A very happy Easter to you all! What with Award applications and some of our largest projects to date, March has been an exceptionally busy month for us. And after a relaxing Easter break (what a difference those 2 extra days make?) we couldn’t think of any better way to kick April off than to join the 80,000 people flocking up to Birmingham to browse pioneer products, months before they hit they high street.
Yep, the Gadget Show Live has been re-welcomed into the NEC this week and is proving as successful as ever, with consumers eager to see the latest product development in gadget technology before they officially hit the market later in the year. With leading brands in Consumer technology showcasing latest products in the Technology Hall along with some old fave’s and exciting, bordering-on-futuristic product innovation, it was sure to be right up our street. Nor were we disappointed.
Down in the International Future Tech Zone the possibilities were endless as you walked past representatives from leading British Universities, showcasing a variety of prosaic, out-of-the-box and why-has-no-one-done-this-before prototypes. Favourites included; Solar powered cars, a 360® camera, a 58cm humanoid robot, the ‘Jetovator’ water-propelled stunt bike (we never promised practicality), a 3D printing company…
A particular favourite was a surprisingly simple communication device from a London-based fledgling company. Simple but effective, the Good Night lamp is a family of interconnected lamps which promises to ‘communicate the act of coming back home to your loved ones’ even when thousands of miles apart. The idea being that when you light up your own mini-home, the master home will also light up, allowing parents or partners to know you’ve gotten home safe and sound. Whilst it’s essentially the same as logging onto to Facebook or a similar social networking, I imagine the ease of use and peace of mind given through this simple concept will have big market appeal – particularly for parents with first-year Uni students or children who insist on backpacking across the Middle East.
Further along, products like the Lenovo Horizon, the 27” multimode table PC and LG’s world’s first 84” Ultra HD TV set the standard following their debut at CES Las Vegas earlier this year, and big dogs Microsoft, Samsung and Panasonic drew quite a crowd with some interactive challenges (can you send a text faster than a Microsoft guru?). Just a few rows along Pioneer launched their brand new compact speaker docks (X-SMC00) and the world’s first DJ controller with the help of numerous House DJs and enthusiastic volunteers, whilst our old fave’s B&W and SONOs, showcased their respective SONOS Playbar and Nautilus speakers. Lots of health and fitness gurus were also dotted round, eager and willing to help us all get ready for another fabled British Summer. Never underestimate the amusement gained from watching two immaculately suited women doing knee eyes on ‘Kangaroo shoes’.
The Home Innovation Village drew many a smile with their quirky household gadgets (the ‘iLad’ part step ladder/part ironing board and Cheese Mill Grinder being personal favourites) co-inhabiting with the world famous Toy Fair. Game Buffs streamed around the Metal Gear Solid 5, BioShock Infinite, Battlefield 5 and Turtle Beach demonstrations, struggling to make themselves heard over the huge Top Gear Simulator and dodging various remote controlled flying obstacles.
One of the main attractions and winner of ‘Best Toy’ award was HolograFX; a 3D hologram system that doesn’t require any special glasses and allows consumers to transform a regular smart phone image into a moving talking 3D representation of themselves. Complete with a special staging area and accessories, HolograFX technology promises to revolutionise the way we buy and sell products, adding a whole new dimension to board rooms and advertising platforms.
The Village was also the home of the Showcase theatre where our very own Rob McAllister presented his half hour presentation on behalf of CEDIA (Custom Electronics Dealers Installation Association), chatting about the top ten trends in today’s technology platforms. The presentation will be ongoing throughout the week, so pop along to hear more about it!