Digixav at The Gadget Show Live 2013

Henry and I went to The Gadget Show Live in Birmingham on Friday, an annual extravaganza for tech companies to show off their latest wares to consumers in partnership with the popular Channel 5 programme, and we decided that we would turn our experiences of the event into a comprehensive report at the end of it. What you will read below this paragraph is the resulting document, which grew progressively more animated as the day drew to a close. What started out as a ‘thoughtful’ and ‘insightful’ piece descended into madness, dictated by bouncing, swiveling and a whole plethora of GIFs. This article is not for those with poor internet connections, but we hope you join us through our journey into the wonderful madness that was The Gadget Show Live 2013.

This was the ticket, which arrived in my hands thanks to a Twitter giveaway from YouTube’s PDTechHD and Otone Audio, whose stand boasted the loudest speakers by far.

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This was the entrance.

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As you can probably tell, the whole event was sponsored by Microsoft, and it became apparent that the company wanted to push its products, mainly Windows, to the showgoers. Dominating the show floor was this stand.

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On this stand, you could find pretty much every Windows Phone and bizarre Windows 8 form factor under the sun, so we made GIFs of them all.

Windows Phone 8 Phones

Windows 8 Form Factors

What impressed us in particular was the Dell XPS 12. We spent a long time just spinning its screen round and round.

Dell XPS 12

In the end, we left it like this.

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Lenovo’s ThinkPad Twist received similar treatment from both myself…

…and Henry.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

Henry also took a shine to the dual-screened Asus Taichi.

Asus Taichi

We both just laughed at Toshiba’s 21:9 offering, though.

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As we moved away from Microsoft’s stand, Henry tried to capture the atmosphere on his Surface RT.

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Soon after, we found ourselves in the Game Zone for an on-stage Grid 2 competition. Henry was lucky enough to be one of the 8 competitors hand-picked from the crowd.

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He then faced the embarassment of coming in 4th in front of the gathered crowd. See if you can spot us both by clicking the image for full resolution.

Grid 2 Stage

After this, we found some calmer places to demo the game, which is set for release at the end of May.

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The best one was undoubtedly the LG stand, which let visitors drive round the Red Bull Ring on a £19,999 84″ 4K/Ultra HD TV, shown off in the UK for the first time, coupled with a Vesaro sim racing setup that clocked in at £15,000. Stay tuned to our YouTube channel for videos from this stand later this week.

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Just next door, Samsung had a few HDTVs, a Galaxy Note 10.1 and a Perspex-encased Galaxy S4.

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On the other side of LG, Bowers & Wilkins were showing off some bizarre speakers.

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Sony, perched close to Microsoft, had a bus, which was sadly not open to the public.

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Honda’s tiny stand showcased Miimo, a robotic lawnmower that borrows technology from the company’s line of Asimo humanoid robots.

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Pioneer’s DJ equipment got Henry up and scratching merrily.

DJ Henry

3D printers were all the rage this year.

3D Printing

Parrot’s cage full of AR.Drones being demoed every 5 minutes was prime material for GIFs.

Parrot AR Drone Spin

Parrot AR Drone Fall

The most fun we had all day was at the end with Kangoo Jumps. We bounced a lot.

Xavier Bounce

Henry Bounce

Although Henry gained unnatural amounts of pleasure from making unusual GIFs of me.

Xavier Drinking

Xavier Conveyor

The opposite was also true, however.

Henry Conveyor

Henry Walking

All in all, we had a great day at The Gadget Show Live. It was jam-packed full of cutting-edge technology and definitely worth the 6 hour round trip to Birmingham. From Henry…

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…and from myself…

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…we hope to see you all there next year!

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Technophobia: The future of television

Technophobia is a column by James Hardy. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

Recently, as services such as Hulu and Netflix have taken off, and as consumers gradually move over to online TV services, is there a future for the television? Admittedly Hulu hasn’t yet hopped the pond to make the service available in the UK, but I’m sure it will only be a matter of time.

