Digital Life Tech Convention 2007: The Latest and Greatest Innovations


The Digital Life Convention was held at the Javitts Center in NYC from September 27 – 30, 2007. (PJ Williams/The Observer)

Published: October 11, 2007

The world of technology is always expanding and becoming more and more advanced. It can be hard to keep track of things, even if you are electronically inclined. Fortunately, the people at Ziff Davis Media created the Digital Life Convention. Now in its fourth year, Digital Life is aimed at the people who aren’t super-nerds, but average people who want to know more about new technology.

One of the devices that was prominantly featured at the event, and stole the show in terms of style was HD-DVD. In fact, there were so many HD-DVD booths all throughout the convention that it was hard to miss one. And by booths, I mean a bunch of comfy couches set up in front of high-definition televisions.

HD-DVD is one of the media formats that will be the next evolution of DVDs, the other one being Blu-ray. HD-DVDs feature better video and audio quality than regular DVDs and include more bonus content, due to the large storage capacity of the disks.

As opposed to competitor Blu-ray, HD-DVD now seems like a more viable movie option then it once was. Only a few months ago, there were only 250 HD-DVD movies. That number will quadruple by the end of the year. Also at the convention was Toshiba, which now has a basic HD-DVD player for only a couple hundred dollars. Last year, HD-DVD players were priced between $500-700, but the price has now dropped to between $300-500. Blu-ray players have not dropped in price since they were introduced last year. Now, the equivalent of a cheap Blu-ray player is an expensive HD-DVD player. This price drop is going to be critical in the outcome of who wins the format war.

The next noteworthy booth was for the Gateway One computer. This machine premiered at Digital Life and should be available for purchase in late November. Gateway isn’t known for nice looking machines and PCs aren’t known for their elegant design either, but the Gateway One is one great looking PC. The design of the One is similar to that of an iMac; the PC, monitor and speakers are all in the same case. The design is sleek, with a glossy black color and wireless mouse and keyboard. Expandability is something that Gateway kept in mind with the One. Like any PC, you can open it up and upgrade the components inside. The price looks good too; for only $1,300, you get the basic model, which is really powerful and looks phenomenal.

The gaming aspect of Digital Life was not as pronounced as it was in past years, although they did have several gaming competitions and playable games for the PC, Wii, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 systems. Because there were no major upcoming console releases, there was nothing to build up, so most of the games that were on display had already been released.

The only game that they had that has yet to be released was “Guitar Hero 3”. If you’ve played the other “Guitar Hero” games, then this is more of the same. You have a guitar-shaped controller and you match notes that appear on screen. The third version adds more songs and better graphics, but aside from that, nothing major has changed.

“Kart Rider” is another game that was featured at the event, but don’t feel bad if you never heard of it. “Kart Rider” is from Korea and has just been brought over to North America. The basic game is free, just go online and download yourself a copy. The catch is that you need to pay for all your extra features to customize your racer. The game-play is similar to “Mario Kart” but with different characters and environments. There is no single player mode but playing online for free against your buddies is always cool. It can be downloaded at

Overall, this year’s Digital Life was smaller when compared to other years. Large sections that were filled with exhibitors last year, were closed off and empty. There were some great products there, but not much variety, especially compared to something like the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Nonetheless, from the free handouts to the professional exhibits, there was something for everyone at Digital Life.