LOS ANGELES — High-tech companies are reaching out to consumers with temporary outlets called "holiday pop up stores." Intel, Google and Wired magazine are showcasing technology and giving buyers ideas for holiday gifts.
At Google's Winter Wonderlab in this suburban Los Angeles mall, visitors check the latest high tech gadgets, including Nexus tablets and Chromebook laptops, which they can buy online or in a retail store
They toss make-believe snowballs, recorded at high speed and played back in slow motion.
It's an effort in a few cities to promote the Google brand and get people excited about the newest tech devices.
At the Intel Experience Store in this beachside community outside L.A., consumers can watch a football game on a big-screen television, play the latest computer games or check out laptops powered by Intel.
One of the first to visit was Reba Meshulam.
“I've never been to a pop up store before. It was really interesting to see it sort of come up out of nowhere," said Meshulam.
Intel's Sean Ludick says this consumer outreach, with temporary "stores" in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, is an experiment and consumers can buy the products they want at a retail kiosk.
“The primary reason for the opening is to really showcase our technology. You know, this is a buying season for people. They want to buy gifts," he said. "So we want people to come into our store, have an untethered experience, an unpressured environment where they can really come and interact with our products and services."
Electronic devices and toys, small and large, fill the Wired Store in New York, a holiday pop up from the people at Wired Magazine that's more a showroom than a store.
Visitors can be bathed in blue light in the so-called photon shower. Lexa Gottlieb liked it.
“It was really relaxing and meditative, and I felt rejuvenated after," said Gottlieb.
Store manager Noah Norman says music speakers integrated in shower heads and personal fitness items are drawing attention. He says many of these devices have a short shelf life.
“The fact that, five years from now, they will seem old is part of the beauty of a lot of these products," he said.
But in the holiday season, these gadgets and devices are the latest thing, and these high tech companies hope they will generate sales.