Top 6 Favourites From The Gadget Show 2016
The Gadget show was another great success this year with hundreds of companies exhibiting all of the new tech they had on offer! This is a rundown of my top 6 favourites from the gadget show 2016!
Tesla was out in form at the show this year, taking up a large amount of exhibition space by demonstrating their Model S with a total of 7 cars on display. After having a quick look inside the display model the interior was futuristic but still with the comfort of luxury motoring. Soft leather seats, LED interior lighting, smooth sweeping curves/lines and a massive touch screen display in the centre console made sure you knew you were in a Tesla.
As we got a quick ride in the fastest Model S they make, the features were even more impressive. Due to a recent app update, the Tesla Model S now supports wireless control from a smartphone to allow the driver to view the car from the outside when negotiating tricky spots. It can bay park, change lanes and steer all without assistance too including all of the features you’d expect; full surround sound, mobile connection with internet and Spotify access, a full navigation system, touch screen climate control and a vast array of settings and features to customise the car to your exact liking.
The most impressive point of the Model S was its pure acceleration, we must have only got up to about 30 – 40 MPH but the way in which it achieves that speed from a stand still is incredible. The acceleration time was unnoticeable, it was as if we were stopped then doing 40MPH instantly.
Line Wobble by Dungeon Crawler was a much simpler piece of tech in comparison with the Tesla but never the less it was extremely satisfying. Line Wobbler is a simple game which requires the player to bend a handle on a coiled string in order to move a green dot across a white strip of LEDs. As the Dot moves along, enemies in a red attempt to stop you which you must then wobble the coil in order to kill them. As you defeat enemies along the way they come thicker and faster the closed to the top you get. This is such a simple game but it attracted a lot of attention with people playing it having large grins on their faces. If anything, this is an example of pure down to earth gaming.
Another motor propelled gadget which I was impressed by was the DTV Shredder, a cross between a tank and a scooter! This stand on all-train vehicle runs a similar engine to that of quad bikes but is controlled in a completely different way. As you stand on a skateboard-like top, you lean left to right to control the direction of the Shredder whilst you control the throttle on the handlebars. This little machine has some guts too, it’s capable of doing up to 30 MPH and because it’s running on tracks, it doesn’t matter what surface you’re doing that 30 MPH on!
Ultimaker 3D Printer 2
Although there were many varying types of 3D printers at the Gadget Show, this Ultimaker 2 caught my eye as it’s a simple design, casing and internal lights made me realise how practical and easy it could be to have one of these in your home. The printing that we were watching was of a complete ball paring, although it took 7 – 8 hours to complete this print the uses of this machine are never-ending. Imagine, if something breaks in your home – a handle, part of a mechanism, an appliance, more often it’s not possible to fix because the part’s aren’t made anymore or were never made in the first place which leaves the only option to buy a completely new item. If you had this little printer in your house or office, it would be easy to replicate and print a suitable part to replace the broken one. This way appliances and gadgets will be given a new lease of life and not wasted to a pile of landfill.
I was really impressed by the idea behind SAM labs. They are basically little wireless components (switches, motors, sensors, lights) which can all be connected using a central control unit such as a laptop. You can configure the various causes and effects that you would like the components to act out using a simple graphical interface where no coding at all is required. I love the idea of implementing this in the home or office to automate tasks or to simply make daily procedures easier. It’s also a great gift for kids who is like to get into engineering or computing as it teaches the basics of connectivity and cause/effect.
This falls into the same line of tech as the SAM Labs kit but on a much simpler level. The BBC Micro:Bit is a great little mini-computer designed to get kids interested in coding. The BBC Micro:Bit features a small LED display and two user buttons to interact with. When connected to a computer you can code the minicomputer to perform mini-games, automated actions and cause/effect type commands. One makes it so great is that the BBC Micro:Bit is being issued to School free of charge so that any youngster has the opportunity to have a go at some simple coding with instant physical results that they can interact with.