Tech Expo brings new technology to WSU

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(Photo by Tyler Brown) Waldo the Wildcat poses at the Tech Expo while modeling Sol Republic purple headphones and Wildcat gear.

Weber State University’s 2013 Wildcat Tech Expo offered students the opportunity to test out some of the newest innovative gizmos and gadgets on the market, not to mention in the WSU campus bookstore.

Students interested in digital/social media were given the opportunity to speak with and learn from YouTube celebrity Devin Graham, who was the event’s keynote speaker. Within the past two years, Graham, also known to his fans as Devin Supertramp, has become a YouTube sensation. He gave an energetic speech on how important social media is in today’s digital era.

Graham has been interested in filmmaking “since he was a baby,” and that drive and ambition is the main reason he has been able to become so successful.

“I want you all to leave wanting to take on the world and do things that you’re passionate about,” Graham said.

The main point he continued to push was how everyone needs to realize how important the use of technology and social media is to promote and market oneself.

“This applies to every career, not just filmmaking — use Facebook, use Twitter, use YouTube and use Instagram to kinda launch your career.”

When Graham first decided to take his chances and fully jump into the industry, he still didn’t realize the impact social media had and how important it is to understand how to use it for an intended audience. It wasn’t until he started making videos and putting them on YouTube that he fully understood.

“When you create something, you can’t just create it for yourself; you have to create it for the masses,” Graham said.

He began making videos and putting them on YouTube, and that’s when his whole world changed.

“I was doing something that I was super, super passionate about. I put my videos on YouTube and I started doing it weekly, and the big thing I started seeing was people started sharing, and I started getting thousands and thousands and thousands of views.”

Graham’s main focus now is to create a huge network of followers who support the kind of movies he wants to produce.   He said the next thing he wants to do is a Kickstarter project that his fans will essentially fund so he can make a feature film production, but release it on YouTube with a web series.

After his speech, Graham went on to do a “tips and tricks” workshop with students, but not before giving some insight on steps to become successful:

1. Consistent content means a consistent audience. Graham recommends producing weekly content. The more content a person puts out, the faster his or her popularity will grow.

2. Create content the masses will want to watch. Make sure to step out of the box.

3. If the creators love their own content, people will see that and it will be believable.

In the Shepherd Union Atrium, the Tech Expo offered an array of booths displaying the newest innovations on the market.

BodyGuardz specializes in the ultimate device protection. Ben Kenwood, BodyGuardz account manager, said it provides a variety of products offered at the bookstore. His feature product was a pure glass screen guard for mobile devices that has the look and feel of a screen and offers true drop protection for smartphones or tablets.

Adonit, a company born from industry leaders, has developed the JOT, a fine-point stylus that allows users to write, draw and sketch with pen-like precision. WSU English major Cassie Adams said the coolest thing she saw at the expo was the Adonit tablet pens.

“I just like to draw, and sometimes I prefer to draw on my computer, and the tablet pen would really help with that,” Adams said.

Goal Zero has been working hard at perfecting portable solar power, with a multitude of devices able to supply consistent power to cell phones and laptops, all the way up to a full-size bus. The company is also working hard to make a difference, joining forces with Tifie Humanitarian, a charitable effort in West Africa and humanitarian support in the United States.

The most popular item at the expo had to be the up-close aerial video.

“My favorite booth I’ve seen so far (was) the octocopter,” said student body president David Wilson. “It is so cool. It’s just this helicopter thing, and I was just amazed at how smooth the shots were.”

Students who want to get their hands on some of the new technology found at the expo can find it at the campus bookstore.

“The Tech Expo is awesome, I love it,” Wilson said. “It’s just a cool chance, especially with Devin Supertramp coming, for our students to be exposed to what’s new and what technology has to offer. It’s also a great opportunity to bring in local businesses too.”