Top 5 things to see at The Gadget Show Live
It’s the last week of the Easter holidays, which tradition dictates is the time when Channel 5′s Gadget Show team take over the NEC in Birmingham for one of the largest demonstrations of consumer electronics in the country.
It’s an exciting event to visit, with appearances by the presenters and demonstrations of some of the hottest new tech, and you’ll also be able to see behind the scenes of the show and have a go in front of the cameras too. Alongside the eponymous gadgets, there are ziplines, paintball and robots galore all over the show with plenty to see and do for the whole family.
If you are going along, here are a couple of bits of advice. Firstly, take a packed lunch and secondly, make sure you dig out these 5 hidden gems that are on display on the show floor.
5. Robot vacuums that empty themselves
At last, a self emptying vacuum cleaner!
Automatic vacuum cleaners have been around for a while now, and the latest ones can map your entire house in 3D and spend 3 hours sucking up dirt on a single charge. The only problem with the standard cylindrical design is that they’re quite small – they have to be light enough to get around under their own steam, but as a result they need emptying more often than is strictly convenient.
Enter Samsung’s latest robo-cleaner, a servant for your lounge who will trundle over to its own special dock to charge its batteries and empty its bag when full. Plus, Samsung are offering £150 off to anyone who buys one at the show.
4. An old-style brand new jukebox
The next coolest thing at the show are the spectacular handmade jukeboxes by Soundleisure. Designed in the neon style of 1950s classics, each one has its own unique twist. It might be that the brightly lit surround is actually transparent tubing full of bubbling water, or that it comes with a built-in iPod dock for listening to your own music. They’re pricey, and cost several thousand pounds a pop, but if you’ve got room for one they’re absolutely worth it.
3. Your own 3D printer
Fancy making everything from your own personalised chess set to a bathroom plug? Bits from Bytes are showing off their latest 3D printers for the home, based on the open source RepRap design. You can build almost any shape you can think of using industrial grade or biodegradable plastics, and they can be purchased fully assembled or in kit form for self assembly. Plus, they have a touchscreen control panel with a built-in USB reader, so you don’t even need a laptop or PC to make them work.
2. Remote control for your home
Microsoft recently announced that it’s developing a complete operating system for your house, so you can turn on lights and switch on the heating when you’re not at home. Lightwave RF, however, already has such a system in place that is both spectacularly impressive and surprisingly affordable.
Simply pair sockets and sensors from its customisable kits and you can set lights to turn on when you open the door or control your entire house from an Android phone or iPad. Great for saving energy and making sure you remembered to turn the TV off.
1. Classic gadgets from The Centre for Computing History
The Commodore 3032 series computer
Want to know what the coolest thing at The Gadget Show Live is? It’s not all the cutting-edge tech that fills most of the show halls, it’s the section designed by The Centre for Computing History, which is full of retro gadgets from years gone by.
At each part of the display there’ll be something that triggers a fond childhood memory, whether it’s Walkmen, ghetto blasters, classic games consoles, brick-like mobile phones or early Apple Mac computers.
It’s not all CRT TVs and ZX 81s, though, there’s also one of the first Raspberry Pi computers hooked up to a monitor, so you can see exactly how powerful this brand new and basic £23 computer is. Ask one of the helpers on hand to see a demo of Quake III for an idea of just how much you could do with one of these.
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- Get involved at the Gadget Show Live
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- The 5 top technology toys for 2012
- Build your own stuff with a 3D printer