This week sees the first ever London Technology Week take place across the capital. Throughout this week, thousands of top tech pioneers from business and industry will be gathering to share their latest ideas and inspire the next generation of innovators.
The opportunity to get involved with this brand new event was too good to pass up, so the O2 Gurus have teamed up with Pocket-lint to set up the Pocket-lint Tech Tavern. We’ll be showcasing the best in consumer technology and letting you try out some of the coolest gadgets around.
We caught up with Pocket-lint’s founder Stuart Miles to find out what the Tech Tavern is all about and ask him what the highlights of the week will be:
What’s the idea behind the Tech Tavern?
A couple of months ago we saw that London Tech Week was happening but all the events seemed to be very business focused, so there was nothing for consumers to get excited about. There’s so much cool tech out there to play with that we just want to give people a chance to get their hands on it. We love technology and came up with the idea of the Tech Tavern, which we thought would be a fun place for people to come down and talk to the Pocket-lint team and the O2 Gurus about tech. We’ve got 25 companies coming in showing off all kinds of tech, so it should be really fun and we’re very excited to be here.
What are going to be the highlights of the week?
It depends what you like really. On Monday we had the Adidas Smart Ball and a Playstation gaming night. There’s an O2 masterclass on low light photography on Tuesday and on Wednesday we have Anki Drive – which is like a Scalextric controlled with iPhones. On Thursday we have some 4K 65-inch TVs coming in from Samsung, Sony and LG, then on Friday we end the week with Makerbot and 3D Printing. So there are lots of cool things for everyone. We’ve tried to get in stuff that consumers may not have heard about and certainly won’t have seen yet, so it’s a really good chance to play around.
Is there anything in particular you’re personally looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to seeing Anki Drive actually as I was at WWDC [Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference] last year when it was first shown on stage and finally went on sale a few days ago, so this is the first chance for anyone who’s heard about it to play it.
What trends in technology are we seeing at London Tech Week and the Tech Tavern?
I think there’s quite a focus at the event on “big data” and using this data on a consumer to create an “internet of things” with objects that can interact with you and their environment. For example that may be your heating system; we had Honeywell here today showing of their products, or it could be the Adidas Smart Ball. Samsung are bringing down a washing machine later in the week that can text you when your load is done. There seems to be a trend towards devices that a few years ago were “dumb” now starting to become intelligent. We’re still at the start of the journey and they will become more intelligent as time goes on but hopefully we’re starting to see everything everywhere becoming connected.
What do you predict we’ll see by the time of the next London Tech Week?
I think the Smart Home is going to be a huge battleground over the next two or three years and you’ll see the coming together of what’s now a diverse system into one umbrella opportunity for people. The idea of being able to control your whole home with your phone or tablet will become a normal thing rather than an exciting, far off concept.
What are your hopes for the Tech Tavern?
Already people are saying to us “wow, we’ve enjoyed this – can we do it again next year?” It’s really nice to be able to meet up with the readers and to meet companies who are showcasing cool stuff and just talk tech. We love writing about tech so hopefully next year we can do this again next year in a bigger more exciting way.
What gadgets at the Tech Tavern are you most excited about seeing? Let us know in the comments.
If you’ve got some niggling tech problem or fancy a play with the most exciting new gadgets, make sure you visit the O2 Gurus at the Pocket-lint Tech Tavern, The Fable, 52 Holborn Viaduct, London between 12 and 4pm from the 16-20 June.