The best of the Gadget Show Live @ Christmas – part 2

Gadget-Show-Live-at-Christmas-Part-Two

Make sure you check out part one of this guide from yesterday.

The Gadget Show Live @ Christmas brought all sorts of fun and games to East London. We had a play with a few choice items.

GSLX-Fridja

Fridja
Ironing is very few people’s idea of a rollicking good time but the Fridja ironing system was the second most desirable item I saw in the whole show (after the OP-1). As I’m often fresh, dressed like a million bucks I need my garments to look crisp. Fridja brings high grade garment steaming to the people, and at £99 it’s at a fraction of the cost of a local dry cleaners.

GLSX-MakerBot

Replicator 2 3D Printer
If you read Chris Anderson’s Makers (or even just my review of the book here) you’ll know that there’s a brave new world of 3D printing, where people can apply all the exciting and collaborative elements of Web 2.0 and apply them to the real world of bits and bobs. The Replicator is great for knocking up all sorts of amazing knick knacks, although at £1799 is far from an impulse purchase.

GSLX-R2D2

R2D2
Star Wars landed in the late 70s and then never really went away. And there’s even a possibility that the recently announced sequels buy Disney might be … well good. I was charmed by this inflatable remote controlled R2D2 which can spin 360 degrees and generally float around. It’s best feature is its self-righting system that defies being knocked over – as was throughly tested by the gang of schoolboys I saw trying to give poor Artoo the kicking of his life.

Stickem
Stickems are simple screen wipes made from ultra fine microfibres. What makes sticks special – and fun – is their “self -cling” backing that means you can pop them on the back of your tablet or smartphone and have them handy any time you want to remove any make-up, oil, grease of whatever you happen to have covering your phone. They come in a range of fun designs in collaboration with up and coming artists so they’re a good way of keeping your phone clean and personal.

GSLX-Mu

Mu
Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest and we just need to take time to think about the simple things that we take for granted. The Mu rethinks the ubiquitous three-pin and makes it a portable pleasure for the pocket-focused smartphone world. The Mu folds down to a compact 14mm completely hiding the three pins via a clever (and patented) swivel mechanism, making The Mu 70 per cent smaller than a standard plug.

ChargeGenie: Device-agnostic charging on the go

HTC and O2 have already announced their first phone that comes without a bundled charger, so it seems that Energenie’s ChargeGenie first universal portable smartphone charger could have been brought out at just the right time.

Energenie

Why would you want a universal charger you may ask? Well, we guess that should your charger break, or get lost, you can shell out on one charger, that will also charge up whatever phone you happen to buy next. And should the trend for not bundling chargers continue, this could prove to be a useful investment.

Energenie, a specialist manufacturer of smart energy saving and power management products, has devised the ChargeGenie, with a gel pad design, which clamps to the back of any Android, Windows or BlackBerry smartphone. Because a lot of handsets these days have shapely design profiles, rather than being completely flat, the charger’s flexible spine ensure’s it follows the device’s contours for a secure fit.

The charger is connected to the smartphone using a tethered USB cable that neatly unfolds from under the pad and is long enough to reach the handset’s microUSB port, wherever it is on the phone.

The ChargeGenie’s neat shape means that you can carry on using the phone while it is charging – and because it only weighs 75g, it’s easy to pop in a bag or pocket once placed in its plastic storage case.

The device features five LED lights that show the battery power level, and its own internal battery can be charged on the move via USB from a car charger or laptop.

The Energenie ChargeGenie is £24.99 and available to pre-order from www.energenie4u.co.uk. It is expected to go on sale in early December 2012.

sonoro troy: They Reminisce Over USB

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could just get along? This lament has particular pertinence in the tech world. Despite all the open source evangelists hailing our new era of sharing and collaboration there are as many if not more closed systems than ever before. Maybe there’s another way? sonoro audio, the German design and engineering company (who hate capital letters) aim to change that with troy – a compact desktop speaker and charging system for everybody.

sonoro-troy

I look at a lot of iPod docks in my line of work and I can’t help but feel sorry for people with non iOS devices – especially as that’s most people. Not getting invited to play in the iPod dock party, they simply have to “make do” with an AUX input around the back. The troy levels the playing field – everyone has to use the same 3.5 mm charging port (actually it has two but they’re both 3.5 mm ports). This is so simple it’s actually a radical departure from convention. I had a unit in to test and it took me ages to get working because I assumed that my iPhone would just start playing straight away. But iPhone users, Android users or even Windows Phone users all have to follow the same rules.

