While AnandTech is predominantly a website catering to the US crowd, not everything that gets released ends up in the rest of the world – China and North America are normally locations 1 and 2 on the list of ‘where do we ship our product to’.  I come from the UK, which is somewhere in the middle between a US release and a never release.  For example we do not get Rosewill here, and no matter how much I look at the Vizio Thin + Light as a possible laptop upgrade, I will have to import one (with 20% import tax) or buy it when I am next over there. 

The EU market, compared to most, deals with a lot of different problems than selling in the US, and while the Eurozone as a concept should make it easier, the UK is one of the non-Euro currency countries, which makes it harder.  On top of this, we also have our own home grown talent – companies and entrepreneurs that want to invest, market, or find distribution channels.  In some eyes, CeBIT is becoming more of a distribution network than any actual new hardware release announcements, but it is this type of local event that occurs all around the world.

On Tuesday I went to an event hosted by one of the UK’s over the air television shows, The Gadget Show.  For our non-UK audience, the Gadget Show is not an enthusiast based technology broadcast – it deals with lots of different technology, showcasing some of the big names as well as home grown devices, and their application to the real world.  The Gadget Show Live is an extension of this, for companies and entrepreneurs to showcase their wares to first the professional crowd (investors, resellers and media), and then the general public over a multi-day event.  The location for this is the NEC in Birmingham, a well known location for this sort of trade (+public) show.

Most of what the big names in the tech industry are selling here are not new – they have been announced globally and nothing from them is that surprising, except how long it has taken for a product to get to the UK.  Much like some films, it might be sold in the US or Asia up to 6 months before here and often the UK firms have EU offices that distribute the EU allocation based on markets.  It is all very complex stuff, even in our modern age of internet sales.

But the local business or entrepreneurs trying to get investors, put their name onto the scene, show off their wares and perhaps have something interesting up their sleeve is what I went to see.  While there was *a lot* of junk at the event itself (like automatic cat litter trays or energy drink promotions), a few items piqued my interest from both a technology and a reality point of view.

IglooVision: Gaming in all Directions
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  • jabber - Thursday, April 4, 2013 - link

    The Gadget Show??? I must admit I don't know anyone that watches that show anymore. It was okay originally when they group tested the latest cameras and deep fat fryers but now it's all stupidly expensive Arab prince playthings. It comes to something when the cheapest stuff they show are Apple products. A reality disconnect. Oh and the presenters are dicks too.
  • hughlle - Thursday, April 4, 2013 - link

    Have to agree. It's in the name. Gadget. An igloo 360 degree gaming experience does not really fal into the notion of a gadget for me, considering the level of sophistication, let alone the size of the thing.
  • IanCutress - Thursday, April 4, 2013 - link

    There are two different markets for gadgets - the consumer or the business. Now I can't imagine an individual having a 360 gaming experience in the home unless they have the space and the cash, but there is scope for businesses to hire them for events, or use them as marketing tools to build new clients. In that sense, they are very much a gadget from my POV.

    Also the 'Live' show floor has very little to do with the OTA TV programme, except in name and advertising. There are corollaries between items featured in the TV Show and the event, mostly by virtue that the company making the product wants to advertise it to the event audience. Not once did I see or bump into any of the Gadget Show presenters.

    The TV broadcast doesn't specialise in any real field; their market is the non-enthusiast. As such, the non-enthusiast may not appreciate being told the difference between 18 different smartphones or laptops, only one or two, and they don't really care about the motherboard as they buy systems prebuilt. And in much the same way that Top Gear doesn't really review anything for regular people, TGS veers into that high end space more often than not in order to show 'here's something in the high end space''.

  • Modjo30 - Friday, April 5, 2013 - link

    Guess you don't watch it ever then because they are always testing the cheaper items, they were testing the latest touch screen camera's on the latest episode, costing £199 and £299, i wouldn't call that arab prince playthings really, However it is a bit like Top gear, an awful lot of people are interested in seeing these amazing gadgets and what peoples minds have thought up, you go back to your farm and your armish lifestyle
  • cjs150 - Friday, April 5, 2013 - link

    The presenters are not dicks, they are too juvenile for their balls to have dropped yet.

    It is a show made by 9 year old boys for 9 year old boys (but with a pretty women as one of the presenters in case the 9 year old's elder brother (13) ends up watching it). Shame because some of the tech is truly interesting.
  • takuan2uk - Saturday, April 6, 2013 - link

    Hi, I used to be a Gadget Show fan as well, but it has long ceased to be a show aimed at techies and gadget freaks. As is common with many programs it has dumbed down and become more sensationalised so as to appeal to a wider audience. You can tell that they're milking it for all it's worth when they sent one of the presenters to Italy just to test out some (rather ordinary) headphones!
  • AncientWisdom - Thursday, April 4, 2013 - link

    Great write up, definitely some interesting ideas and gadgets presented.

    very interested in a follow-up of the Gunnar products as well as the group robot stuff which I find very stimulating intelligently speaking.
  • NobleKain - Monday, April 8, 2013 - link

    AncientWisdom ~
    Following this write-up, I went and bought a pair of the Gunnar's (Wi-Five model). I love them! My assumption is that since I have a FSA (health savings account) that I haven't yet touched, I can probably get them reimburesed given their purpose (Note: I have not yet attempted reimbursement, so don't trust that it is possible... I just assume it is).

    Anyway, I have had my pair since last Friday (4/5/13). I absolutely love them. I'm a comp programmer, so I spend 8+ hours a day in front of my PC, followed by an evening of reading on my iPad mini. They make a HUGE difference, but you should note: it takes awhile to get used to them (it took me a little over an hour). While the magnification is minor, it's enough to "weird" out your eyes. I presume this is because your eyes are used to working harder. Whatever the reason, it takes a bit to get comfortable with them, but after the hour, I can now wear them without issue. Also, I no longer need a "warm-up" to them. They simply work comfortably.

    Another caveat; the magnification REDUCES the clarity of anything more than 10ft. away. Again, this is very, very minor, but it is worth noting. These won't be all-day replacements for all activities. These are single-purpose glasses, IMO... looking at computer screens.

    I got the yellow'd tinted versions, and I'd suggest you do the same, unless you NEED the clear versions.

    Anyway, as a customer, I'm very happy with my purchase - and if I'm correct that I can use my FSA funds, I'll be even happier. Either way, it's worth it (I paid $106 after tax). I'm tempted now to get a pair for home, so I don't have to bring these ones back and forth.
  • dylan522p - Thursday, April 4, 2013 - link

    Great write up, but I feel like the gadget show is not about gadgets.
  • jabber - Thursday, April 4, 2013 - link

    We used to go to the Stuff show at the end of the year. Then the next day we visited Selfridge's home entertainment and computer dept. We found 95% of the gear on show at the Stuff show in there...and it didn't cost anything to go in.

    Suffice to say we don't bother paying/visiting that many gadget/tech shows these days.

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