Despite the 97-degree temperature, people flocked to Gizmodo to witness The Sensory Effect, a special NY Tech Meetup in partnership with Gawker Media, and presented by Windows Internet Explorer. Sensory overload was the goal, and that was soundly achieved, helped along by cocktails that looked like lab experiments, pizza hanging from brass hooks, and the mind-bending words of futurist and author Ray Kurzweil, The Sensory Effect's keynote speaker.

Kicking off the evening's events was Danfung Dennis, war photographer, filmmaker, and tech entrepreneur. Danfung discussed a video player created by his company Condition One that allows users to physically control the camera's perspective. He predicted it will be the next frontier in news reporting, as well as assist virtual reality developers.

After contemplating physical video manipulation, the crowd of entrepreneurs, media minds, and tech enthusiasts were treated to an amazing lecture by Ray Kurzweil. After first noting the unique experience of the evening's NY Tech Meetup — he joked that he'd never presented outside before — Kurzweil dove right into a presentation of his Law of Accelerating Returns.

"Kurzweil's Law," as it is sometimes known, is used to argue for the concept of what he calls "The Singularity" — the technological creation of smarter-than-human intelligence. It's a concept that Kurzweil used to passionately argue for the use of everything from genome sequencing to genetic modification to solve for human health problems.

Following his presentation, the core of which can be found on his website here, and an engaging Q&A session, Ray broke to sign books (his upcoming book How to Create a Mind, The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, comes out in October). Guests went back for more liquid nitrogen-cooked cocktails provided by Booker and Dax and filled up on food from the edible installations created by Pinch Food Design.

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The whole thing was live-streamed to thousands here on Gizmodo, and it's hard to imagine a more thought-, feeling-, and sense-provoking event.


Guests eager to hear Danfung Dennis and Ray Kurzweil speak begin to arrive on the Gizmodo rooftop.
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]


A Booker and Dax (David Arnold's bar with Momofuku Ssam) mixologist cooks up some seriously chic drinks.
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]


Guests gawk at fancy morsels from Pinch Food Design, a caterer that makes "food furniture" using state-of-the-art kitchen gear.
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]


Danfung Dennis gets things started, introducing the trailer for his documentary, Hell and Back Again.
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]


The crowd of nearly 200 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, writers, and science and futurism fans, is captivated.
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]


Co-Organizer of NY Tech Meetup, Jessica Lawrence, introducing Ray Kurzweil at The Sensory Effect.
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]


Featured guest Ray Kurzweil delivers his keynote presentation at The Sensory Effect on June 20, 2012.
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]


With downtown NYC as a hazy backdrop, guests sample treats and sip cocktails while discussing singularity.
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]


Ray Kurzweil signs books at The Sensory Effect. His next book, How to Create a Mind, The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, is due out this fall.
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]


NY Tech Meetup's Jessica Lawrence and David Arnold, founder of Booker and Dax (left) enjoy the evening's festivities.
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]


Sated partygoers becoming instant friends on the Gizmodo roof — Sensory Effect mission accomplished!
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]


All in all, it was an inspiring night!
[Photo by Keith Bedford.]