The compact 2 kg unit contains two USB sockets for charging different devices and a neat little top cover to hide away most of the cabling. One socket supplies a 1 amp current for smaller devices and the other offering 2.1 amps for power-hungry devices such as tablets.

The troy features DSP and a bass reflex port so despite being decidedly low-tech in it’s approach to connectivity the sound is decidedly hi-fi. There are two audio inputs that can be controlled via a simple switch. There’s also a rotary knob on the side for volume but that also acts as an on off switch.

“troy is a chic all-round speaker system with universal charging and storage. The fact that troy can be used with practically any music-playing device such as smartphones, tablet PCs etc. makes it the perfect system for those who value stylish design, high-class finish, balanced audio quality and multi-connection convenience.”
Marcell Faller, founder and CEO of sonoro audio

troy’s speaker cabinet is made of wood, with rounded corners, which stiffen the cabinet, reducing internal resonance, whilst the high-quality plastic top and bottom add strength but not weight. The top storage compartment is double sided, with simple felt on one layer and an angled holder on the other side for tablets. The storage compartment hides cable clutter. troy comes in four felt finishes: Black, Green, Red or Grey.

I like troy and what it’s trying to do. Of course I’d prefer a slightly more hi-tech implementation maybe with Airplay, Bluetooth and wireless charging but that’s something to wish for in future implementations.

The sonoro troy has a suggested retail price of £149.00. For more information please visit www.sonoro-audio.com.

IDAPT i2 Wire-Free Universal Charger

If you’re anything like me then you watch too many cartoons and bore people at parties extolling the brilliance of The Venture Bros. You also have far too many gadgets strewn across your desk, all demanding juice. I have a complex ritual, shuffling mini-, micro- and big-fat USB leads across to power my iPhone, DS and whatever else is demanding power that day. One day all gadgets will have inductive charging cases and I can simply throw them on my desk at watch them automagically charge. Or maybe we’ll finally crack wireless charging and I can have everything continually topping up from my pocket.

IDAPT

But until that day I can play around with the IDAPT i2 Wire-Free Universal Charger with USB. The £30 dock lets you charge three devices at a time – two in swanky dock fashion and one by snaking out a cable round the side. Which three devices you may well ask? Well according to the company the i2 supports 4000+ devices – and with all flavours of USB and iOS devices supported, then there is a very good chance that could be an accurate assessment.

The i2 works via a series of interchangeable tips that suit your particular phone, handheld console or tablet. In the box are six tips: Nokia 2, Samsung 4, Sony Ericsson 2, miniUSB, microUSB and iPod-iPhone. There is also a standard USB slot at the side. Not got the tip you were looking for? You can buy extras for about £6 (which seems a little steep to me).

There are little LED charging indicators that let you know what is charging and a big old fashioned on-off switch at the back. The i2 is a cool looking shiny unibody black box that manages to look classy on the average desktop and can actual help to reduce visual clutter.

Available from the IDAPT store here. www.idaptweb.com/shop. You may well expect a pun about charging your credit card but I’m better than that.

Five essential gadgets for a stress free Christmas Day

Christmas Day can actually be quite stressful, especially if you’re the one doing the cooking. With you’re living room carpet disguised by a layer of wrapping paper, whilst you frantically peel the spuds, you may not believe it when we tell you that certain gadgets can be a great way to help alleviate some of the festive tension. Here are five of the best gadgets for a stress-free Christmas Day.

