I recently learned that a local Best Buy here in Utah had some pretty cool activities as part of their Intel Experience and I went to go check it out.
While most (79%) of Americans are excited about the chance to learn and try out new technologies, half are frustrated by the lack of access to them beyond what they read or see in the media, according to a new study by Intel and Toluna.
That’s the reason why Intel and Best Buy are now teaming up to bring new Intel Technology Experience zones to 50 Best Buy stores in major markets across the U.S. The Intel Technology Experience lets customers – from tech enthusiasts to technophobes – play, explore, and be inspired by the power of technology with hands-on activities like 3D printing and virtual reality games. For many, this is the first opportunity to see, touch, and play with exciting new technologies they’ve only heard about.
This was the first time that I had the chance to see items that had been made using a 3-D printer. I realized that you could make yourself cell phone covers to match your outfits. Robots for your kidlets. Trays to hold your keys. I thought it was pretty nifty that the chain you see was printed all at once and linked together in the process. One associate was telling me how he could use it to make custom stands for his collectibles and save a lot of money in the process. The possibilities are endless.
Averaging 240 square feet, the Intel Technology Experience will show customers the power of Intel: the technology behind these new, innovative activities is the same power behind the devices like tablets and laptops we love and rely on every day. Customers can build and print their own 3D robot, show off their racing skills on Mars in an augmented reality world, master beats and remix tracks by Ne-Yo as a digital DJ, and check out the latest PC and tablet devices powered by Intel processors.
The area will be staffed by specially trained Best Buy Blue Shirts to answer questions and help customers make the most of each area within the experience. Each season, Intel will refresh the venues with a new array of technology experiences.
I did get a chance to try out the Mars augmented reality world. It wasn’t easy for me as I tried to line up the pad with the black square you see in the middle to play the game. I needed to move a rover around to collect items while asteroids hit the ground. Since I failed the mission three times in a row, I don’t think I’m the one you want to call if an asteroid is hurtling towards Earth!
I read about another use for the augmented reality program that seemed especially useful. You could use it in your household rooms to try out new designs and furniture before you actually buy anything. I can be quite indecisive and shopping can take forever if I let it. This way I could work it out beforehand from home to get a better idea and make shopping a breeze. I bet that would make Mister Eric very happy.
Finally, I had the chance to play around with the DJ station. You could choose to remove or add components like drums, bass and synth. I was also able to add a laser show or strobe lights to the video on the screen. Once I was satisfied with my results, I pushed record. It gave me a number to text to and I could download a recording of my custom mix.
For more information about the Intel Technology Experience areas, including a list of stores, visit www.bestbuy.com/intel.
Have you checked out the Intel Experience yet?