Friday, March 22, 2013

Engadget's first ever Expand Conference

Engadget's first ever Expand Conference

Last week I went to a new conference that will be held bi annually by Engadget. The Expand conference is about technology and particularly devices and gadgets.  Held at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, which holds 5000, the event was well attended.  The location was perfect for the event providing ample parking and room for everything, even some quad-copter flying and Tesla Test Drives.  

The on-stage portion of the event was amazing and featured some of the leading edge technologies most people only speculate about and the people who are spearheading them now.  We saw Robots that ran like cheetahs and some that flew in swarms. We found out how something as simple as a thermostat can be brought into the current era and save you money. They talked about space elevators and  They even had a competition for product development for $25,000 dollars.  Talks about gaming, crowd funding, Automobile electronics, mobile devices, 3-D printing, a conversion of military technology to civilian uses, and even an overview discussion about The Apple Corporation populated the schedule. Between each and every speaker they had a giveaway... with really good prizes.

Unlike many conferences sponsored by a group like Engadget this one was produced in-house and not outsourced to an event group.  This gave it a personal touch that really was obvious and pleasant.  The folks you know online from Engadget were there on the floor and had been working for months on setting everything up.  As far as a first event goes this was a smashing success.  The Engadget folks and their on-stage guests were often outside chatting between speakers and were very approachable for any questions.

I saw a few very amazing things at Expand this year and the most amazing one was from Ekso Bionics. This device allowed a paralyzed lady to walk and is being used for physical therapy on wounded veterans as well. It is these type of projects that make technology my favorite overall passion.

The show finalized with a segment about Engadget and it's history.  Having that segment really brought home how personal this conference was to the whole staff.  They discussed mostly the history of the company but it was also their personal history and spoken from the heart. They included lunch and breakfast and served it openly for long periods of time so no one missed a meal. This show was well worth the ticket price and I highly recommend you check out the next one in NYC during the fall of 2013 or the one next year here on the west coast.

Ryan Block, Co-Founder of, Peter Rojas, Founder of Engadget and Co-Founder of with Tim Stevens, Chief Editor of Engadget.

If you want to check out the sessions they are now online for you to see at Engadget's site for Expand


Here are some more images and captions....

+Tim Stevens opened the show riding a ZBoard to the stage!

Chris Anderson, CEO, 3D Robotics and former editor-in-chief, Wired

Drone control from a tablet

Yancey Strickler, Co-Founder and Head of Communications, Kickstarter

DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, Artist, Writer and Musician

Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3D Systems
+Dennis MiloseskiHead of Design Studio,Samsung Design America 

+Scott Croyle, Vice President of Design, HTC

Engadget Senior Mobile Editor, +Myriam Joire

 Samsung and HTC Designers have a little fun on stage

Ryan Sullivan, Director of Product Development,Sprint

 Cognitive Spring's Bipedal Robot Platform

 Snap Zoom's Cell phone camera to scope adapter

 Drones on the exhibit floor

 Russ Angold, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Ekso Bionics and Catherine Mohr, Director of Research, Intuitive Surgical who make the Da Vinci surgical robot

+Sascha Pallenberg and other media enjoying the show


Insert Coin Winners from Portugal was Ziphius.

Senior Associate Editor for Engadget, +Brian Heater 

 Sunday evening view of the new Bay Bridge Lights

 SF Sunday night after the conference and below the morning fog from Saturday before the conference

Feel free to share and comment..... George