Future Gazing at the Gadget Show Live

OK a bit off topic but I had so much fun I wanted to share… 😉

Last weekend I dragged my husband over to Birmingham NEC for the Gadget Show Live. Despite his initial protests we had a great day, and it wasn’t just because the kids were at their grandparents!

Although quite a lot of the show centred round fast cars, music making hardware and gaming (all good fun but not really my bag) there were was something for everyone. We really enjoyed the gadget show hall of fame and offerings from the Centre for computing history. Lots of really old stuff, a few pieces from our youth (speak & spell, spectrum 48k, Yamaha keyboards) and a couple of the gadgets on show we still have at home (various nokia phones, hifi equipment). The robochallenge was great and there were quite a few stands demonstrating future transport, some of the electric bikes were pretty good. Although I’d been told that 3D TV is where it’s at personally I can’t see what all the fuss is about. As my husband said “if you don’t have to wear glasses why would you ever choose to wear them” (he wears glasses, I don’t).

I went to a very interesting session in the Future Home Theatre on Cloud content: using the Internet to get your music, films and TV. The speaker, from CEDIA, pointed out some new trends in the way we get our hands on content. Some interesting sites to watch out for include Rhapsody (a music download site), Zattoo (an online TV site), a boxee (a home theatre programme) and Dropbox (a file hosting and synching service – I really will have to download it and give it a try out). The new Disney Key chest model was also mentioned. This is a technology that allows users to ‘own’ any version of a film they choose.

“With this technology the word ownership gets an entirely new meaning as it stands for right to access rather than possess. The consumers need to make one-time payment to access a movie or TV show from the internet which can be played on iPhones or cable services that have on demand movie viewing and it would also support online movie subscriptions.”

I was really good and only made one purchase all day. A few weeks back (in an effort to combat my midlife crisis!) I enthusiastically booked a ticket to a music festival. A few of my friends are going and it seemed a great way to get away for the weekend. It took a few weeks but finally it dawned on me that it’s my son’s third birthday slap bang in the middle of the festival dates! Although I’m sure my little boy won’t be able to remember me being absent on his big day I feel incrediably guilty. I have been really keen to ensure my phone is well charged during the festival so I’ll be able to chat to him. At the show Freeloader, the makers of the Pico solar phone charger, were selling wholesale priced chargers. Definitely an important piece of kit for the seriously remote remote worker!

At the end of the day we had the chance to enjoy the Super Theatre Show presenterd by the actual show presenters (Suzi Perry, Jason Bradbury, Jon Bentley and Ortis Deley). Some wacky races, a few mad experiments, a giant robot and lots of incidents of members of the public competing for kit. Probably the two highlights of the show were the incredible jugglers Feeding the Fish who juggle highly visual illuminated LED batons and the Festo’s bionic flying penguins.

There are lots of videos showing the event hightlights available on the Gadget Show Live Web site.


6 thoughts on “Future Gazing at the Gadget Show Live

  1. Sounds like you had a great time – I’m sorry I missed it now (especially with the Dalek 🙂 )!

    Can I put in a big recommendation for Dropbox? At a simple level, I find it very useful for giving me access to the same files on my netbook and our home Mac, and ensuring these files are backed up to the online storage space and each machine linked to it. The neat trick is that Dropbox places actual copies of files on each machine (i.e. they’re not just “aliases” to files on a remote server), so you can work offline and file changes are synced between machines when you can get to a network connection.

    There are a lot of useful “hacks” you can try with Dropbox (these tips and tricks for starters), and I’m certainly very grateful for the service. I don’t work for them or anything like that (;)), but I imagine someone who travels with a laptop a lot would find Dropbox very handy.

  2. Aaaah – I see the Bloodhound SSC in there. For those who don’t know this is a car powered by jet engine and rocket. It is designed to reach approximately 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 km/h).

    Not really environmentally friendly and doesn’t really help remote workers but it gets us lads excited!!

    I also use Dropbox and would recommend. I think Rhapsody is for the US market?


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