London Drugs Retail Tech Event

HP Envy laptop with Leap (Motion) built in

Last Friday I had the chance to be a guest at the London Drugs Retail Tech trade show in Whistler. This private event has been going on for 24 years which brings many technology vendors under one roof for the staff at London Drugs to learn about the new products ahead of the holiday season. This is also the first time that outsiders have been allowed inside so I felt pretty lucky to be there. Not to mention the fact that London Drugs flew me and some other local media up to Whistler in their private helicopter.

Laid out like a traditional trade show, the Whistler Conference Centre was full to the brim with the latest in new technology – many products that aren’t even on the market yet.

I started with a visit to Sony’s booth where I got check out their new Android-based, Xperia Tablet Z. Something that should be obvious, is that it’s waterproof:
Super lightweight and waterproof Xperia Tablet

That in itself is pretty amazing, but what really surprised and impressed me was how light the tablet was. It literally was as heavy (or light) as a magazine and when I picked it up, I thought it was a cardboard mockup but was the actual, working tablet.

They also had the new Sony a7 full frame micro 4/3s camera that is currently shaking up the internet (it was just announced). Stunning, full frame sensor in a tiny package:
Super light, full frame Sony A7 camera
It also has a slick, articulating LCD screen that can be positioned in many different ways:
Sony's articulated LCD on the A7

Line up of Sony cameras

Nikon had their new Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof compact camera on hand:
Nikon's AW1 waterproof camera

along with some rescued birds (a screech owl and a turkey vulture) in the booth to photograph or test out their latest binoculars

Rescued Screech Owl at the Nikon booth

GoPro’s booth had the recently unveiled Hero3+ camera on hand:

GoPro Hero 3+ new housing design

along with a plethora of new accessories that I was coveting like this great articulating Jaws flex clamp:

GoPro's new articulating clamp mount

Microsoft Canada had the much anticipated Xbox One console with a number of launch titles playing. I got to try out Dead Rising 3:

Xbox One and Dead Rising 3

Xbox One controller

Other notable things I saw included:

Lexar’s awesome, but awkwardly named, Workflow HR1 system which is a 4 bay, USB 3 card reader with interchangeable modules depending on the cards you use and is going on my Christmas wishlist right now:

At the Samsung booth, aside from geeking out with the reps with our Galaxy Gear watches, I got to see the Group Play feature live on three Galaxy Note 3’s:

Group Play on Galaxy Note 3

This feature lets you split your video across as many devices that you have, in any order you want. It’s a cool party trick, I’m just not sure of the practical use for the feature with video but can see it being used for gaming.

HP Envy with Leap

HP had their latest laptop on display, the HP Envy, featuring a built in Leap Motion sensor for wireless game play and interaction. Pretty cool to see this technology being built into laptops already.

Lastly, I came across Incipio’s new bluetooth game controller for smartphones, which appears to be a prototype coming soon:
New game peripheral from Incipio

That’s about all I had time to see in my afternoon at the show.

A huge thank you to London Drugs for a fun and geeky day in Whistler!

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