Free Tech Summit to celebrate all thing geek

Virtual reality, 3D printing, all the latest hardware and software: Expect to see a lot of this at the free TigerDirect Miami Tech Summit and Holiday Bash at Marlin’s Park next month, where at least 7,500 people are expected to attend. NBC 6’s Joe Rose will MC the upcoming tech bash, which TigerDirect says aims “to celebrate all things tech, geek, nerd and chic.”

At the event, there will be first looks at products such as Sony’s new laptop and demos on Raspberry Pi and Xbox Kinect, for instance. Here are a few more highlights:

• Electronics company iON Worldwide is bringing out its Air Pro 3, and its newest addition in the super-successful line of lightweight POV cameras will be for sale.

• Attendees can try out the new Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset that tech blogs have been calling the next big step in gaming technology.

•  iON is bringing veterans of the BMX/Skating world Rob Nolli, Tom Haugen, Chad Degroot and Dante Debose to participate in the BMX/ Sk8 demo being built for the Bash.

•  Florida International University will provide an insider’s look into the world of robotics, showing that we’re not that far off from the stuff of sci-fi movies.

• is teaming up with The LAB Miami to create a tech circus, complete with stilt walkers and clowns amid the tech demonstrations and product unveilings.

Participating exhibitors include Intel, Western Digital, Alienware, HP, Kingston, Microsoft, Seagate, Patriot, SMS Audio, ASUS, Discount Laptop Shop, Centon, CoolerMaster, Sony (VAIO), eBay, Tripplite, Epson, Thermaltake, TCL (TTE), Swann, Planar, PayPal, Night Owl, LG, Belkin/Linksys, AT&T Wireless, United Stationaries, NZXT / iBuyPower, Kensington, Autodesk, Squaretrade, Verbatim, XFX, Viewsonic, TrendMicro, Sandisk, MSI, EVGA, OCZ, Drobo and Actiontech.

At the show, some of the vendor partners will be making new product announcements and giving previews before the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, said Lonny Paul, vice president of marketing and strategic initiatives for TigerDirect.

“There is a need for consumers to see all the cool stuff that is out there, so being able engage with the brands will be amazing,” he said. “And it’s going to be Miami chic, not boring buttoned up suit and tie.”

Paul said TigerDirect’s successful holiday event a year ago and a Tech Summit this past May convinced TigerDirect “there was huge interest in a tech show and for us it was go big or go home.” Having the show at Marlins Park allows TigerDirect to continue to grow the event every year, even to potentially 50,000 people. TigerDirect, which is putting on the event with Intel, is also partnering with community organizations such as the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Technology Foundation of the Americas, Refresh Miami, The LAB Miami and WebCongress.

The first 5,000 consumers and 1,000 business customers attending the bash will receive a free “swag bag” from TigerDirect. All attendees will be eligible to participate in various additional giveaways throughout the night, and there will be free food and drink.

The event will be 8 p.m. to midnight Nov. 7 at Marlins Park. Register at:


Sports talk: The convergence of technology, social media and big data will not only help the brands but will significantly enhance the sports fan experience, according to South Florida sports technology executives from the Marlins, Dolphins and the startup speaking at the South Florida Technology Alliance meeting last week.

For the brands, this means being able to deliver real-time marketing and more targeted sales calls and loyalty offers, and consumers will get more meaningful offers rather than spam. The clubs are doing extensive work in aggregating the fan data from many different sources and also focusing on producing or inspiring the type of social media content that gets shared — no easy feats, the panelists said.

Alex Buznego, manager of digital and social media for the Marlins, said that coming next season is mobile ticketing, allowing fans to access tickets by app, share them more easily and even order concessions from their seats so there are shorter waits in line.

Vicente Fernandez is co-founder of Sportsmanias, a comprehensive fan platform that aggregates sports news and Twitter feeds from beat writers and other sources. He said that the company will be relaunching its website by the end of the year and has formalized a partnership with the Miami Herald, which will include hosting Google hangouts with the beat writers.

On the horizon for football is RFID chips in players uniforms so there will no longer be any question about who was in a particular play, said Ray Pimienta, Dolphins manager of CRM Systems Development.


Mentors forming open network: The huge tech-entrepreneurship organization Refresh Miami has launched a free mentor network, in partnership with Miami startup LiveNinja, a video chat platform where experts market their services. South Florida mentors can register for free on the site listing their specialties, and entrepreneurs seeking mentoring can request a virtual mentorship chat. Find out more and register here:

Brian Breslin, founder of Refresh Miami, says this can help to fill a big community need.

“One big issue the local community faces here in South Florida is a lack of mentorship from the experienced entrepreneurs to the younger generation. There are great programs in schools such as UM, FIU, and private accelerators, but that mentorship is limited to a small group of mentees and mentors,” said Breslin in comments last month. “We need widespread mentorship at scale.”

Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg

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