Tech lovers all over the UK have been heading in their droves to Birmingham’s NEC over the past week, armed with the enthusiasm required to tackle the weird and wacky world of gadgetry. Handily, some of the biggest names in the industry were on hand to satisfy the ravenous minds of the tech world. The name for such a tech-filled extravagance? The Gadget Show Live 2015 of course.
Ebuyer had their biggest ever presence at this year’s show. And I, the self-proclaimed ‘roving reporter’, had a gander round our superlative stand, as well as the best from the rest of the show.
Video games were in no short supply at this year’s Gadget Show Live, with an entire sector of the hall dedicated exclusively for lovers of all things gaming. A number of stalls proudly displayed powerful gaming rigs or eSport competitions for popular titles such as FIFA and Minecraft. For us though, a more than substantial whiff of gaming nostalgia really caught the eye for gaming at GSL 2015.
The ever revolving cycle of fashions and trends affects a number of consumer industries, and gaming is no exception. The circle of time has fallen on 80s gaming, and a number of arcade classic machines were on show for gamers young and old. Of particular interest was the great range of 2D beat-‘em-up style retro arcade machines, as well as a number of table top classics. It’s no coincidence that retro gaming has taken a substantial slice of attention at GSL. The ever increasing popularity of Indie gaming has proven that flashy graphics and big marketing budgets are turning greater amounts of gamers off, rather than on. Arcade games are finding their way into bars and pubs, and slowly the emerging trend of retro gaming is hitting the consumer at large.
All of which allows the icing on the Gadget Show Live cake to come to life. Hidden away amongst the elaborate and bulky arcade machines- a little piece of gaming greatness. The ZX Spectrum spawned an entire industry in the early 80s, rightfully taking its place in the video game hall of fame. And now, it’s coming back. Elite systems have recreated the original Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and are hoping to make it available to the public sometime in the summer. Almost identical to the original, the new Spectrum is hooked up to your tablet, smartphone or PC via Bluetooth. From there, you can access 100s of original, licensed ZX Spectrum games (plus many more still being developed today) via the iOS, Android or Windows app stores. I for one am excited for the project’s development, and will look to bring you more on the remastered ZX Spectrum as and when we can.
In the hope of not sounding too far beyond my relatively youthful age, Dyson brought along some brilliant hoovers! Best of which was 360 Eye, a huge improvement on any robot vacuum on the market today. Featuring a full 360 degree camera, Dyson’s Eye is able to plan a route around a room of your choosing, completely aware of which areas it has already cleaned. Upon finishing the job or if the battery is low, the Eye will wander on back too its docking station, placing itself on charge until next called upon.
Completely controllable via the partnered app, you can programme the Eye to carry out its business at a specific time and day. So, you can trot off to work and allow the Dyson to do the cleaning, saving you the time and sanity lost from the tedium of vacuuming- or indeed any worries that might surface from stepping on it and hoping it’s not the dog. Currently being raved about from robot fanatics in Japan, the Dyson 360 Eye could find its way to your connected living room come 2016.
Elsewhere, Robo Challenge provided an adequate dose of mechanical gadgetry that left us both terrified and entertained. Much in the same ilk as Robot Wars, attendees were able to take custom built robots to the battlefield. Featuring a workshop and an arena, players were able to queue up and take three spike or ramp-wielding robots out for a spin. Robo Challenge also presented a collection of impressive creations from past projects. Amongst them, a creepily realistic Android-like creation of Gadget Show presenter Jason Bradbury, plus a 5-foot tall, gun-mounted, spider bot!
See, I wasn’t joking. And yes, that gun does (and did) fire foam bullets, as I found out when I was sent dashing across the floor retreating from Robocop’s arachnid sidekick.
The Spectrum wasn’t the only tech on show giving us that little blast from the past, albeit for altogether different reasons. Personal transport was a commonly occurring theme at GSL, with the much maligned Segway taking its place in several forms. Also along for the show were airwheel, showing off their battery powered personal transport range. I had a go on the skateboard-style device, and as you can see from the concerned looks on the airwheel staff’s faces, I was far from a natural.
The ever evolving and intriguing world of wearable technology, an area covered a number times on the Ebuyer Blog, continued to cover new depths at GSL. MYNDPLAY- headed by some bloke who was on the Apprentice, Tre Azam- tried where the Wearable Technology Show had failed with wearable headwear. After failing to penetrate the wall of keratin that is my mass of hair with a ridged, plastic headset, MYNPLAY pulled out the big guns. Strapping a sweatband-type wearable to my jungle-like fro, the MYNPLAY headband was meant to aid my attempts to focus and relax. To do so, the device was hooked up to a number of games, such as running away from a zombie or playing tug-of-war. After holing out to the water in my golf-sim game due to a lack of focus, my position as sceptic remains.
Ebuyer at the Gadget Show
As mentioned earlier, Ebuyer had an unprecedented presence at this year’s GSL. Sporting a stand packed full of tech and a prime position in the middle of the show floor, Ebuyer entertained thousands of visitors with competitions, gaming and a bucket load of great products. Brands such as Nvidia, Asus and Acer were represented on the Ebuyer stand, bringing with them a glut of tech ranging from tablets and PCs to routers and cameras.
That’s without mentioning our attention grabbing exclusives. Optoma’s brilliant 3D projector wowed countless GSL-goers with a snowboarding extravaganza. Plus, YoYoTech’s supreme racing-sim brought the competitive streak out in us all. Complete with bucket-seats, steering wheel and three IPS monitors, YoYoTech’s Warbird gaming rig housed the best competition of the show. Featuring a Top Gear style leaderboard and PC racing game Assetto Corsa, prizes were given out for the best race times of the day and entire show.
All-in-all, a week packed full of fun was had by one and all on the Ebuyer stand. It was great to meet some dedicated Ebuyer customers, and we know from the feedback given that you appreciated our attendance at this year’s show.
Did you take a trip down to the NEC this week? Let us know your favourite bits (the Ebuyer stand taken as read) from 2015’s Gadget Show Live. For more coverage of the show, check out our video review!