Gadget Show Live is an event held every year at the NEC in Birmingham by Channel 5’s Gadget Show. The event exhibits some of the latest weird and wonderful tech & gadgets that have emerged in the past year.

This year, Jon Jones from GV Labs headed down there to take a look at what was on offer.

Gadget Show Live is held in one large exhibition hall, which is absolutely full to the brim with lots of noise and flashing lights.

The first thing that I saw was straight out of the Digital Out of Home world from Kino-mo. RGB LED strips had been fitted to the spokes of a bike. As the wheel is rotated a computer works out what colours and shapes to display. The result is a video which plays out on the wheels. Could THIS be the future of DOOH?

Jeep were there with a really cool 360 capture rig. Using 48 DSLR cameras and 4 laptops they were able to take a snapshot from all cameras then stitch them together in a bullet time style as seen in the Matrix. Neo-in-The-Matrix-the-matrix-22575369-560-240 You can see the resemblance, right?

HP were there showcasing a computer that featured Intel’s RealSense hardware. RealSense is similar to Microsoft’s Kinect but provides higher detail. A demonstration showed that an object could be placed on a table and with the help of a projector beaming white lines, the RealSense could build a 3D model in a matter of seconds.

Forever losing your keys … or your keys? Lupo’s GPS tracker will help you to be reunited with them. Lupo Originally started on KickStarter, TurnsPro is a powerful yet simple turntable for timelapse photography. Gradually panning the camera over time creates a great effect. Overall it was a great day up in Birmingham, and we saw a load of different companies doing some really interesting and creative stuff . If you are a gadget geek, it is well a worth a visit. Two Thumbs up from GV Labs.

Last week a record-breaking crowd of more 50,000 converged in Amsterdam to attend this year’s “Integrated Systems Europe expo”, securing its place as the world’s leading professional AV and electronics expo. The GV Labs team went along to see some of the latest and greatest developments in the industry over the past year. Here, Michael Farrance shares some of the team’s favourites of the show.

Strong Trends in Projection Mapping

Projection mapping dominated the landscape at ISE this year. Advances in object mapping and spatial augmented reality have made the medium more accessible than ever. The technology was used in a variety of situations, from simple signage to creative and artistic exhibitions.

We witnessed some impressive auto-calibration equipment that was able to map a model car and within thirty seconds the content was being accurately projected onto the car.

projection maping

Effective Holographic Executions

Although we’ve seen holograms before, there were some skillful executions this year which integrated real world objects with the virtual to create some thoroughly immersive effects. Examples include this one from McDonalds which uses coffee to mimic fireworks bursting from soil.


4K 3D Without Glasses

The move from HD to 4K has made vast improvements to the quality of the lens-less 3D experience. Although, we’re yet to experience the 3D Jaws from Back to the Future, we’re actually at a nice trade-off where the effect is apparent but subtle. An exhibitor was able to demonstrate this by adjusting the third dimension depth on the fly, providing a live comparison.


Driving Simulator

This year the wish list addition to the GV office is this driving simulator. The stand got everyone’s attention with its beautiful curved, ultra high definition screen and hydraulic reactive chassis

driving simulator

After producing some impressive OOH technological feats and media firsts already this year – we thought it was time to expand and grow the technical talent that makes up GV Labs – the team responsible for conducting research and development into the latest platforms and software available for engaging OOH audiences.

Please welcome Technical Lead – Gabriel McCallin, Midweight Developer – Keira Kane and Systems Administrator – Collins Nganwuchu. You can check out their skills and backgrounds here:

With Apple’s release of iOS 7 came news of a new feature called iBeacon.

This feature allows phones to pick up bluetooth signals from low powered (BLE) devices. Data from BLE can then be used to tailor in-app functionality. As well as Apple, it looks like other manufacturers such as Nokia are jumping on board with this technology. Could this be the beginning of the end for NFC?

In GV Labs we’re currently playing around with some hardware from RedBearLab to see what fun stuff we can come up with!

We’ve currently got a project underway that requires on-demand encoding on a remote server so we thought it’d be a good idea to keep real-time tabs on how busy the server is by building an Arduino powered server monitor.

With a couple of LEDs, a buzzer, an Arduino with an Ethernet shield and a lot of brown tape we had ourselves a custom built indicator. The monitor will have an illuminated green LED to show that the server is idle. When the server gets an encode job in, the buzzer will sound and the red LED will become illuminated. Once the encode task has been completed the green LED will light up again.

Not bad for a quick 30 minute job, eh?

We love free public Wifi – who doesn’t (especially when you’re in a busy area where mobile data is slow)? With this in mind, in addition to us wanting to find projects for our Raspberry Pi, we set out to create a public WiFi hotspot.

While the task of creating a hotspot is easy, we wanted to add the functionality of a ‘captive portal’. A captive portal is when you connect to a hotspot and are presented with a page (you often have to agree to terms) before you are granted access. This is a great idea for advertisers who want to provide WiFi and to show the end user who has supplied this via adverts in static image or video form.

Using a Raspberry Pi, a WiFi dongle and a 4G modem we’ve managed to create a truly mobile hotspot for us to use at events. Pretty handy!


‘Tis the season for celebration and jubilation with your nearest and dearest so we thought we’d help document this festive time of year by building an automated photo booth powered by an Arduino.

To help out with festivities at a Christmas party, we thought it’d be pretty cool for the party-goers to be able to have their photos taken and get them displayed on a projected screen in the club. There would also be a live ticker of incoming text messages.

The users come along and hit a big red button on the table in front of them. They see a countdown from 3 on a scrolling LED display then the Arduino takes the photo using a Nikon D90. Then, through the power of wifi, the photo is beamed across the club to a projector to display it on the screen.

Arduino powered photo booth