Well, I have now fully grabbed the reigns of its Inspect-a-Gadget column, where my remit will be regular stories covering where emerging technology and business IT intersect. Or, less elegantly, what the latest gadgets and consumer tech mean for the workplace.
Among my recent stories there, I have looked at how the all-new Bluetooth 5 standard ups the ante for the Internet of Things, got an early hands-on with the QWERTY-equipped BlackBerry KEYone smartphone, and visited London Tech Week to meet a UK startup that claims to have cracked Siri for the office:
Earlier this week, I began looking at some new entries to Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2017.
Will, Geoff and I chat about being content creators and the tech that we use (with no apologies for geeking out on that part). What’s more, because we don’t like doing things the easy way, Frackulous is both a video and an audio podcast.
For his latest project, Geoff has been visiting all 2,563 UK mainland train stations, so recording has been a little sporadic of late. But with this latest episode, we’re back on track.
Here is that latest ep. After the gap.
It’s London Tech Week 2017 and all week I’m fronting Tech TV, the festival’s official broadcast channel.
Based at London Tech Week’s flagship event, TechXLR8, I am interviewing inspiring industry leaders, getting hands-on with some cutting-edge tech and…
…watching people fly around in jetpacks:
Richard Browning, the founder of Gravity, built the rocket man suit with the help of friends over eighteen months and is already a world record holder with it. Richard spoke live on the main stage at #LTW before heading outside and giving us a demo.
Now in its fourth year, London Tech Week showcases the capital’s bustling technology scene, bringing together cutting-edge developments in 5G, VR and AR, AI and Machine Learning, Connected and Driverless Cars, and more.
Last week, I was working with the RTÉ team at MoJoCon in Galway, Ireland. For the event’s live-streamed interviews, RTÉ set up a multi-camera TV studio. But, being MoJoCon, there was one major twist…
MoJoCon brings together broadcasters, journalists, filmmakers and social media specialists from around the world. Now in its third year, the event explores how new technologies – from smartphones to 360-degree cameras – are revolutionising the way we tell stories on television and online.
As was appropriate for a show focusing on mobile tech and the media, the RTÉ pop-up TV studio from which we live-streamed our interviews was powered by mobile.
It’s an impressive setup: the five studio cameras were Apple iPhone 6s plus smartphones, each kitted with superb quality Zeiss ExoLens lenses mounted on a Helium Core iPhone Rig; the vision mixing and encoding was handled by Teradek Live:Air running on an Apple iPad Pro 12.9 tablet.
For day-long power and belts and braces connectivity, the devices were hard-wired to Ethernet, although a wireless setup is perfectly possible too. I would say the only non-mobile component of the studio was the sound: traditional XLR-connected lavalier mics supplied a standard mixing desk, the master output of which fed into one of the mobile devices from which the Teradek software took its audio feed.
Here’s a clip from the end of day two where my co-host, the lovely Róisín Ní Thomáin, and I embarked on a quick studio tour.
Over two days of the show, Róisín and I interviewed some inspiring broadcasters, journalists and innovators including BBC Sport’s Conor McNamara, Story-Up’s Sarah Hill and Video Journalist Michael Rosenblum. The topics we covered were as broad as How to be an App Store Millionnaire, to The Evolution of 360, VR and AR Storytelling.
Each Spring The Photography Show lands at the Birmingham NEC and I’m thrilled to front its coverage of live streams and video. For four days each year I get hands-on with amazing cameras and kit, and interview some of the world’s most influential photographers. For four days I am in camera heaven.
Over the last couple of years I’ve spoken with the likes of David Bailey, Sebastiao Salgado, Clive Arrowsmith and – personal hero – Chris Packham:
The Photography Show also shines a light on new talent, those pushing boundaries of stills and video, sharing what it takes to be successful on the social media stage. Following his presentation at the Super Stage this year I spoke with filmmaker and Instagrammer Louis Cole about an exciting upcoming project:
This year, for the first time, The Photography Show also broadcast to Facebook Live, taking to the floor to bring the show to a new audience. Here’s an interview where I speak to the creators of Palette, an innovative modular tool for editors.
