22
Apr
09

The Gadget Show: Live

Sadly I didn’t manage to get tickets to the show itself, I was too slow in booking and they had sold out. I did get tickets for the exhibition though, some very interesting stuff there, The following is about the stands and exhibits I found most interesting.

One of my favorite exhibits was The Centre for Computing History, with electronics from the 70s 80s and 90s, They had old phones computers and games consoles and a few other things including a Sinclair C5. I have seen one of these once before, driving around Plymouth but I expect that most people have never seen one. They also had an original SEGA Master System. I had a SEGA Master System II (still have it about somewhere, but never saw the original), which was to the original what the PSOne was to the PlayStation. Oh and talking of PlayStations, they had an original PlayStation playing Wipeout, this was mainly interesting because Sony had a demo of the updated PS3 version at their PlayStation stand, things have come a long way since 1994…

From the past to the future. CEDIA – The Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association. According to the blurb I have, CEDIA is a not-for-profit trade association for the home electronic systems industry. Don’t ask what that means, I don’t really know, I’m going to have a look at their website, http://www.cedia.co.uk at some point but what I really wanted to mention here was the talk they did about the future of technology. The guy doing the talk was a big Apple fan, and kept mentioning his iPhone, but that aside it was an interesting talk. One of the main features was about the way we watch TV and access other media. The idea is that quality will play second fiddle to being able to get what you want when you want it. it was pointed out that already Youtube is more popular than MTV for watching music videos, sure the quality is crap but you can watch it when you want. I’m not so sure that this will take off for everything though, mostly for the same reasons I don’t think OnLive will work, you get either poor quality or high bandwidth, so I think DVDs and regular telly will be around for a while yet.

Electronic Arts
I didn’t get much of a look at this one, but all I saw was The Sims 3 and the latest FIFA game on a big screen so I was not that disappointed. I take it they are waiting for a specific games exhibition to announce anything new

Epson
As well as showing off their latest photo printers (which were bloody brilliant) and projectors, Epson were also showing off a surface PC. The surface PC is an interesting one, the hardware is good, it works and is pretty much perfect. My problem with surface PCs is the fact that in all the demos I have seen on them there have been no applications that have actually been any good. This one was no different, there was the usual photo browser, seriously what is wrong with a regular slide show? do I need to be able to drag my photos round a table? Not really. Other than that it had finger painting. Wow killer app (Yes, I was being sarcastic). The first company to make software for these tables that isn’t just a tech demo will have it in every coffee table in the world but that time is not here yet.

HPI-Racing
I mentioned briefly in my post about Re-Volt that I have an electric RC car, it is by no means a bad one (the box says 40mph but I run out of room before that, must find somewhere bigger to run it) but some of the cars HPI-Racing have for sale make it look like something from fisher price.

Kobalt Computers Ltd
If you thought Alienware made good custom computers think again, Kobolt were showing off some of their custom builds, and these were beasts of machines, watercooled tri-SLI, overclocked i7 extreme processors and the cases were works of art. I particularly liked their prototype Blade case, which is build up out of lots of fins and acts as a large heatsink as it is directly connected to the watercooling. It is hard to describe so head over to the website. Make sure you are sitting down when you look at the prices!

Nintendo were there showing off their DSi, Like EA, almost impossible to get near despite the number of consoles they had on the stand. I’m sure the DSi is a good bit of kit, and I really like the idea of the download store, Wii ware and virtual console on the Wii are brilliant, so I hold high hopes for the DS equivalent, but I didn’t see anything that would make me replace my DS lite just yet.

PC World
As the sponsor of the show it wasn’t surprising they had a huge stand, they had several demos showing off 3D glasses, something I remember seeing in a PC World store back in 1994 or 95, it was running a demo of heretic and I remember the cardboard cutout demons being quite terrifying. Anyway, now NVidia have a way to halve your framerate in order to get the latest games in 3D. The were also running a competition to win a £800 PC, the blurb said state of the art, but I just spent that on my PC without including GPU and drives, so It can’t have been that good… That sums up PC World for me, they always overrate computers.

RoboSteel
Now this was amazing, if not that gadgety, it is hard to explain and do it justice so going to the website and having a look is a must. Basically they are sculptures made out of scrap metal, but they have to be seen to be believed. So go look.

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