Tag Archives: gadgets

Gadget Show Live Quick Review

Gadget Show LiveYesterday’s trip to Gadget Show Live didn’t start off well: my flight to Birmingham airport was delayed for 2 hours because of fog. The knock-on effect was that I missed the photocall with the show’s presenters and the DeLorean from Back to the Future. Fortunately the press office issued a few official photos. Here’s the gang.

Presenters together - DeLorean

Starting on the show floor, I had a quick scout round. This year there seemed to be more independent stands and fewer mainstream stands. In previous years, Samsung, LG, Sony, Microsoft and Canon would have all had major stands but this time HP and Panasonic were the big names. Having said that, there were still plenty of recognisable brands; Western Digital, Tesla, Synology and Philips Hue to name a few. This year, the most popular products were around the smart home, with lighting from Philips Hue, security systems from Swann and domestic appliances from Panasonic.

Aside from the stands there were several areas for activities like robot wars and gadget-making but as it was the press and trade day, nothing much was happening in them.

Viewers of The Gadget Show might recognise some of the exhibits from recent programmes.


Rocket Sled

Spider Bots

There was a giant Rubik Cube too but I didn’t get a chance to play with it.

Rubik Cube

The British Inventors’ Project is an initiative to promote new product ideas and on show were everything from concepts to products ready to come to market. The winning product was OmniO Rider, a lightweight child’s buggy that folds up into a backpack. I interviewed most of the participants in the project so we’ll be hearing from the them later.

OmniO Rider

The Centre for Computing History had a stand with some old computer and consoles. Geeks of a certain age will remember these fondly – I had the Binatone in the foreground.

Historical Computers

Best product of the show for me was the HP Sprout. It’s a desktop PC that uses a touch-sensitive mat combined with a projector and cameras to create a really unique proposition. For example, place an object on the mat and the cameras will scan it to create a 3D model. It’s aimed at creatives but it could be so much more. I’d love to have one in the office just to read documents in a more natural way. Watch the video below to understand it better.


After 7 hours, 12,000 steps and 25 interviews, it was time to head home. I was done. Over the next few days, I’ll be publishing the interviews from the show, so stay tuned.

BeZilch Marketplace for Unwanted Tech

beZilch LogoFreshly-launched beZilch is a marketplace for the trade of unwanted tech in the space between the auction houses and the fixed price trade-in centres. Jared Hansen, Founder and CEO, sells it to Todd and Todd.

If you want the most money for unwanted gadgetry, generally an online auction is the way to go, but the auction takes time to run and the fees can be expensive. At the other end of the spectrum, fixed price trade-in centres give you the cash quickly but the price can often be quite low. beZilch proposes a middle ground where both buyers and sellers can post ads.

Say you want a phone for your careless kids; first you can check to see if anyone is selling a phone in the price range you are thinking about. If not, post that you want a Samsung S3 and you’ll pay $100 for it.

Sellers can then check out the ads and consider if they’re willing to sell at that price for a quick sale. If they’re not happy with the prices on offer, they can post an ad with the price they’re looking for. Both sides can see what’s on offer and beZilch lets people choose between convenience and money.

Transactions are secured by PayPal so both sides are covered and for sellers the auctions fees are a flat 4% – there’s no complicated fee structure.

It’s a neat idea and offers an alternative channel to the big sites that we’re all familiar with. Let’s hope it gets some traction.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Todd Aune of The Elder Divide for the TechPodcast Network.

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Paste Magazine Picks 10 Best Gadgets of CES 2013

Paste Magazine LogoEver wonder what a magazine, that primarily focuses on music, would choose as the best products that were featured at CES? Well, wonder no more! Paste Magazine just posted a list of The 10 Best Gadgets of CES 2013. Interestingly, they didn’t select gadgets that were specifically designed to be used for the purpose of listening to or creating music. Perhaps there just weren’t that many music-related gadgets at the show this year.

Some of the gadgets that Paste selected were also selected by CNET for a Best of CES Award. Each picked the Razer Edge gaming tablet and the Samsung UN85S 4K/UHD TV (that is described as standing on an “easel” base).

CNET selected the Vizio 5.1 soundbar as an award winner. It is a set of speakers that pairs a traditional sound bar with wireless rear speakers (for the purpose of better surround sound). Paste didn’t pick this gadget at all for their list. But, the magazine did pick the Xi3 / Valve Piston Steam Box, which has 1TB of SSD internal storage and a Quad-Core AMD processor. That sounds like an excellent place to store a vast library of digital music in a small amount of “real world” space!

Paste Magazine selected the Oculus Rift as the best gadget of CES 2013. It is designed for gaming. It has a head-mounted display that provides the gamer with an amazing level of immersion. Paste describes it as:

…the Oculus Rift is what anyone who’s ever wanted a Holodeck of their very own has been waiting for.

