Rants, Raves & Views

Gadget Show Live 2014: Round

By Alex Morrison

This years Gadget Show Live, held in Birmingham, offered up a diverse range of products for us to try. Ranging from drones to personal projectors, and even product demonstrations using Oculus Rift, there was a lot on the table. We've put together a list of some of the most exciting tech we saw at one of this year's top gadget events.

OneWheel:

OneWheel is a self-balancing, single-wheeled electric skateboard that claims to be the closet thing to a hoverboard. To move backwards and forwards the rider simply has to lean in that direction, where the more you lean the faster you go. 

The board can travel up to 12mph and has a range of 4-6 miles depending on the terrain and how it is ridden. One of the other notable features, despite it only having one wheel, is that it can recharge in just 20 minutes using a high-speed charger. That’s fast, especially compared to other forms of electric transportation, which normally take a couple of hours to recharge.  

Here’s a video showing the board in action. For more information head over to their website.

Boosty:

This was one of the most promising products on display this year. For everyone who has an internet speed of 4 mbps or less, Boosty wants to improve your home broadband connection speed by combining it with the signal you receive on your smartphone.

The company provides a small router which plugs into the back of your existing broadband router. It receives the signal you get from your smartphone and pairs it with the speed you currently receive. The device claims it can boost your broadband speed by up to 90%.

For more information on the device head over to their website.

Evolve Game:

The makers of Left 4 Dead showed off their latest multiplayer game, Evolve, at this years Gadget Show Live. The game brings a new dynamic to multiplayer games, splitting teams into 4 vs 1. Seems a little lopsided? Not exactly.

Four players on one team get to choose from four different Hunter classes - Trapper, Support, Assault and Medic. The fifth player fights as a giant Monster that is more than capable of taking on the opposing four-man team. Through team work, upgrades and perks each team must try to eliminate the other. 

In terms of visual presentation, the game's graphics fall somewhere between realistic and slightly cartoonish. It's perfect for the setting of the game, which, by the way, is set in a jungle.

The game will be released on Xbox One, PS4 and Steam and should come out between July and September this year. Check out the gameplay trailer below, and for more information, head over to their website.

Personal Projector:

Ok, so we've all seen projectors before - but not ones as small and as crisp as this. Oh, and did I forget to mention that it's wireless as well?

Meet the Pico Genie M400. Weighing just 590 grams, this projector has a WXGA resolution of 1200 X 800. Furthermore, it is one of the first palm-sized projectors to offer 3D straight out of the box. The battery lasts one hour on full brightness and can last up to 2 hours on eco mode. It can also wirelessly transmit an audio signal to a FM receiver for better sound quality (as I'm sure the in-built speakers are lackluster in quality). The projector can be paired with nearly any device, whether it be a tablet, smartphone, laptop or game console, making it the perfect travel companion.

For more details and specs go to the M400's product page on the Personal Projector website. 

Salvaged Game:

Another title looking to change the dynamic of gaming is tactical-action shooter Salvaged. In the game, players simultaneously take control of four A.I. characters who dutifully carry out your bidding (or finger tapping). Players never have direct control over the characters but instead tell them "where to go, what to target, and what to interact with".

In terms of controls, players receive information via two ways. Through an iOS or Android device, players get a top-down view of the situation, enabling their characters to move tactfully and eliminate enemies as they press on different areas of the map. The other is through a PC monitor, which provides a first-person view of what's happening on the ground. 

The story hasn't been fully disclosed yet, but from what I've seen, you take control of a Remote Interstellar Salvage Crew (RISC) aboard a ship traveling through space. You must fend of against enemy aliens and looters. 

The game is still very much in early stages. When I talked with one of the development team members, he couldn't even give me a rough estimate of when the game would come out. So, if I had to guess, we could maybe see this game come out Q1/Q2 2015.

For more information on the game check out their website. I'll leave you with a trailer of the game (it's not the most revealing, but it's all we've got).