Philly Tech Week is officially upon us, which means we’re in store for a week’s worth of forward-thinking, innovation-driven events that give us a peek into what the world may look like 10 to 20 years from now.
As LGBT folks, when we look ahead we probably envision things like equal rights, a growing number of LGBT-parented families and maybe even a Cher farewell concert or two—but can you fathom sidling up to a bar next to a lesbian robot?
As you’ll learn from a couple Philly Tech Week events this weekend, the notion may not be as far off as we think. Tomorrow evening, Bruce Duncan of the Terasem Movement Foundation (TMF) will be in town to introduce folks to Bina48, a shockingly lifelike humanoid robot that was built to mimic human personality traits—including independent thought and emotion.
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Philly Tech Week is upon us! It certainly has come a long way in five years. Just look how dated this website from the first one looks! It would still be functional now, but it’s nowhere near as nice as the fancy, sponsored-by-Comcast look of this year. Plus, Christopher Wink and Brian James Kirk got their own profile here in Philadelphia magazine this year.
Right: Philly Tech Week is bigger than ever. That means there are even more cool events to go to this year than in previous years. Here are nine event picks for Philly Tech Week, one for each day. Read more »
Getting 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to pitch an idea to a venture capitalist has quite a bit of value. So does a free Uber ride. Put them together and you have UberPITCH.
If you request an Uber on Friday between noon and 4 p.m., your car might show up carrying the likes of Josh Kopelman (First Round Capital founder) or Philip Moyer (Safeguard Scientifics senior vice president). Read more »
Samples from NRI 3DLab.
Forget voodoo dolls: How about creating a life-like miniature action figure of yourself and freaking everyone out with your little mini-me? There’s a place in Philly that’s making that (strange) dream come true.
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This month’s Philly Tech Week is one way Wink, left, and Kirk, right, generate revenue. Photograph by Gene Smirnov
It’s a frigid February day, and Union Transfer — as usual — is throbbing with young people. Only it’s not rock bands and sweaty, dancing concertgoers filling out the venue this afternoon, but bright-eyed, tech-oriented millennials and the companies that want to hire them. The event? A good old-fashioned job fair. Read more »
Philly Tech Week’s Signature Event was held at the Comcast Center on Friday, April 11th. It was part cocktail party, part local tech expo, and part demo party. It was a great event to network and served as a great capper for another successful year of Philly Tech Week. Food was provided by DiBruno Brothers and Shake Shack. Local beer (and open bar) was provided by Yards.
Philly Tech Week 2014 Signature Event »
After a jam-packed weekend, Philly Tech Week blows past Manic Monday with a host of activities taking place in venues across Philly through April 12th. Some of the week's highlights? On Monday Tech Mix It Up: A Diversity Networking Affair welcomes people from minority backgrounds, including ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and people with disabilities, to gather to discuss ways to "crack the bro-grammer code." On Tuesday, Hive 76 is pulling vintage video games out of its closet for an evening of friendly throwback competition. On Wednesday play Tech Quizzo at Grey Lodge Pub, and Thursday sees the Rad Girls Philly launch party at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. But I'm just scratching the surface. Go here to see the week's full itinerary. Through April 12th, various times, locations and prices, phillytechweek.com.
Philly storytelling queen Hillary Rea is gathering some of her funniest friends for a night of deceptive raconteuring. Here's how it works: After a series of "personal, awkward, outrageous, gripping, and twisted tales" from each performer, Rea and the audience will do some interrogating to uncover the fibber. Performers include Chip Chantry, T.J. Hurley, Rose Luardo and R. Eric Thomas (pictured). Tuesday, April 8th, 6 p.m., free, Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk.
Rare-video scavengers Video Pirates kick off the 2014 Cinedelphia Film Festival with Video Wars, an indie film shot in Philly and Mount Airy in 1980. It's the first feature film for Mario Giampaolo, and features a handful of hotties from that year’s Miss Hemisphere pageant. The festival continues through April 26th with an itinerary full of other hard-to-find gems. See the full schedule here.
Philadelphia favorite Kevin Allison, star of MTV’s The State and Reno 911: Miami, returns to the city of Brotherly Love for one night only to present a live taping of his popular podcast,RISK!, an award-winning storytelling platform that challenges performers to share daunting and revealing memories and experiences they never thought they’d share in public. The evening, presented by First Person Arts, is the fourth time RISK! has been presented in Philadelphia; this time, the storytelling showdown will take place at Underground Arts, and will feature local storytellers Thomas Dixon, Kitty Hailey, Teresa Marquard, and G Philly's own Alexander Kacala. Friday, April 11th, 8 p.m., $20, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street. —Bryan Buttler.
Looking for something else? Visit our Philadelphia Event Listings page for a good rundown of local goings-on through June.
The first thing I saw after arriving at the end of the Ben Franklin Parkway was a man in a Tetris costume being interviewed by a camera crew. The second thing I saw were a bunch of teenagers singing the Game Boy Tetris theme a capella. I didn’t know this was going to be such a big deal, but it was Tetris. On a skyscraper.
Yes, people played Tetris on the side of the Cira Centre as the kickoff to Philly Tech Week, and it was pretty darn cool.
I went to see Pong played on the Cira Centre last year, and it had nowhere near the crowd this year’s did. Last year I remember freezing with a few other people, hoping the rain would hold off, watching a few rounds of uninspiring Pong play. But Tetris! What a great game. I can’t see any type of tiling without mentally positioning them into Tetris-shaped blocks; you just don’t do this with Pong. And so there were hundreds and hundreds of people eating from food trucks at The Oval and watching people play Tetris — as well as other games, including a giant, light-up version of Connect 4.
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To kick off this year’s Philly Tech Week, Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust have partnered to bring another mega-size video game, Tetris, to the exterior of the iconic Cira Centre next to Amtrak’s 30th Street Station. It’s too late to enter the lottery for a chance to actually play, but everyone will be able to watch as the game takes over both sides of the angular tower tomorrow evening.
During Tech Week last year, lucky players stationed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art got to play Pong on the north side of the building. That game got into the Guiness Book of World Records for “Largest Architectural Video Game Display”: it utilized 460 already installed LEDs over 59,800 square feet of the tower’s north side. This year’s game is set to top that: players will use both the north and south sides of the building to play simultaneously—against each other or cooperatively—with one set of players stationed at Eakins Oval outside the Art Museum, and the other at Drexel.
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Tracey Welson-Rossman of TechGirlz
“That Tech Girl Talk session? Seems pretty hot,” wrote Gene Marks in his article “The 56 Things You’ll Likely Overhear at Philly Tech Week” on this website. While the author was clearly attempting to satirize the event, this part missed the mark.
With that one line he brought to light what is wrong with so many technology events and conferences around the world. First, the statement is clearly from a man’s point-of-view, as if they are the only people attending Tech Week events. Worse, it marginalizes the involvement of women, not only with Philly Tech Week but also within the technology community, by reducing it to a visual spectacle.
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