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Channel 5s Iconic Gadget Show goes live in Birmingham

If you are into technology or gadgets then one of the iconic TV shows that you will be watching will be the Gadget Show on Channel 5.

This year Suzi, Jason, Jon and Otis will be taking the show live to the public at the NEC in Birmingham from April 17-19 2009. The show which was sold out weeks ago features 3 live presentations each day, plus many how-to and demo theatres.

This is all backed by an exhibition with the A-Y (no company Z...) of Gadget Companies will be touting their latest and greatest wares. On the GPS side of things Garmin and TomTom will be there with sales available from The SatNav Warehouse.

Mike Alder and MikeB will be there representing PocketGPSWorld.com so if you see us say Hi...

Created by Mike Barrett on Thursday, April 16 @ 10:46:00 UTC

Gadget Show Live: Best of Show... (for me) and wrap.

Well this was quite a tough one and I split it into 2 sections GPS related and non-GPS.

On the GPS side it really had to be a toss up between the Garmin nuvi 1240 with the multi-modal navigation, and the Sony GPS Camcorder. In the end the Sony GPS camcorder won for 2 reasons: 1) you can actually buy it now, and 2) It is breaking ground in a different area whereas the Garmin is enhancing SatNav in an existing field.

Click here to see our Sony Video report.

On the non-GPS side there was so much diversity but again it really came down to 2 things: 1) The Power Tool drag racing and 2) the Robots made from scrap tech. In the end I went for the Power Tool Drag racing as it is a challenge laid down for us to get creative.

Click here for our Power Tool Drag racing video.

Well that is all for this year, the next techie consumer show will be the Stuff expo towards the end of the year. I think the guys at Future Publishing need to get their thinking hats on as the bar has been raised by the Gadget Show Live and they will need to find a way to move ahead.

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 16:19:46 UTC

Video: Power Tool Drag Racing: a new life for old tools...

The Gadget Show is not just about GPS and other gadgets. It is also about having fun as well.

Our favourite non-GPS activity was the power tool drag racing. This is where ordinary everyday power tool have been modified into drag racers. They then compete head to head down the drag strip.

Mike Alder was so taken by this concept that his hedge trimmer was magically transformed on Saturday and he is going to enter the national Power Tool Drag Racing competition on September 12-13 2009. Click here for more details about the power tool drag racing.

Click here to view our power tool drag racing video.

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 15:07:20 UTC

The Gadget Show Live Super Theatre

As part of the show are three daily Live performances of the Gadget Show with all the presenters taking an active involvement. A few instant competitions for the audience with the winner going home with top of the range equipment such as laptops or camcorders.

The first picture below was produced on stage by dancers waving computer controlled “light wands” a most impressive show.

In typical Gadget Show style it involved collisions to test the survivability of Laptops and here Suzi tried to make toast of a Panasonic Tough-Book, needless to say the Panasonic won! Poor Ortis ended up with a few bruises for his troubles.

The show involved all sorts of crazy things in the true Gadget Show style culminating in a race through the audience by the lads on various forms of personal transportation. Jason had a towing devices and he was on rollerblades, Jon was on a segway, and Ortis was on the powered unicycle. With a bit of bumping and pushing Jason emerged the eventual winner in our race.

Led show
Led Show

Led show
Led Show

Suzi is hot
Suzi is hot

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 11:58:49 UTC

A Blast from the past... The History of Computing

Remember the old Sir Clive Sinclair C5 electric “Car” well this pristine example was on a large stand charting the history of computing over the past 30+ years. Along side were working models of the old favourites such as the Commodore PET and BBC Micro offering the younger element of the audience a chance to see where this entire PC revolution really started.

The guys at www.computinghistory.org.uk are attempting to archive as much of our computing history as possible. Not too difficult for today's miniature devices, but when I started in computers the uni computer took up a whole sports hall with the grand total of 8k (yes that is 8048 bytes) of main memory. Just a few of those presents a huge storage problem.

Two young lads were struggling with a game on the BBC Micro until MikeB stepped in and informed them which keys they needed to use, a good memory test considering the BBC Micro was a device that retired 20 years ago. (about my level of game play)

The Sinclair C5
The Sinclair C5

An early Apple
An early Apple

A BBC Micro
A BBC Micro

Mikes programming skills
Mikes programming skills

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 11:44:20 UTC

Weird Transportation... check these out:

The Fast Films stand had a Lotus that was absolutely bristling with mounts for cameras. Yes this car really is covered in mounts that could be used for anything at all ranging from GPS equipment, display screens, cameras (still and video) A very extensive range offering a solution for almost all vehicles and devices. This is of interest to me as I am eternally seeking beter and more stable ways to mount video cameras in my car.

