Latest Gadgets: Best of the Gadget Show Live 2012

We took out annual pilgrimage up to the Birmingham NEC to visit the Gadget Show Live 2012. As usual there was a weird and wonderful range of gadgets on display, but various things stood out.


IK Multimedia iRig Mic Cast
Released on the first day of the Gadget Show Live, the IK Multimedia iRig Mic Cast is the latest step in IK Multimedia’s plan to plug almost everything into your iPhone. Small and lightweight, the Podcast Mic uses the 3.5 mm headphone jack (rather than the 30-pin connector) and features a monitoring output port and the ability to easily toggle between high and low levels when recording.

Antares Autotune Guitar
When my father was teaching me to play guitar he had the annoying habit of always, always insisting I tune my guitar before playing (as well as the annoying habit of insisting his band had already covered practically every style of music already in the 70s). Anyway, I can set his mind to rest with the Antares Auto-tune guitar. The pretty amazing onboard DSP will automatically tune your guitar for you, keep it in tune and maintain perfect intonation. It uses some very smart technology so you can switch between tunings on the fly. For more info head to

Bamboo Stylus duo
Wacom launched a Bamboo Stylus duo for the iPad and Android tablets that combines one of the best capacitive pen tips I’ve used with a premium ball-point ink pen at the opposite end for use on old-fashioned paper.


Griffin Helo TC Assault
We also popped by Griffin for some old fashioned RC helicopter fun with the Helo TC Assault, a fantasic iPhone controlled helicopter, with built-in soft missiles that you can launch across the office or living room. Check out some footage here.

Wacom’s wireless interactive Bamboo pen tablets

With people posting the view from their office window, their cat asleep on their pillow, or the plate of food they consumed for breakfast, sharing digital images with others has almost become a national obsession. Given this rapid rise in posting to the world our day’s proceedings, no matter how mundane or exciting, technology manufacturers are increasingly looking for ways us to execute our national obsession more effectively, efficiently and rapidly. Heading the way in making social computer users’ quest to bombard their contacts with posts and tweets that will essentially ‘bore the socks off them’, is Wacom, a Japan-based company with a vision to ‘bring people and technology closer’.


Living up to its goals to fuse the gap between people and technology, Wacom has announced an all-new line-up of its market-leading Bamboo products. This range of interactive tablets promise to be colourful, inventive and creative, and include the Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch (small/medium), the Bamboo Pen & Touch (small) and the Bamboo Pen (small).

For those of you with absolutely no idea what I am talking about – myself included – these lightweight, battery-free, wireless and super-portable ‘pens’, enable fast and easy navigation of PCs and Macs. With a multi-touch functionality the new Bamboo range has 1024 pressure levels that allow users to make accurate cursor movements and handwritten notes. Not only can users imprint their own handwriting on their PC, but they can surf the web, scroll through documents, flick through photo galleries and rotate images, with just the stroke of a finger.

So what’s the difference between the Bamboo Pen & Touch and the Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch? The latter being more fun than the former we presume? Well except being silver as opposed to black, the Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch possesses all the same features as the Bamboo Pen & Touch, but also boast an, Wacom inform us, ‘outstanding’ software bundle that includes Adobe, Photoshop, Elements 8 (for small), ad 9 (for medium) and ArtRage 3. The medium-sized tablet can also double-up into a digital canvas with Corel Painter Essentials 4.

It certainly sounds fun and ideal for fine-tuning and editing creative work!  The Bamboo Pen & Touch is priced at £74.99 and the Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch is priced at £89.99 for the small model and £169.99 for a medium model.

Wacom Paper and Bamboo Stylus review

We like tablets over here at Latest Gadgets and love poking, swiping and pinch-zooming our grubby little fingers over their shiny surfaces. Touchscreen technology, whilst eons old, has hit the mainstream. Almost any screen I come across now I instinctively reach out to touch it and increasingly, the screen responds. However, magical as touch-screens are (and they are a bit magic) they aren’t always the perfect input device, no matter what Steve would have you believe (I have a BlueTooth keyboard for my iPad, when I want to do some proper writing … like right now). And I’m not great at doodling with my finger.


Enter Wacom, the world’s leading manufacturer of pen tablets and the Bamboo Stylus, Wacom’s pen designed specifically for the Apple® iPad®, and winner at this year’s Plus X Awards this year (in the ‘high quality’ and ‘ease of use’ categories). We had a quick play with the Bamboo Stylus and the Wacom Paper app at the Gadget Show this year. At the time the app was a beta, so was a little rough around the edges but the Stylus was easily the best we’d played with today.

Why? Subtle design elements, such as a sophisticated black and silver design with satin-textured metal body, ergonomic comfort and balanced weighting give the pen a premium feel. I’ve used rival products that feel like a stick with a bit of rubber attached on the end so it’s nice to work with something with an attention to build quality. In addition, the fine tip gives detail control when scribbling away in Sketchbook, Brushes or Wacom’s own Bamboo Paper.

Bamboo Paper lets you create virtual notebooks for the iPad and allows notes and sketches to be shared visually, easily stored and archived for use at a later date. It features different cover colours, paper types (blank, lines and squares) and pen thickness. Besides being a digital notebook, Bamboo Paper can also be connected to a projector, becoming a visual presentation tool to share notes or drawings with colleagues. Originally £1.19, Wacom permanently reduced the price to £0.00, although they will introduce paid add-ons in the future.

Bamboo Stylus is priced at £24.99. More info here.