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Take a break from shopping to explore technology at this Bellevue pop-up

The tall, sound-sensitive flowers are one of the interactive exhibits at a pop-up exhibit at the Bellevue Xfinity store.

Kate Hagan


Curator Aaron Alcorn wants to “grow your curiosity” with a new living computer pop-up exhibit this holiday season at the Xfinity store in Bellevue.

It's outside Bellevue Square in the Fountain Court, so it could be a nice change of pace from holiday shopping or a breather (or warmup spot) on the way to see Snowflake Lane or Santa.

Produced by the folks who run the Living Computers Museum + Labs in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood, this is an exhibit full of whimsical fun. [Related: Kid-friendly winter activities at Living Computers.]

The first thing you’ll notice about these interactive exhibits is whimsical fun. The Garden of Light Flowers adds some sparkle and shine to the winter gloom. The more noise you make, the brighter the exhibit gets -- the flowers react to sound, both ambient and directed. Your child can clap, stomp, whisper, or sing to evoke different light patterns in these 6- to 8-foot-tall flowers. The technology alone is worth a conversation with your child. Try this icebreaker: “So, what’s the color of a giggle?”

The store floor plan is spacious enough for a stroller and allows shoppers to spread out. Walk around the corner and take a break on the magenta-colored cushion of the Twitter Bench. The youngest in the family will be entertained that their bum can generate an actual tweet. You’ll hear a chirping noise as you sit and watch a Twitter account update shortly on a large screen monitor to the side. A lightup graphic shows how the information travels the backchannels of the internet. Older children will love to follow the journey of the data itself. A deceptively simple concept, this path of information is a window to the world of IoT, also called the Internet of Things.

In addition to this popup exhibit, you can follow up with a further lesson on smart and responsive technology at the Internet of Things Workshop (IoTW) powered by Xfinity. A featured exhibit on the mezzanine level of the Living Computers: Museum + Labs in Seattle's Pioneer Square.

The curatorial direction for IoTW is rooted in playful exploration. Group together to explore interpretive content at a master control table linked to connected devices around the room. Ring video doorbells, open smart locks and trigger motion sensors to take charge of this space as you enter through a co-branded smart door.

Find the popup exhibit at the Xfinity Retail Store at 408 Bellevue Square; the store has extended holiday hours.


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