Another year, another trip to Gadget Show Live. This time at NEC in Birmingham. I like this place. Many fond memories here. Gaming expos, comic cons and other events happen here. But this time it was about tech. And gadgets. The highlights of this edition were drones, VR and Tesla cars.
For the most part, this massive venue was divided between those main sections. And you can tell straight away, that it was dominated by big brands.
NVIDIA brought out their demo section, where you could book a slot to experience the famous HTC Vive (best VR setup imho).
This time around, they had whole the setup, with controllers and all. We were able to experience a demo, and play couple games. During the demo we were thrown into the deep sea, standing on a deck of a sunken ship. Amazing experience. Fish swimming everywhere, god rays shining through the water. Biggest surprise was that when I walked up to a barrier and looked down into the bottomless pit of the sea, I still grabbed the virtual barrier, separating me from it. Even though I knew it wasn’t real, my brain reacted automatically to prevent me from “falling”. Pretty awesome.
Next was a game going by the name of Job Simulator. In my office cube I could interact with all the items there. I managed to photocopy my virtual hand, make myself a cup of coffee and spill it all over my virtual computer. Fun. And last but not least, new vision of Space Cadet. Standing on a landing platform, I had to defend myself from drones flying in and trying to shoot me. Armed with a gun and a shield, I managed to fend of the invaders. Great fun.
All that left me with a massive desire to reach into my pocket and spend £650 for a Steam VR kit. I managed to stop myself, but deep down inside, I know this won’t hold for long. The desire is too great.
Other highlights of the event were the drones and Tesla cars. Drones varied in quality, functionality and prices, from Parrot Drones as most establish, professional and expensive and ending with many manufacturers of lower quality gear, with a much lower price tag. I did not managed to fly the Parrot ones, but that’s OK. After all, drones are drones. I was more interested with what new features they can introduce. One of the companies stood out with a drone which had a “follow me” mode.
As to Tesla cars? Well, I can’t really say much, as am not a driver, but I did take an opportunity to take a sit behind a wheel of one of them. Felt very comfortable and … pricey 🙂
Apart from that, there were few inventors, some audio companies with their range of speakers, couple security and alarm companies and plenty (and I really mean plenty) of traders trying to push you anything from Chinese knock offs of expensive drones, heat up gel pads and hair and makeup products.
To be perfectly fair, I think the show missed something. There was way too many cheap tradesmen from China, and big brands, as cool as they are, were too promoted. I was looking forward to seeing what British Inventors had brought to the table, but not only it took me a while to find them, but also I was disappointed with them being just a few. Some interesting concepts, but ideally I’d like to see more of them. I think even the army section, where various legs of British Forces had their stands, was bigger then innovation section.
I will be following this short write up with a couple reviews of various products and inventions I have seen on TGSL and liked, so stay tuned!