The Gadget Show Live is back for 2012 and this year it’s bigger and better than ever. Covering every conceivable aspect of modern technology from in-car entertainment to health and fitness gadgets, the event serves as a showcase for manufacturers, retailers and start-ups to display their products under the bright lights of Birmingham’s NEC.
All the major tech players have turned out in force for the event including JVC, Dell, Alienware and Philips. Sony’s stand is particularly impressive, with a focus on its 3D displays and the abilities of its connected devices including the Xperia S handset and Tablet S unit. Samsung also pulled out all the stops for the show, with various devices on display including the Galaxy SII and Galaxy Note handsets. Unfortunately, and rather unsurprisingly, there is no sign of the Galaxy SIII.
LG has made huge strides in the field of HDTV recently and the Korean company has to great lengths to show off its range of HD 3D televisions at the show. Also included at the LG stand is a full-size Formula One car complete with a large screen display where punters are encouraged to drive a virtual lap of the Silverstone circuit. Be warned though, Lewis Hamilton et al make it look a lot easier than it actually is.
The Gadget Show Live is a mecca for gamers and Microsoft has a large presence at the event. The main focus appears to be on the Kinect system with a number of Xbox 360 booths available to try out everything from dancing to modern combat manoeuvres. The gaming area also includes several ride-on simulators and numerous peripherals stands displaying gaming chairs, controllers and much more.
A particularly innovative product on display at the Gadget Show Live is the impressive WOWee portable speaker range. The unit cleverly uses any flat surface to amplify a sound input, meaning a wall, pane of glass or even a ceiling can essentially become one large speaker when the WOWee is placed onto it. Particularly exciting is the WOWee Pro which is able to work wirelessly via Bluetooth.
For pure tech thrills, the Parrot stand is a must-visit, where the AR Drone is being demonstrated in a custom-built enclosure. The AR Drone is a remote-controlled helicopter that can be controlled using an iOS or Android device via a dedicated Wi-Fi connection. As if that wasn’t good enough, the Drone also includes two built-in webcams that provide live video feeds to the controlling device. The ‘quadricopter’ can be used outdoors or indoors, so expect the AR Drone to be crashing into a living room wall near you soon.
Located in Hall 7, the Hall Of Fame will provide much nostalgia for the more mature tech fanatic. The stand includes fully functional examples of the Commodore 64, Nintendo NES and the first Apple Macintosh. During our research at the Hall Of Fame we found that Super Mario Bros is still as addictive as when it was first released, albeit more limited in the graphics department than we remember.
The Gadget Show Live runs until Sunday 15 April at the NEC in Birmingham. If you are attending the event then make sure to visit the Dialaphone stand in Hall 8 where we have the yet to be released Nokia Lumia 900 on display and loads of great prizes to give away.