The Gadget Show Live bills itself as the UK’s largest consumer electronics event and they’re not kidding. While not on the same scale as CES, it still takes over halls 7 through 12 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. It’s also miles to walk from the train station just to get to the entrance…
The day started off well….I met Jason Bradbury, one of the show’s presenters in Starbucks and blagged some free mobile broadband from him (thanks!). We had quick chat about the state of mobile broadband and he thought that Three’s MiFi was the one to get.
Inside the show, there was just gadgetry and gaming everywhere. Check out the Xbox zone with row upon row of Xboxes.
Certainly 3D TVs were popular but I’d say that audio, and wireless streaming in particular, was definitely the flavour of the month. All the big hitters – Bowers and Wilkins, Sonos, Denon, Phillips, Sony were showing off audio solutions in one shape or form. And the single most common product were the portable vibration speakers – I must have seen about ten different variants.
Personally, the best “product” was a test drive in Volkswagen’s new city car, the up!. In this particular test drive, I had drive into a wall. No, really…only the car detects the wall and automatically applies the brakes. It’s a low speed system that works up to about 15 mph and is really intended to prevent those minor fender-benders in slow moving queues.
Quite a few car audio specialists at the show too, including Kenwood and this tricked out VW Scirocco. The matt silver paint was eye-catching.
On a smaller scale, Jumbo were showing off the modern versions of classic children’s games that are now available for the iPad along with complementary game accessories. I’ll be reviewing the games later on.
That’s about it as a summary of the day – it was a lot of fun but tiring walking around. I have about 20 interviews from a range of companies that I need to get on-line as well, so expect those to trickle out over the next week or so.