The Stuff Live show (Kensington Olympia, September 26-28) was an entertaining afternoon out, but boy could it have done with a few more big stands. Some of the stuff (no pun intended) was great. Apple was showing off its range of iPods while over at the Panasonic stand you could play around with the company’s latest line-up of DSnap digital cameras. There was some big news at the Archos stand, and Palm seemed to be doing good business in tempting punters with its range of PDAs. There was also another chance to see a scaled replica of Subeo’s two and three man yellow submarines (the Gemini and the Aquarius) – pictured below.
But for hardened hacks like us there were very few scoops. And many of the stalls around the edge of the show seemed to be showing decidely tacky-looking gadgets that wouldn’t be out of place in the old Innovations catalogue. There were plants that doubled as table lamps (www.plantalamp.com) so when you touched the leaves the bulb would glow. And there was a brace you put round your neck (the U-Beat Vibrowoofer) that was supposed to generate bass sounds when listening to movies – sadly it didn’t work very well and it looked stoopid…
Another gadget that surely looks destined for a carboot sale near you soon was the £349 Eyetop (www.eyetop.net). It’s a headset with a built in screen so you can watch videos, DVDs etc. rather than using a TV. Unfortunately, the screen was poor and you’d feel a right idiot putting it round your head.
However it wasn’t all rubbish. There were some half decent gadgets, including the PC Notes Taker – a special pen which captures handwriting from any writing surface (www.pegatech.com) and displays it on a PC screen – and a pair of MP3 goggles from Feonic – handy if your yellow submarine should ever sink. Unfortunately though the bloke from Feonic abandoned the show on the first day, due to a stand mix-up, so we never got chance to check out whether the goggles were any good!