Besides loving movies and video games I also love my gadgets, from iPad docks to wireless speakers, from laptops to mobiles, if it whistles, beeps, has blinking lights and looks expensive (and usually if it costs a lot more than I can afford) then I tend to fall in love with it. Last April I made my first visit to the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham and felt like I was in heaven amongst the hundreds of stands packed into the NEC. So imagine how excited I got when Kat fetched home a copy of the Metro with a half-page spread for an all-new event at London’s ExCel Centre – the London International Technology Show (LITS for short), which was being run by the folks at Dennis Publishing.
The website for LITS promised the earth, including appearances from brands such Samsung, Intel, AMD, Asus and Harmon Kardon as well as retailers such as Scan, Yoyotech plus many more; even going as far as billing the show as “if you want to touch, try and buy the latest technology then you need to be at LITS”.
The website lied.
Taking up one of the smallest areas of the ExCel Centre, approximately a fifth of the size of the MCM Expo, LITS was little more than a coming together of retailers trying to NOT sell you something. Yeah, you read that right, not selling you something… Each and every stand seemed geared to promoting the standee’s products, but not actually making anything available for sale. Well I say nothing was for sale, there was the chance to buy those cheap imported RC Helicopters, or bean bags, or iPhone cases – but you only have to go down to your local market to buy those (and at much cheaper prices).
Walking around the hall there was plenty of things to see, but not much to do – unless of course you like playing Portal, Counterstrike and the beta of Battlefield 3 or wanted to take part in the European Gaming League challenges on Fifa 12, Super Street Fighter VI or Rock Band. Fair enough there was the odd laptop and PC to tinker around with, and Samsung had graciously laid on two home cinema demonstrations, aka two 3D TV’s with couches in front of – but sadly not enough 3D glasses – however with huge crowds in attendance there were huge queues for everything. Unless of course you were one of the many ignorant folks in attendance who pushed past people, and pushed people OUT OF THE WAY, to get their sweaty hands on the latest gadget!
Despite my issues with the event, not all of LITS was bad. There were two real highlights of the show – Ekso’s bionic exoskeleton suit which was fantastically demonstrated by a paraplegic who left her wheelchair and walked the show floor. Let me repeat that again, she walked the show floor! It was definitely an amazing sight. The other standout display was a demonstration, by the folks at Scan, of how you can use Nintendo’s Wii-mote and Microsoft’s Kinect, both separately and in tandem, to DJ – all of which was done live in front of the LITS audience. Using some proprietary software the demo included using the two devices to cross-fade tracks, change volume and mix baselines – all without touching a mixing deck or laptop…
However when all’s said and done, the London International Technology Show was a huge disappointment. I was worried that only visiting the event on one day, and only for five hours, wouldn’t be enough. But we’d covered everything (well everything apart from the totally-out-of-place drill bit displays!) in less than two hours… Hopefully next years show, if there is one, will build on what was good about this years event, but even then LITS has a very long way to go before it can ever compete with Gadget Show Live.