fashionOn Thursday, August 25th, Toronto’s premier entertainment and fashion hub, Yonge-Dundas Square, will be transformed into a spectacular showcase of the latest and greatest in virtual reality headsets, wearable tech, tech toys, and more. For the second year in a row, Best Buy’s Life and Tech Expo will give you the opportunity to connect with the top brands in tech for exciting demonstrations and hands-on with today’s hottest gadgets. Best of all, it’s free to attend!

Last year’s Life and Tech Expo drew thousands of people to Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square to discover the trendiest wearable tech from nearly 30 industry-leading exhibitors. This incredible public showcase demonstrated how sleek, stylish, and innovative wearable tech has become—and proved the tech has rapidly evolved from niche gadgets to today’s most sought after tech. At this year’s expo, you’ll have the chance to see demos of dozens of the most in-demand tech products, and talk directly to the experts themselves as they explain how these wearable gadgets can enhance your everyday life.

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be attending this year’s Life and Tech Expo, along with my fellow Best Buy Plug-In Blog writer Leila Pejman, who did an excellent job covering last year’s big event. I’m super stoked to have the opportunity to share my personal insights at the event, which will take the form of hands-on impressions of various tech products, photos, and lots of social sharing on my Twitter and Instagram accounts.

So what can you expect at the Life and Tech Expo? Here are all the pertinent details you need to know:

What:    Best Buy’s Life & Tech Wearable Tech Expo and Fashion Show

Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas St. E, Toronto, ON.

When:  Thursday, August 25th, 2016.

Exhibits & On-stage Entertainment: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Fashion Show: 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Who:    Hosted by tech expert Tom Emrich and style maven Afiya Francisco.

There are so many tech products I can’t wait to try out and share my experiences with them here on the blog. As a huge gamer, I’ll be making a bee line to the Virtual Reality Lounge to test out the latest VR wear from Noon, Homido, Merge, and Samsung. I also plan on taking a trip to the Tech Toy Zone to check out the latest robotic toys and educational games from makers like Sphero, Osmo, WowWee, and Meccano. The fun doesn’t stop there though, as I’ll be swinging by the Audio Area to see the newest products from Ultimate Ears, Skullcandy, Monster, Jabra, and House of Marley. Last, but certainly not least, I am thrilled to go take a peek at the latest fitness trackers, including the Samsung Gear Fit2 Smartwatch and the latest devices from Fitbit and Garmin. As a diehard Pokémon Go player, I’ve been averaging about 6km/day of walking/speed walking since the app released a month ago, so it’s high time I started exploring tech to start tracking my fitness progress!

Here’s a closer look at some of the incredible tech devices I plan on checking out at the events—and you can also see for yourself at the show:

Samsung_Gear_VRVirtual Reality Lounge

2016 is undoubtedly the Year of Virtual Reality. There are so many awesome VR headsets that have hit the market over the last nine months and four of them will be at the Life and Tech Show: NOON VR Headset, Homido VR Headset, Merge VR Goggles, and Samsung Gear VR. I can’t wait to get up close and personal with these high-tech headsets and learn about all the many features they offer, perhaps even get a demo. At E3 2016, I saw the future of VR, and it’s amazing how advanced this technology has become. Gaming is just one application of VR, there’s also VR movies experiences, the ability to travel to exotic locations with 360-degree immersion, or simply hanging out with your friends in astonishing virtual worlds. We’ve literally just scratched the surface of what’s possible with VR, so it’ll be exciting to step into the future and see first-hand the kinds of experiences we can expect from these headset devices.

Sphero_BB8Tech Toy Zone

I fully admit it, I’m a kid at heart. One of the most anticipated spots I plan on visiting at the show is the Tech Toy Zone that will be filled the coolest toy tech available today. Four toys high on my list to see are the Sphero BB-8 App-Enabled Droid, WowWee CHiP Robotic Dog, Meccano Meccanoid G15 Personal Robot, and the educational Osmo Genius iPad Learning Game Kit. When I was a child, the closest thing I had to “high-tech” was an Etch-A-Sketch, but these days kids have a full-range of futuristic toys with features like controllable apps, voice-recognition, authentic movements, and even toy tech that bridges the gap between the real world and virtual worlds. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and BB-8 is such a cute droid, so it’ll be so fun to check out the app-enabled droid that can roll around your surroundings and show a range of emotions. On the same token, the WowWee Robotic Dog and Meccano Meccanoid look like they can really open the creative minds’ of children with their extremely lifelike motions and ability to recognize voice commands. As a gamer, I’m also thrilled to get a chance to see the Osmo Genius Kit, an innovative educational gaming system that lets children play in the real world, while simultaneously interacting with digital realms in fun ways.

skullcandy_Hesh2Audio Area

Having amazing audio is key to any great entertainment experience, be it your favourite music tunes, video games, movies, sports, or digital TV streaming. Many of today’s leading audio companies will be at the Life and Tech Show to show off their latest tech, like the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM Wireless Speaker, House of Marley Chant Mini Wireless Speaker, Jabra Pulse In-Ear Headset, and the Skullcandy Hesh 2 Over-Ear Headphones. Many of the exhibitors will have a full range of audio products to demo, from entry-level all the way up to the most advanced models they offer. I’m a huge sound buff—it sort of comes with the territory being hardcore gamer—so having high-range, crystal clear audio with all the latest perks is an absolute must. I’m really looking forward to trying out the above audio products, and more!

Samsung_Gear_Fit2Fitness Tech & Smart Watches

Fitness bands and smart watches will have large presence at the show, and four products I’m itching to see are the Samsung Gear Fit2, Fitbit Blaze, Garmin fenix 3, and TomTom Spark Music. These top brands in wearable tech will have many more models in their line-up to see, so expect to find a great variety of styles with a range of features you’re sure to love. It’s incredible how gorgeous wearable devices are these days, but inside is where the real magic happens. You’ll find various features, depending on the make and model, like a GPS to accurately measure your runs, a heart rate monitor, elevation tracking, sleep monitor, and enough storage to hold 100s of songs.

If all these amazing tech products has whet your appetite, come on down to the Life and Tech Expo to see these products, get live demos, and ask all the questions you want. Stay tuned right here on the Plug-In Blog for more exciting news and coverage of the event!

Paul Hunter
Editor Video Gaming
I work out of Toronto, Ontario as the Editor of Gaming here on the Plug-in Blog and as Editor-in-Chief of NextGen Player. I am thankful for having a loving and patient wife who doesn’t mind my 40 hour a week obsession with gaming. See my latest gaming adventures on my Twitter channel.