Looking more like the undercarriage from a Vulcan bomber aircraft, this rather unusual array of wheels is actually the front wheels of a push bike! It is certainly distinctive, but the show was too busy to try riding the machine. MikeB actually managed to try one last year at the MPH Show, and it was an interesting ride to say the least.

Again another quirky personal transportation system. This looks rather out of place, it would be more at home on the film set for Star Trek……. Standing on the larger plates and alternating your body weight between your two feet and it will move forwards. It takes a bit of practice though.

More weird things were in store. Check out the huge wheels on these roller skates...

Mount for your camera sir?
Mount for your camera sir?

Vulcan Bomber?
Vulcan Bomber?

No its a bike
No its a bike

Maybe this is Vulcan?
Maybe this is Vulcan?

No its a...   Whatever...
No its a... Whatever...

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 11:35:08 UTC

Personal Projectors and Video accessories for iPhones and PDAs.

There is always a conflict between keeping things to yourself and sharing. Well there were a number of video devices on display that would let you do either.

From www.personalprojector.co.uk there were a range of battery powered portable personal projectors. These mobile projectors can be used with phones/ PDA’s and PC’s when they offer the correct type of output. Far less bulky than the more usual data projectors as these simply slip in to your pocket for carriage. Simple to set up and are capable of throwing an image up to 50” across, they do need a darkened environment for maximum effect, in the brightly lit NEC they couldn’t really show off there true potential. Great for sharing your videos with friends.

At the other end of the spectrum Vuzix had some personal viewing glasses. These are so privates that they include a rubber skirt to keep out the external light and provide the best possible image. These even feature a 3D mode for rendition of 3D movies and games, the top model also features head tracking for real hardcore gaming. these are compatible with a wide range of devices from iPhones and iPods to Video Camcorders and Video Vaming systems.

Personal Projectors
Personal Projectors

Personal Projectors
Personal Projectors

Video Eyewear
Video Eyewear

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 11:22:33 UTC

Balanzza : More power for your iPhone

iPhone battery life is one of those contentious issues for owners of the device when using it away from a power source, there is no way to swap out the dead battery for a charged unit, so when it gets low you need to head to a power source. Balanzza were showing 2 solutions to this problem: the True Power iV and the Richard Solo 1800

The True Power iV is a rather novel caddy battery increases the thickness and length of the iPhone slightly, but with 3100mA capacity you should be able to get far more than 24 hours use without needing a charge. It looks stylish and feels like a quality product, expect a more in depth look at this and the following charger in the next month or two. Apart from charging this gadget has a swwitchable high power LED to assist with photo taking in low light. This charger is compatible with all versions of the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

The Richard Solo 1800 is more of a power pack for the iPhone rather than integrated as part of the case like the previous unit. With a capacity of 1800mA from the built in Li-Pol battery it offers a decent level of storage capacity without being too heavy or bulky. In addition to charging the iPhone it also contains a high intensity white LED (handy for finding things in a dark car) and a red laser pointer for presentation work.

I have to wonder if the name of the company is derived from this gadget? One for the holiday, got a wife that packs the entire wardrobe for a simple trip overseas? Or in my case a suitcase full of gadgets that weighs a ton... Then avoid the costly excess baggage charges by weighing your luggage prior to leaving home, its small enough to even take with you to ensure you aren’t over weight for the return leg of the trip, and at £19.99 it wont break the bank.

Click here for more details...

The True Power iV iPhone Charger
The True Power iV iPhone Charger

The Richard Solo 1800 iPhone Charger
The Richard Solo 1800 iPhone Charger

The balanzza digital travel scales
The balanzza digital travel scales

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 11:07:08 UTC

Tiso Pay as You Go vehicle tracking

A new vehicle finder comprising of a GPRS modem for mobile data communications and SMS text message support, also a GPS receiver is included within the package. The device is supplied with external aerials for both GSM & GPS allowing a decent signal reception when buried in the vehicle.

The software lets you find or track an equipped vehicle from your PC or mobile phone, you can also send a “Kill” signal to the device which disables the vehicles fuel pump. With this you can remotely stop the car and know exactly where it is to enable a speedy recovery of the asset.

Click here for more details.

The Tiso PAYG tracker
The Tiso PAYG tracker

The Tiso PAYG tracker
The Tiso PAYG tracker

The Tiso PAYG tracker software
The Tiso PAYG tracker software

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 10:49:29 UTC

Video: Sony show a World First GPS Camcorder

Sony had on display what was claimed to be the World's First GPS camcorder the HDR-XR520VE this is a 12MP HD recorder with a 240Gb hard disk drive for up to 29 hours of HD video storage. What differentiates this camcorder mo any other is the inclusion of a GPS and also Navteq mapping.

As you press record the GPS location is recorded in the meta data associated with the clip. This is then used to place a pinpoint on the map to identify where you recorded the video. Currently the only software systems that support video GPS co-ordinates are the inclusive Sony software, but I imagine it will not be long before the likes of You-Tube are able to use the information.

