HomeTech London 30 June 2011

Last day of the Home Technology Show (www.hometechnologyevent.com) at Excel in London’s Docklands. I haven’t been to a show like this for a few years but a new project sparked an interest. I was expecting it to be a gadget fest with a few specialist building suppliers for switch panels and lighting effects. The market has changed.

Today’s show tells me that all the thinks the geeks were chatting about over lunch in 2000 (like Bill Gates home or the latest Phillips lab demo) are now mass market. You can have a house build to the best eco standards and have integrated home cinema projection units, TV’s wider than the wall in my first flat, wireless sound, video and security. All with the wires and switches hidden in single remote or wall switches. You can even have a flatscreen TV in the hall that shows you your security cameras view but switches when the doorbell rings to display a high quality film of a fish tank nicely framed into the wall. Some members of my family have wanted to watch TV in the bath – I won’t show them the one with a glass mosaic surround.

A friend’s husband has just built himself a shed. The way to keep him happy there would be to get him the so very realistic indoor golf kit – just like the simulators in the amusement parks. He could play with family across the internet or just try out a new course anywhere in the world.

To keep me happy, I want more variety. 3D TV still needs me to wear glasses but it is improving each year. I could get myself a new docking station and have a flush wall mounted IPad in my office or a wall mount, a custom coded house control app and flat wireless speakers.

For me the highlight of the launches was a simple iPad mounting gadget – a music stand that will safely hold my iPad. Why didn’t I think of that? Of course, not all iPad users are musician but they do use the technology they have in as many ways as they are individuals. Music stand becomes recipe book holder, iPad baby mobile stand, or speakers’ lectern. For those of us who are developing an iPad-lifter-arm, there is now an app for that too! (www.ratstands.com

Back to the office for a conference call in a meeting room with a phone line but no phone and poor mobile cell reception. Frustration! As a project manager often finds, making do with the equipment in the temporary office isn’t always fun and the budget doesn’t always stretch to a refurbishment. The Revolabs FLX teleconferencing system (www.revolabs.com) I saw at the show would be ok in a large brief case as a portable meeting room conference phone kit. Encrypted and wireless it only needs power and a phone line: no more trailing cables. Time to start a new equipment wish list.