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:
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:
It also has a slick, articulating LCD screen that can be positioned in many different ways:
Nikon had their new Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof compact camera on hand:
along with some rescued birds (a screech owl and a turkey vulture) in the booth to photograph or test out their latest binoculars
GoPro’s booth had the recently unveiled Hero3+ camera on hand:
along with a plethora of new accessories that I was coveting like this great articulating Jaws flex clamp:
Microsoft Canada had the much anticipated Xbox One console with a number of launch titles playing. I got to try out Dead Rising 3:
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:
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 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.
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!