Members of the NYC tech community gathered for Techweek to listen and learn from some of the titans of tech and fashion.
Four intensive summits, many of which were coordinated by color, venture, and topics were all conducted on two different stages in a massive loft throughout the entire day, with designated areas where emerging startups showcased their latest and greatest.
Among the keynote speakers was Stefan Weitz, Senior Director Of Search at Bing, there to discuss what makes Microsoft stand apart from its competitor. Weitz began asking the audience a question:
“How does the world inform you?”
Taking out his phone, Weitz produced a mock trip to Spain on an app. He asked the phone what places near his hotel offered the best dinners. The one caveat: the suggestions were in Spanish. No big deal. He then shook his device and it translated to English, informing him of the distance with a high gloss Arial map of the neighborhood, as wekk as recommended attire. This is just one of the many offerings from a Microsoft smartphone.
Created in 2009 as an optimal web search engine, Bing has quickly risen to the 2nd most used site for collecting data. Weitz informed the group that there are 28 billion entities, (not including searches), over 6 billion facts, and over 1.5 billion tweets associated with Bing daily, creating a virtual world – in great detail.
Another keynote speaker was Jonathan Czaja, Chief Operating Officer,of Bonobos, a premium online retailer that specializes in high-end tailored clothing, offering custom fits for any man’s body and size, and delivering classic style. Through making a personalized appointment, a professional staff member designs each article of clothing according to the consumer’s needs; pants, shirts, and suits are all available.
“Technology has been a critical component of what we do,” said Czaja. “Our passion is to facilitate a mission and to provide a personalization of core values for the consumer.”
Bonobos, which launched in 2007, was “born out of necessity,” when the company’s founders were frustrated when struggling to locate clothing that looked good and fit well.
Marketing and customer care were core to both presenters. Ah,the importance of small details.
The pinnacle of NY Tech Week had to have been the runway show with models strutting their stuff on the catwalk to underscore the convergence of tech and fashion. It was literally a display of the hottest apparel from innovative fashion houses offering online retail services and for emerging startups to parade their offerings and expose them to a wider audience.
This gathering of creative luminaries and luminaries-in-the-making illustrated the crucial relationship between fashion and technology: the mass production of clothing material (streamlined machinery as a prime example, not to mention the 3D printing of fabrics), brand exposure through social media, the utilization of mobile interfaces as a main tool when tracking the purchase history and culture and preferences of the consumer.
One of the other highlights of the show was the new technology that was also showcased and judged in the Launch Competition, where New York startups vied for the Grand Prize, which went to…Seamless Docs, a platform that is the next generation in boilerplate forms and esignatures.
The convergence of technology, social, style and substance was heady and the energy infectious. Techweek New York served its purpose: to drive awareness and perhaps a new appreciation for how the medium is allowing geniuses and emerging talent to flourish.