I found being at the Gadget Show a bit like being at Dragon’s Den with various people selling me on their mad ideas. Here are a few more stalls that caught my eye.
My flatmate likes to call Dyson the Apple of household goods, and I have to reluctantly agree with him here. The Dyson Air Multiplier fan in particular caught our eye. A bladeless fan, the Air Multiplier amplifies air 15 times and produces a smooth blast of air. As James Dyson puts it “I’ve always been disappointed by fans. “ And so he created the Air Multiplier – stylish, safe, easy to clean and child friendly. It’s also fun to play with and we think it would look great in the living room. The Dyson Air Multiplier™ fan costs £199 at dyson.co.uk and is available in selected design stores – it will be in most electrical retailers by the end of April.
CaseMate make funky cases for iPhones and we went and had a play with 3 of them. Hug was a charging pad where you place your mobile phone on the pad, without plugging it in. Fuel Max was a holster/battery extender that allows you to boost your battery at the push of a button. This was my favourite case, especially as extended sessions on games such as Plants Vs Zombies or Minigore have been taking their toll on my 3GS’s battery life. Finally, I Make My Case – allows you to create your own iPhone cover by logging onto www.imakemycase.com and re-mixing the designs of well-known graphic artists including Thomas Hooper, Deanne Cheuk and Shadown Chen.
Pretty much every other stand had a media hard drive playback device that could spit out 1080p resolution from mkv files. Standouts included the Sumvision Cyclone range (covered nobly by Andy here) including the Cyclone HD, which allows you to download, stream and share all from one box. Also impressive was the AC Ryan PlayOn! DVR HD, which had pretty much all the same functionality but with a much nicer media wrapper – a little closer to recreating the dream or a beautiful XBMC/Plex/Boxee style interface. Iomega also had a ScreenPlay device, but it was just lying on a table so we didn’t really get to probe it.
Qurve produce bespoke speaker systems in the shape of a perfect acoustic horn – “life’s natural amplifier”. Eye catching, crisp and very very expensive. FatMan by TLAudio had their Wi-Tube systems on display. High quality yet affordable audio systems that had an amazing Vintage feel to them and allowed Wireless iPod docking. Their systems stand out for the amazing sound quality due to the use of valve based amplification systems. They also had CHARLiE – high end PC speakers to introduce the average mp3 collection to a thing know as “Bass”.
USB Thumb drives are almost disposable these days (I get all my press packs on them) so I almost walked straight passed the YuuWaa stand until I realised what made them special. YuuWaa combines a secure USB stick with online storage capacity meaning you can automatically backup, access and share all your important data, music, videos and photos from multiple locations. As a big fan of the cloud, I liked the simplicity of the device and it would be a easy way to get regular people into backing up things online, as well as simplifying the sharing of large files. And they just release a Mac version, which made me happy (although minus marks for writing MAC in the press release).
3 had a nifty little in car Wi-Fi device that connects over the 3G network to create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing passengers to connect to the internet on a range of Wi-Fi enabled devices like an iPod Touch, Nintendo DSi XL or Netbook, without the need for wires or a USB connection. The MiFi modem is only £59.99 and includes 1Gb of data (various plans are available).
The name of the Self Cleaning Cat Toilet tells you pretty much all you need to know and it was one of my favourite gadgets – partly because cleaning kitty litter destroys all the cuteness from cat ownership but also because it looked ridiculously futuristic in an old fashioned way.