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PocketGPSWorld.com visit the Stuff Live Exhibition 05th November 2004

PocketGPSWorld.com at Stuff Live 2004

Article by: Mike (I love my job! ) Barrett and Robert Brady

 

It is tough working for PocketGPSWorld.com. We spend all day and night testing, reviewing, supporting and often dreaming about gadgets. So once a year we are allowed to take some time off and what do we do? Go and visit the Stuff Exhibition.

 

Stuff for those of you who are not in the UK is one of the foremost magazines for "Boys Toys". This was represented very clearly by the demographic of the visitors. I think there was about a 90/10 split Male/Female. Which is a shame really as most of the gear on show was for both sexes.

 

The exhibition was run in conjunction with What Hi-Fi, so I really had a good time. I have just kitted out my Home Cinema (known to my wife as the "Lounge") and both my budget and size of various components was severely restricted so I wanted to see what I was missing. Anyway I digress, back to the point:

 

The day started on a high note by us making a bee line for the HP stand. Unfortunately we didn't find any iPAQs or even the TomTom Navigator HP Edition, but Rob and I did meet Charlotte and Heather. HP were demonstrating their printers so we had to take advantage (of their offer) didn't we?

Stuff Live exhibition 2004
Stuff Live exhibition 2004
Stuff Live exhibition 2004

 

One of the items on show were the top 10 gadgets of 2004 as rated by Stuff Magazine. There was little of interest to the GPS community other than the HP iPAQ 4150, and the Orange SPV C500 rated at 6 and 5 respectively. Just above that in fourth place was the Archos PVR (personal video recorder), and top of the heap was the Apple iPOD.

 

Maybe next year we will see some GPS gadgets getting the recognition they deserve.

 

Stuff Live exhibition 2004 Stuff Live exhibition 2004

 

The biggest crowd puller by far was the new robot called Qrio from Sony. When we arrived at 9:00 just as the doors were opened we had a good demonstration with a great unobstructed view. The demo started with a pair of robots doing synchronised dancing, and progressed to show the full capabilities of the machine.

 

Later on in the day it was impossible to get anywhere near the demo as can be seen from the picture below.

Stuff Live exhibition 2004

Stuff Live exhibition 2004

Actually the only device at the exhibition that had any GPS functionality at all was a new product called the Gizmondo. This is a handheld games console (similar to the Nokia nGage).

 

What makes the Gizmondo stand out from the crowd is that not only does it have integrated GPRS it also has an onboard GPS receiver. It is driven by a Samsung ARM9 400Mhz processor with a 2.8inch screen. The underlying OS is Microsoft Windows CE.net.

 

This device opens up new opportunities for both Location based gaming, and other Location based services.

 

More information can be found on the Gizmondo web site at www.gizmondo.com If you guys find this technology interesting post in this forum and we will get a sample in for review.

Stuff Live exhibition 2004

 

Of course Nokia were there showing off a new range of "designer" phones, more decorative than functional. What they did have on show was a number of phones based on the popular Series 60 platform. It was difficult to actually work out the functionality of the devices as the staff demonstrating them were not technical.

 

That said it looks like the 6260 and 6630 certainly do and will support a number of GPS applications. The 6630 is Nokia's 3G phone, boasting download speeds of up to 384kbps.

 

I wonder if the phone companies and airtime providers are missing the point trying to market 3G as a video phone? Surely they should be hitting the business market, integrating with PDAs and Laptops and selling it as a data service, something of practical use. The video phone bits can come later.

Stuff Live exhibition 2004

 

The final product I am mentioning here was one I saw on the Gadget show on TV the other week. This is a virtual keyboard. Using infrared and laser technologies the keyboard is projected onto the tabletop and acts just like a normal keyboard.

Stuff Live exhibition 2004

Stuff Live exhibition 2004

One of the great things about this is that is not only compatible with laptop PCs, but also with a number of PDAs including the XDA2, and iPAQ 2210 and 5550 (and assumably most other iPAQs). It also works with the Orange SPV E200. More details are available at www.virtualkeyboard.info

 

Well that is all for now. I must get back to my keyboard and start back on some more reviews...

 

By the way my next trip is to Las Vegas. I really have to ensure that GPS works in America, and those Casino POIs must be checked for accuracy!

 

 

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