At Gadget Show Live, I was lucky enough to chat with two of the show’s presenters, Ortis Deley and Jon Bentley. In this interview, I ask Jon what he thinks have been the big changes in gadgets over the years.
For me, the Azoi Kito and HP Sprout were the stand out attractions from Gadget Show Live. The Kito is a health tracker disguised as a smartphone sleeve that measures five health stats; heart rate, ECG, temperature, blood oxygen and respiration rate. The Kito can also measure blood pressure but that’s not yet approved.
Previously known as Wello, the Kito is insanely easy to use. Simply hold Kito in both hands (like a Nintendo DS) for a few seconds to take a reading and then the measurements will be transmitted via Bluetooth 4 LE to nearby smartphone. Both Android and iOS is supported, and Kito is available as a case for the iPhone 5/5s and as a standalone unit for use with all other supported phones.
Expected to come to the UK market at around £150, I think this is a no brainer for anyone who has a chronic condition or for a family who want to track their health on a regular basis and it’s so easy to use. To learn more, listen to my interview with Hammish Patel, Azoi CEO.
The Moto X and new G4 smartphones have shown that there’s a market for personalisation using natural materials; a synthesis of the traditional with technology. Where glass, metal and plastic pervade, there’s an opportunity for the natural in wood and leather. Into this space step Toast, specialising in natural material covers for smartphones, tablets and small laptops. Built on the back of a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Portland-based firm provides after-market products that look custom-crafted.
Using hardwood from North America, bamboo from Asia and leather from America cattle, Toast’s covers are crafted to perfectly match the device’s openings and cut-outs. With wooden backs, designs and decorations can be cut into the surface using a laser. There’s a selection of designs available to order but Toast is happy to take custom orders as well.
Prices very depending on phone model and material, but expect to pay from $24-$34 for a wooden back and around $45 for a leather one. For more information, listen to my interview with Danielle and Matias from Toast at Gadget Show Live.
The Cel Robox is a “desktop micro manufacturing platform” – that’s a small 3D printer to you and me – and while I’m still a little dubious about a 3D printer in every home, this was one of the first that I’d seen (in real life) that might fit the bill. It’s also quite hypnotic to watch…
Measuring only 37 x 34 x 24 cm, the Robox is designed to be easy to use with features like auto-loading and unloading of material, dual material printing and print head quick change, with a wide range of material colours and compatibility with Windows, MacOS and Linux. For less that £1000, I think it’s incredible.
The Robox stand at the Gadget Show Live had plenty of example models printed on the device and they looked good. If you want to know more about the Robox, listen to my interview with Dan from Robox.
We all love our big flatscreen TVs but there are places where 64″ of technology doesn’t fit; think of a period room for example, and let’s be honest, the large expanse of black when the TV is off isn’t very attractive either. One resolution to these problems is to disguise the flatscreen as an attractive framed mirror, which is where Designer Mirror TV comes in. The team at DMTV have the skills to convert a flat TV into a framed mirror. Whether an ornate Regency frame or a subtle modern trim, it can match the room’s decor. One minute it’s an stunning mirror, the next it’s a TV showing through the mirror.
Starting from 32″ and going all the way up to 85″, you can design your mirror TV on their website to your decor and taste. Prices start at a little under £1500 but a 4K 85″ mirror TV will set you back more than £14,000.
To hear more about converting a TV into a mirror, listen to my interview with Sunny from Designer Mirror TV at Gadget Show Live.
Manchester-based Otone Audio might only be a few years old but they’ve been busy producing a neat range of audio products from soundbars and headphones to speakers and digital radios. It’s impressive what they’ve achieved in such a short period of time.
At Gadget Show Live, Otone demonstrated a selection from their line-up including the BluWall speakers and the BluMotion radio (lower shelf) plus the Blufiniti and SoundBase II soundbar (upper shelf). It’s hard to get a good listen in the hustle of a trade show but initial impressions were good.
The Blufiniti portable Bluetooth speaker comes in a range of colours and is priced at £49.99. To learn more, listen to my interview with Shruti from Otone (sorry about the background noise from a neighbouring stand.)
One of the biggest brands in portable power, Varta’s range goes from watch cells to car batteries. As well as the all-too-familiar AAs, Varta has a pile of products for the power hungry smartphone and tablet user. With the increasing popularity of wireless charging, it’s not unsurprising that Varta is bringing a Qi charger to market. Unlike many of the puck-style charging pads, the new Varta wireless charger is rectangular making it easier to place the phone and keep it in the sweet spot. Expected to arrive later in the year, the charger will priced a little over £30.
I talk to Natalie from Varta at Gadget Show Live to learn more.
We’ve always been fans of the Philips Hue here at GNC and looking back I reviewed Hue back in December 2013. At that time, Hue was only a small range of connected light bulbs. Today Hue has a much wider range of bulbs and integrates with other elements of the connected home such as Nest, while Hue Tap brings practicality, turning on lights with a physical switch.
The latest addition to the family is Hue Go, a portable light with a built-in rechargeable battery giving three hours of light. Bowl-shaped and 12 cm across, the Go can be controlled as any Hue light via the app. Off-net when there’s no smartphone handy, the Go’s on lamp controls can switch through seven presets, making the Go great outside even when there’s no wi-fi.
For more on the latest developments in Hue’s world listen to my interview with Chris from Philips at Gadget Show Live.
Flash drives and smartphones have never really gone well together for the simple reason that full-size USB is only present on desktops and laptops, making it tricky transferring files from PC to phone. Android has a love-hate relationship with SD cards and micro USB OTG is only present on a handful of devices. As for Apple, one of their camera kits is needed to view external USB storage but only handles photos and movies. Whether original Apple connector or newer Lightning, there’s no easy solution.
Fortunately, salvation is at hand for Apple owners with iPhones and iPads equipped with Lightning connectors. The iStick is a flash drive that has both a USB and a Lighting connector with a clever sliding mechanism that pushes out one or other of the connectors. Movies, music and documents can be accessed directly from the iStick without copying the files to the iPhone.
Available in a range of capacities from 8 GB (£49) to 128 GB (£199), the iStick colour denotes the capacity and the aluminium body compliments the Apple range. Check out the interview to learn more about the iStick.