How Much will that New Electronic Toy Add to Your Electric Bill?

energy calculator Many people are going to be buying and getting new big screen TVs,  computers and other electronic gear  for Christmas and Hanukkah. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to calculate how much these devices will add to your electric bill.  Even if you are not getting any new devices, it is winter in the northern hemisphere which means you are probably spending more times indoors. Watching TV, playing video games and working on computers. This leads to the inevitable higher electric bill.

There are tricks you can use to lower your bill. However first you need to figure how much you are using. This is where the Consumer Electronic Energy Calculator created by the Consumer Electronic Association comes in. The calculator is now available at the GreenerGadget. The calculator is very easy to use. It is divided into various categories, computing, entertainment, home office, digital imaging and telecommunication. Under each category the appropriate devices are listed. You simply move the device you have or want into appropriate room on the diagram. It will ask you how many you have and how often you use it. It will also give energy tip for each item. Once you have added all your items it will calculate your energy usage. It will let you compare your usage to the average American household. It will also show you which category is using the most energy. With this information you can then start making changes on how you use your devices and save some money on your electric bill.  If you have a website and want to encourage your readers to be more green you can download a free widget from the GreenerGadget and add it to your website

A Review of Glyde

This is the time of year that you maybe getting some new gadgets. The question is what do you do with the old gadget you already have. You could try to sell it on EBay but if you are like me you don’t want to deal with the hassle. If you have an Apple product or a few Android products to sell then Gazelle is a great option. With Gazelle you indicate what item you want to sell and its condition. Gazelle then tells you how much they are willing to pay for it. The price they give is good for 30 days. They send you a shipping label and often a box to ship it in. You can get paid by Amazon gift card, through Paypal or by check.

This works fine if you are selling an Apple product but what about a tablet, eReader or phone that is not made by Apple. For example I decided I wanted to sell my second generation Amazon Kindle, Gazelle wasn’t an option and as I said before I don’t like dealing with EBay. So I started to look for another option and I found Glyde. Like Gazelle, you indicate the item you want to sell and its condition, Glyde then tells you what it is worth. This is where Glyde starts to differ from Gazelle. Unlike Gazelle with Glyde you are selling to an individual, Glyde is simply acting as the middle man. Once you put the item up for sale you then have to wait until someone agrees to buy it. Once there is a buyer Glyde then sends a box and shipping label out to you. As soon as you have the box you then have 24 hours to ship it out.  When the buyer receives the package, they have 48 hours to accept or reject the item. If they accept the item the money is then deposited into your Glyde account. You can then with drawl the money and get a check or have it electronically transferred to your bank account. I put my Kindle up for sell on October 29. It was purchased on the November 6 for $29.00 and I had the money in my bank account by the 23rd. As a seller I was very happy with how Glyde worked.

I have not brought anything from Glyde at this time, however most reviews by buyers that I read were positive. If you have a tablet, phone, dvd or game to sell I would definitely check out what it is worth on Glyde.

RHP MirrorCase Goes For A KickStarter

RHP Multimedia MirrorCaseAt this year’s CES, Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin interviewed John Palmeri of RHP on their new MirrorCase, a special case for the iPhone 4/4S that lets photos be taken while the phone is horizontal, i.e. flat, rather than the more usual vertical orientation.

Depending on your point of view, it’s either a clever idea that stops the camera intruding on the moment or else it’s sneaky way of taking pics without other people realising. Regardless of reasons, it may be of interest to know that the MirrorCase is currently on Kickstarter.

If I read the funding levels correctly, at the moment $35 will get you pre-order of the MirrorCase (RRP $80) but there are only limited numbers of backers at that level. If you do miss out, you should be able to back at $40. Backers are also offered a discount on the iPhone 5 version, whenever that comes out!

There are another 28 days and $21,000-odd to go before the project is funded. Assuming this, delivery is expected in July.

GNC Hits The Gadget Show Live

Gadget Show LiveNext week sees one of the major technology events in the UK with The Gadget Show Live at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Born out of the Channel 5 TV show of the same name, it combines exhibition space with theatrical performances, making it more consumer than business and a great deal of fun.

The show is the UK’s biggest consumer electronics event and there’s now a press and professional day at the beginning of the week. Fortunately I’ve been invited along on Tuesday so I’ll be reporting back on the latest gadgets and technology. Depending on bandwidth, I’ll try some live-blogging and I’m taking along a digital voice recorder too to get a few interviews. It’s the first time I’ve attended so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

There’s a list of exhibitors here though the floor plan is bit easier to handle as it’s split up into various zones – audio, gaming, automotive, photo, home and international. Many of the big companies are here – Samsung, Dell, Canon, EA, Sennheiser, AMD – plus quite a few smaller ones. If there’s any particular vendor that you want me to hunt down, just leave a comment below and I’ll do my best.