Click here to see Nick Webb from Sony product management describe some of the features of the video camcorder. We are expecting a review sample to come shortly so we can give a much more detailed appraisal of the device.

Priced at £1319 it is not cheap, but then when has new technology ever been? Click here for more details on the Sony Style site. Although Nick says the camcorder is available now SonyStyle still has it flagged as Pre-order.

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 10:35:22 UTC

Video: Navigon show 3D and personalised routing

Peter Blampied of Navigon was on the T3 stand where he was demonstrating the latest software running on the Navigon SatNavs. The navigation software has been rewritten to make it more efficient and this allows the more advanced features to be implemented on the lower specified devices.

Peter showed us 2 new features: 3D and personalised routing. The 3D comes in 2 different 'flavours': 3D city-maps and topographical. Both of these are shown well on the video. The personalised routing works by analaysing the type of roads that you tend to drive over time and learning the sort of routes that you prefer. This works on a per device basis rather than a per user basis, but this may be the introduction of intelligent navigation...

Click here to see these new Navigon features in action.

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 10:14:23 UTC

Video: Gtrek demonstrate a datalogger for Skiiers

Gtrek Ltd had a GPS datalogging system on display which integrates a GPS Datalogger using an MTK GPS Chipset into Google Earth.

"OK so what" you say "lots of companies have done that.". Well what differentiates the Gtrek system is that it provides an analysis of your trip, and is able to differentiate between the ski lift and downhill skiing to give you stats about your actual distance skied, maximum speeds etc. The crowning glory of the computer display is a 3D fly through of your downhill run.

The GPS datalogger sports built in flash memory for recording where its been, sufficient storage for around 32 hours of use while logging at once per second, longer durations can be achieved by increasing the time interval between recording of the location data. Battery endurance is claimed to be 25 hours which is becoming the norm these days for such devices which also include the ability to act as a Bluetooth GPS receiver. Also supplied with the device is an extensive software package offering an impressive 3D fly through on a fully rendered map to visualise where the device has been.

Click here to watch our video as Gtrek's John Bird talks us through the system.

More information can be found at www.gtrek.co.uk

The Gtrek II GPS Datalogger
The Gtrek II GPS Datalogger

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 09:54:21 UTC

Video: TomTom had special offer on the x40 Live satnavs

Whilst TomTom did not have any new offerings on show at the Gadget Show Live they were offering the TomTom GO 740 Live for the price of the GO 540 Live. This effectively gave you European mapping for free.

The other thing that was available was a trade-in for your old SatNav. This should still be available from www.tomtomstore.co.uk and gives you another option to dispose of your existing navigation device.

Click here for our short show interview with Jenny from TomTom UK.

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 09:42:35 UTC

Video: Garmin introduce pedestrian mode on the Nuvi 1240

On the Garmin stand we saw all the new 1000 range navigation devices, including the nuvi 1490T with a 5 inch widescreen display. The star of the Garmin offerings though was the new multi-modal navigation which not only provides driving instructions, but allows the mixture of various other forms of transport including trains and walking.

This is the first time we have seen this technology in action. It is still under development, but will start to hit the streets in a few months time. Click here to see our video as Garmin's Clive Lee explains how the new multi-modal satnav works.

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, April 20 @ 09:33:30 UTC

Pictures from the Gadget Show Live Super Theatre

As I was repeatedly told I was not allowed to video the live show I did the next best thing: blogged them to Twitter using my iPhone Click here to see the pictures on twitpic.

Jason and Ortis race round in the personal transportation race
Jason and Ortis race round in the personal transportation race

Article by Mike Barrett on Friday, April 17 @ 21:24:18 UTC

Lack of wifi and O2 broadband prevented blogging today

Sorry for everyone who was trying to follow the events of the Gadget Show Live on the site this was due to the complete failure of my eeeMac to connect to either wifi or to O2 broadband. A minor consolation was that I was able to get some tweets off on twitter using my iPhone over T-Mobile.

In a way this probably stops me spoiling the show for people going over the weekend. The show was really good, we have some great pictures and videos. I will start to publish these over the next couple of days...

If you are going this weekend then take lots of cash (or your flexible friend) as there are lots of deals to be had on the exhibition floor. A typical example is the TomTom GO Live 740 on sale for the price of the GO Live 540, and even better you can trade in your old GPS.

Article by Mike Barrett on Friday, April 17 @ 21:06:42 UTC

Arrived at the NEC safely, having breakfast at Birmingham International

It was a grey and dreary drive up to the NEC 150 miles with the rain not being hard enough to have the wipers on all the time so irritating on off all the way up here. No holdups so I managed to make it in 2.5 hours.

Waited for Mike at the station and now we are having breakfast waiting for the Gadget Show Live to open.