Stress-Free-Christmas
Image courtesy of Flickr user obbino

Diesgo TV Go

If you are the one battling it out in the kitchen, life on Christmas Day can get pretty lonely. To help obstruct such isolation, you may want to place a Diesgo TV Go in the kitchen.  As this portable, wireless internet TV, with a 3.5 inch screen, means at least you will not miss out on all the Christmas entertainment. Although the achievements of this multi-talented device do not stop there, as it can also be made into a digital photo frame, an MP3 player and an alarm clock that can be programmed to let you know when the turkey’s cooked – At last a gadget to prevent over-cooked turkey!

Cooper Cooler Handy Chiller

The first of the guests arrive and you offer them a drink. Doh! You’ve forgot to put the drinks on chill. Fear not. Simply put ice or water into the Cooper Cooler Handy Chiller, place a bottle or can into the unit and it is miraculously polished-up within minutes.

Wahl electric knife

It’s always a bit unfair that the person allocated to carving the turkey has to remain considerably sober compared to everyone else. Not anymore! – As, with its easy grip rubberised handle and an operating switch with a safety lock, carving the turkey couldn’t be simpler and safer.

TV remote control keyring

Bickers over the Christmas television itinerary can begin to wear a bit thin by Christmas Day. This is when a tiny TV remote control keyring gadget may step in, enabling you to instantaneously create silence and peace by turning off nearly any television without being detected.

IDAPT charging station

“Mum, my iPod’s already ran out of battery!” Sound familiar? To lessen the burden of every family member trying to recharge their new gadgets at once, the IDAPT charging station allows you to recharge up to four different gadgets at one.

Christmas gifts for girls

Christmas is looming. If you like to miss the mad Christmas Eve rush then you best start buying those pressies now. Here’s our top present ides for the ladies! So ladies treat yourself to something nice or better yet drop a hint by leaving this site open for the significant other in your life to see.

WiFi-Scales

For the gym bunnies, Wi-Fi Bathroom scales are sent from heaven. Losing weight is hard enough. Do you really want to spend time manually tracking your progress? I know I don’t. The Wi-Fi Scales by Withings will wirelessly send your weight, lean mass, fat mass and BMI all to your PC, iPhone or iPad or Android phone. Your progress is shown graphically with an easy-to use interface. You can even tweet you weight if you like, perhaps when you reach a milestone? For users with multiple in the household, it has user recognition so you stand on the scales it knows who are without having to select which user to weigh in as. The iPhone application is free allowing you to keep track on the go wherever you are. You can get it in black and newly available white for £120 here.

For the ladies with multiple gadgets, save yourself from having a low battery with the iHome iB969 Charging Station. This is a practical gift for people with several gadgets to charge at the same time. The station can charge up to 4 gadgets at the same time including iPad, iPhone, iPod and a Kindle. You can charge other devices using a USB connection. Guys, if you ask very nicely maybe your lady will let you charge device?

For the designer-clad woman who loves fashion, uber cool Marc Jacobs have made a case for the iPad. Available in hot pink, purple, turquoise and black. I recommend the hot pink as it’s gorgeous. The cases are foamed rubber with jumbled logo embossed. For a designer case at street price you cannot beat this. Available in different sizes allowing you to carry your laptop in the large cases starting from £35 for the iPad case here.

For the teen girl in need of a PAYG phone, the Alcatel OT-808 is a good choice. It has a unique, compact clam-shell handset in pink. With integrated social networking at its core, a gossip girl can keep in contact with everyone. A 2MP camera, FM radio and a QWERTY will keep your daughter or little sister happy without breaking the bank for you. Exclusively to Carphone Warehouse, it is £39.95 on PAYG.

If you know any photographers, why not give them the Casio Exilim EX-15. Packing 14MP, 10x Zoom and HD video recording, features we have all become accustomed to. What makes this camera different is the Art Shot function enabling the photographer to create photos that have the feel of a real painting. You can select from three art styles to capture the scene, oil, crayon or watercolour. A Premium Auto function automatically analyzes the scene and optimizes settings including focus location, sensitivity and colour balance. This makes the camera easy to use as you just push the button and the camera does the rest. Available in pink, black and silver with a RRP of £250 from Amazon.