As the Gadget Show prepares for another live instalment, Laura Barnes takes a look at how the expo is expanding for its sixth year

Gadget Show Live 2014 preview

While the Gadget Show has expanded its live events to include London’s Gadget Show Live at Christmas, its original Birmingham show remains the calendar highlight of much of the UK IT tech channel with regards to showcasing new technology and innovations.

Now in its sixth year, the consumer and trade event Gadget Show Live takes place from April 8th to 13th, and over 250 suppliers are set to display the very latest in tech gadgetry. Consumers will also have the chance to try and buy a host of products – from TVs and tablets to cars and consoles.

Considered the UK launch pad for a variety of brands, last year’s event saw Lenovo showcase the world’s first ‘table’ PC, which had a 27- inch ten-point touchscreen display, as well as Microsoft letting consumers get hands-on with the Windows 8 operating system and accessory vendors Turtle Beach and Mad Catz offering up their latest gear designed for gamers.

With 80,000 visitors turning up to 2013’s show, this year is set to be even bigger. Some interesting new products we’re looking forward to seeing at the show include the TouchGenie, which the firm says can turn any screen into a touchscreen, Philips’ Screeneo, a device that can project a 100-inch image onto a wall from just 44cm away, Red 5’s MiP Robot, a self balancing robot which uses the same technology found in Segways, and Shapify.Me, which will let stand visitors scan themselves at the show to create mini 3D selfies.

With Microsoft as headline sponsor, we can expect to see the latest Surface tablets and the Xbox One on show. Fitbit, JVC, Citroen, Pioneer, Sumvision and Garmin have also revealed that they will also be demonstrating their latest tech products.

As always, Gadget Show Live is divided into different areas, including the Toy Area and the Game Zone, which returns with exclusive product launches, plenty of demos and special guests from the gaming world.

This year also sees the introduction of three new zones. The British Inventors Project will profile and celebrate innovators and inventors in the UK, with a glimpse at brand new British projects before they get to market, while The Innovation Theatre will host presentations from inventors who will have the chance to show off their prototypes to the audience. Finally, the Gadget Imaging Zone will cover the latest in image technology, including cameras, accessories, smartphones and photography applications.

Those wishing for a realistic gaming experience will be happy to hear that Combat Ops also returns this year after a successful launch in 2013. Visitors will be able to experience indoor combat using sophisticated gaming guns.

The Super Theatre will also be back, offering three hour- long shows every day in the 4,500-seater auditorium, all of which will be presented by Gadget Show presenters Jason Bradbury, Rachel Riley, Jon Bentley and Ortis Deley.

“Gadget Show Live will be unmissable this year,’’ says event director Sally Bent.

“With technology impacting every area of our lives – changing the way we live, work and play – gadgets could not be more prevalent, and we will have the widest variety of tech on show at the NEC in April.”

When: April 9th to 13th
(Professional day: April 8th)
Where: Birmingham NEC, Birmingham, West Midlands, B40 1NT
Nearest train station: The NEC is connected to Birmingham International Station
Opening times: 10am – 5pm (April 8th), 9am – 5pm (April 9th and 10th), 9am – 6pm (April 11th, 12th and 13th)

Check out the top ten futuristc tech products to look out for at this year’s Gadget Show Live.

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