Article by Mike Barrett on Friday, April 17 @ 09:21:23 UTC

Follow the Gadget Show Live coverage on Twitter.

Not only are we going to be blogging here on PocketGPSWorld.com but we will also be posting to Twitter as well. Click here to follow us on Twitter, or sign up for your own twitter account.

Article by Mike Barrett on Thursday, April 16 @ 10:29:34 UTC

Billed as: The Ultimate Consumer Electronics Event

Extracts from the Press Release make it sound as if it will be techie heaven for all of us gadget freaks. From SatNav to Stereos, folding bikes to segways it will all be there. Plus of course the show's presenters.

The Gadget Show Super Theatre will bring to life all the high-energy features from the TV show, with spectacular action packed live performances, world record attempts and challenges hosted by The Gadget Show’s very own Jason Bradbury, Suzi Perry and Jon Bentley.

Jon Bentley says; “The Gadget Show Live builds on the excitement of the TV programme and develops it into a creative, dynamic and fun-fuelled event. Packed with top class exhibitors and a raft of innovative features, it's an unrivalled opportunity for anyone with an interest in gadgetry to have hands-on access to the very latest technology on the market, all in one place."

Jason Bradbury adds “I'm really excited about The Gadget Show Live. It's going to be packed with cutting-edge exhibits and really interesting 'hands-on' interactive features. Most of all, it will be a great opportunity to meet the viewers who share our passion for technology.”

For me it will be a 3 hour slog through rush hour traffic to get there for the start at 10am on the 17th but the excitement is gathering already...

Article by Mike Barrett on Thursday, April 16 @ 10:10:19 UTC

Posted by MaFt on Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:52 am Reply with quote

should be good - shame my dutch friend is getting married tomorrow else i'd have been there like a shot!


Posted by Pocketgps on Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:16 pm Reply with quote

Hope Suzi is now well again. Have missed her on the show.

A few weeks ago Suzi was rushed into hospital for lifesaving surgery. She had suffered a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and was bleeding internally. At hospital she collapsed as she had lost 4 pints of blood and was very poorly. Sadly she lost the baby and the traumatic experience saw her spend 5 days in hospital and several weeks in recovery. She is still not strong enough to return to work and her hectic filming schedule, but hopes to be back as soon as she is well.

Posted by MikeB on Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:00 pm Reply with quote

I think she is OK again. She will be at the Gadget Show Live so lets hope she doesnt overdo it...

Mike Barrett

Posted by SpeedCam on Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:41 pm Reply with quote

Laughing Yes this is looking like it will be a very good show, struggled to get hold of tickets but I was lucky, so I'll be there on Saturday...

Rolling Eyes If anyone has a spare child ticket or knows someone who has one, I'd really like the opportunity to buy it ! ! !


Model : HTC HD2, HTC Magic, iPhone 3g, GO 740, XL GO Live

Posted by MikeB on Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:56 pm Reply with quote

MikeB Wrote:
I think she is OK again. She will be at the Gadget Show Live so lets hope she doesnt overdo it...

Just had confirmation from Suzi, she has been in rehearsals all day and things have gone well. She has been away from the Gadget Show for 8 weeks, but will be back on our screens again soon. The show runs 6-8 weeks behind recording.

Mike Barrett

Posted by Nolongerlost on Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:36 pm Reply with quote

Just returned from a great day at The Gadget Show LIVE on Friday...

We went to the very first Super Theatre presentation at 11.00 and were v.pleased to see Suzi was back - and looking very well!!! She said how good it was to be back and confirmed she'd be back on our screens in about 5 weeks... Very Happy

The Super Theatre presentation was superb, with all the usual GS activities worked in...a really cool hour, I think everyone there would agree...

TomTom 720
App 9.465.1074274.1 OS:842337
GPS v1.20 Boot 5.5120
Maps: Western_Europe v905.4754

Posted by MikeB on Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:14 pm Reply with quote

Yep Suzi was in good form, she even waved to me today... I waved back (so did the rest of the audience) then all of a sudden we were playing Keepie Uppie and of course Suzi's team won. (2pm show)

Mike Barrett

Posted by maddoguk on Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:49 pm Reply with quote

I enjoyed the Theatre presentation, but was a touch underwhelmed by the overall show. A sign of the times maybe.

Posted by SpeedCam on Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:14 pm Reply with quote

Great show, I really thought the Blast from the past was good, bought back many happy memories... Binatone console, ZX81.....

The other product I thought was interesting and needs further investigation was the Tiso Pay as You Go vehicle tracking, this maybe and ideal solution for caravan tracking.

Laughing Finally how did they make a 1 hour live show about gadgets so much fun, even my wife & 7 year older daughter loved it. As a result I have royal approval to go next years show and they both want to come ! ! !


Model : HTC HD2, HTC Magic, iPhone 3g, GO 740, XL GO Live

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