I live in Hastings, where a certain John Logie Baird lived, he being the one famed for creating television in 1925. Television has come a long way since then. We have colour TV, for starters, hundreds of channels, and many thousands of shows.

The television is still very popular. 50 million are sold each year. The average North American has three TVs in their house.

I have noticed that I don’t watch as much telly as I used to. One service I find fantastic is TVCatchup, a site where you can watch live TV, with around a ten second delay.

I do like American TV. For instance, in my opinion Community is the best, funniest show on TV right now. Bar none. But living in the UK, I can’t get access to it. So I may or may not allegedly possibly maybe download it a little bit illegally from sites such as isohunt and the now defunct btjunkie. Ahem. I won’t provide links to them due to laws which are trying to be pushed through by certain governments, but there is a thing called Google.

I do find services like iPlayer to be very useful. For instance, when I’ve missed the latest episode of The Apprentice, which seems to be most weeks. Side note – why does Match of the Day never go up on iPlayer? And 4oD is good, but why do they stop you seeing things after 30 days from when they are broadcast? I’m still not sure if I’ve seen the last episode of Peep Show! And as for Demand 5…

I personally don’t have an account to Hulu, Lovefilm or anything like that. I have tried out Netflix at someone else’s house, and I have to say, I like it. I like being able to watch that many shows and films whenever I want. Of course, Netflix also do a delivery service, though not in Britain, probably due to competition from Lovefilm, but I reckon that will die out quite soon.

It’s nice having shows whenever, because it is unbearable waiting til Thursday for the next Community episode (or Friday when I can download the thing). But at the same time that’s part of the fun. I think it just shows how lazy we humans are getting. We want everything whenever we feel like it, we don’t won’t to have to wait. Is that a good thing?

At the moment, in the US the rate of people moving from TV to internet services like Netflix is less than 1% per year. It isn’t a massive change. Yet.

I think Netflix and Hulu need to get bigger and better before they will become massive. They need a larger selection of films and TV shows, and they need them quicker – as the series is happening, for instance.

Recently companies have started to produce smart TVs, where you can connect to the internet and get apps through them, but for me while they’re trying to make a television that can also do more, I think it is more like a computer that doubles as a television. With a bigger screen.

I think the humble TV will go on fighting for a while yet. It will take time to completely kill it off.

Some flies are too awesome for the wall. (I know it doesn’t really make sense, I just wanted to end with a Community quote.)

This article was originally published on Stuff Things Rants

Argos pricing incompetence leads to “bargain” Nokia Lumia 800 disappointment

Remember the HP TouchPad? When it was discontinued, it received a massive price cut that crashed sites all around the world, including that of Argos. Today, a similar, albeit unintentional, price cut occurred but this time for a device that has been well-received. Completely out of the blue, an online only deal popped up that included an unlocked Nokia Lumia 800, our favourite thing of 2011, priced at just £119.99. Bewildered consumers flocked to mop these up and sites such as The Verge seemed to have confirmation from the company that this was indeed a real offer.

But no, it seems that Argos in fact made a ‘pricing error’ and that the offer was not legitimate. Customers received emails telling them that there had been a mistake coinciding with the launch of their latest catalogue and that the orders would be cancelled with money refunded within 7 days. This hasn’t been the first time that this kind of thing has happened at Argos, and, as I write this, the “deal” is still online, over 14 hours after the supposed sell-out. Maybe it’s time for Argos to get their act together.

Santa uses Siri according to new Apple ad

A new advert for the iPhone 4S has just hit Apple’s YouTube channel with a special celebrity guest. In the 30 second spot, Santa uses his iPhone’s virtual assistant Siri to guide him through his Christmas night. When asking how his day is, Santa gets reliably informed of his 3.7 billion appointments and is told not to eat too much by his wife. Watch the clip below or wait for it to hit your telly in the next week.