:

    Example interesting conversations:
    * Electrical Engineers from Sweden working on innovative devices for monitoring power use
    * Doctoral CS candidates preseting their thesis projects.
    * Art/Design professors from Tokyo and Vienna working on
  • There was a creepy sense of mercantilism infused in the event. Several corporations sponsored displays and there was no real local connection to anything. Although some of the presenters were from universities in Chicago, I expected to see some local mad scientists with cool stuff on card tables. I guess Wired magazine, being from the Left Coast, thinks of Chicago as a technological back-water. Here to edu-ma-cate us Midwest yokels.

    Speaking of presenters, there were honest-to-goodness researchers and sci

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