What has food, rides, booths, and gadgets? The Los Angeles Gadget Expo!
In 2015 I had the chance to go to the first ever LA Gadget Expo at The Reef in downtown Los Angeles, CA. It ran for 2 days (December 5th and 6th) but I was only able to go for the first day. I saw a variety of gadgets ranging from the simple yet effective to the complicated and sophisticated.
First of all, if you’ve never been to The Reef, you’ll know you’re there by the huge 40-foot oak chair standing over the parking lot. Yes, an enormous wooden chair! No, there’s no way to get on it but you get to drive under it as soon as you enter the parking lot. So unusual! Yet to me it served as a reminder to open my mind to what I was about to see at the expo.
Just passed the giant chair but before entering the building there were lunch trucks to the left. Unfortunately for them, my craving for gadgets was stronger than my hunger for food.
Entering the building I was guided to the second floor where the expo was taking place. The first thing I saw was the URB-E Electric Folding Scooter. As bizarre as it looked, it was well executed and so much fun to ride. It has a 20-mile range with a top speed of 15 mph. The URB-E team showed me how simple it is to fold and unfold the scooter as well how easy it is to roll or carry it when not in use. If you’re looking for a truly compact mode of transportation or just a fun ride, I suggest you give this a look.
A little ways down, there were people writing on a projection on a wall. I was intrigued so I took a closer look. They had a drawing pad application running and using a special stylus they were drawing and writing as if the wall was a huge tablet. They were able to write pretty fluidly with the exception of minor skips whenever the person writing would block the stylus tip from view of the projector. Although I did not get a chance to try it out, it looked like a great product. It’s called the Touchjet Pond Smart Touch Projector. It is a palm-sized computer running Android 4.4 Kitkat with a TouchJet UI. The computer doubles as a projector that can project a display as big as an 80-inch television! You are able to download apps like Skype, Facebook, Youtube, and pretty much any other app you can think of. I can see this being used in the office for team meetings or at home watching videos or playing games.
Another gadget that caught my eye was the SunJack 14W Portable Solar Charger With 8000mAh Fast-Charge Battery. It is considered the world’s fastest charger. With the solar panels in direct sunlight it is able to fully charge a smartphone in 90 minutes. This is as fast as a wall outlet! The solar panel binders come with 1 or 2 USB ports to charge anything that can connect to it. You also get 1 or 2 battery packs that hold enough juice for 8 smart phones or multiple devices. The SunJack battery pack and included USB cable have the same speed stats as the binder allowing for super fast charging. I recommend this product to anyone that spends their day outdoors but still need to use their electronics.
I also got the chance to play with the Qball, the throwable microphone. At its essence it is a wireless microphone. The team at Qball put the mic inside a cushioned ball and now you’ve got a microphone that may be tossed around (avoiding having a dedicated mic walker) making meetings, classrooms, and social gatherings more engaging and fun. Though the concept is simple, I’m sure execution required solving problems like microphone interference, durability, noise cancellation while being tossed around, and I’m sure a few dozen other things I haven’t considered. Indiagogo.com shows they gathered 156% of their goal amount by the end of the campaign on November 2nd. Unfortunately, I don’t see any further news on their facebook page as of my review. Good vibes going their way.
The Slick is another amazing product I was able to catch. It is a battery powered, waterproof, durable GoPro camera stabilizer. Using it’s super fast 3-axis motors combined with 3 hours of battery, this solves one of the biggest problems with in-action extreme videos and takes vomit inducing shaking out of the equation. The stabilizer even comes with a micro-USB port for software updates. Although I can’t imagine what kind of updates it would need, I can appreciate their forward thinking.
I can go on about the variety of other gadgets I got to check out but that would make this article way too long. A couple of honorable mentions I’d like to add are the PowerCube 4 Outlets Dual USB Port Surge Protector Wall Adapter Power Strip with Resettable Fuse – A power strip in the shape of a cube, and Evolve Skateboards – a wireless remote controlled skateboard.
The LA Gadget Expo was a lot of fun and I hope this will become a yearly event. Oh, and I did end up going to the lunch trucks at the end of the day. Yum!
If you are interested in going to the 2nd annual LA Gadget Expo 2016, please keep an eye on my post for the LA Gadget Expo 2016.