Tickets for The Photography Show 2018 go on sale from The Photography Show website, dates are 17-20th March.
Around this time I’m often asked what I think will be the big technology trends for the coming year. This time I thought it would make sense to get my thoughts together and share them on my YouTube channel.
As it happened the first opportunity I had to do this was while I was in Las Vegas for CES – rather aptly, the world’s largest technology show.
So, in no particular order, my top tech predictions for the year ahead:
- Virtual Reality – 2016 is the year VR takes its biggest steps yet into the mainstream. Off the back of major investments and acquisitions by some of consumer technology’s largest firms, this year sees long-awaited releases from the likes of Sony (PlayStation VR), Facebook (Oculus Rift), HTC (HTC Vive). Virtual reality becomes actual reality this year, and Christmas 2016 will be a key battleground.
- Biometrics – If the high-profile hacks and data breaches of 2015 taught us anything it’s that username and passwords are broken. Biometric authentication – whether fingerprint, retina or even voice – will continue to grow in 2016.
- Mobile Payments – Apple Pay, Android Pay and more please – I for one am hoping it’s all change for loose change this year as these payment systems expand beyond premium devices into the mid-range. And while BitCoin took a bit of a battering in 2015, the underlying block chain technology is what is piquing the interesting of many mainstream players.
- Internet of Things – Embedding everyday objects with computing power and connectivity; connecting people with their possessions and their possessions with one another (I may have unwittingly borrowed, condensed or paraphrased those definitions from others over the years). I really hope we stop talking about IoT in 2016 and start seeing it instead – more everyday stuff getting connected (notwithstanding safety concerns – VTech et al). A little less IoT conversation, a little more IoT action please.
- Drones – in the beginning drones were about fun: the category breakthrough device was the 2010 Parrot AR.Drone, an augmented reality gaming device (hence the AR); however, the French firm soon realised the onboard camera was what got everybody excited and so the drone photography and videography revolution began. However, the next revolution here will be about non-camera payloads – how drones (eg Amazon delivery drones are a, ahem, Prime example) are able to carry small packages further and further.
The YouTube video was picked up by ITN Productions tech show N2K and cut into one of the January episodes – I haven’t seen the show yet but will be sure to share here when I do.
I rather enjoyed compiling my 2016 predictions, so I plan to do a debrief later in the year to see how close to the mark I’ve been, then to try again with my top tech trends for 2017.
September is one of the busiest periods in the technology calendar as manufacturers race to announce and release the consumer products they hope will make their Christmas a happy one.
Not only a great time of year to be working in technology but a great time to be reporting on it too. Over the last few weeks I’ve joined the technology desk at International Business Times UK to report on breaking news from Apple, Samsung, Sony and more.
Alongside announcements of new smartphones, tablets and watches I wrote about topics as diverse as Virtual Reality video and fallen enterprise mobile player Blackberry and its attempts to remain relevant.
However, I want to share a couple of video stories here. First up is my bite-sized take on the major announcements at IFA 2015:
New smartphone announcements by Apple are a highlight for many tech-watchers but, frankly, they do go on a bit. I produced an extremely cut-down version of the Apple press conference revealing everything you need to know in roughly three minutes – saving you about an hour and forty minutes of your life.
I’m thrilled once again to be hosting Photography Show TV live from the NEC in Birmingham.
The Photography Show is the largest event of its kind in the UK, bringing camera and kit manufacturers together with photography professionals and enthusiasts.
I hosted the first live TV stream last year alongside Charlotte Holmes and, being quite the camera nut, was like a pig in muck all weekend long.
This year’s show will be the first chance for many to get hands-on with the latest cameras including the Canon 5DS, 5DSR and for video fans the C100 Mk II. Alongside those, I’m personally excited to see the Steadicam Solo in action (an extensible Steadicam rig and monopod all-in-one, of course), the Lytro Illum and Panasonic CM1 alongside all of the latest smartphone photography and videography innovations. See what I mean about pig in muck…?
This year I’m presenting the live stream with Andrew James, an industry professional and previous editor-in-chief of Practical Photography and Digital Photo. I’m also delighted to be working again with my good friends at Silverstream TV.
You can tune-in to the live stream of the show coverage (and highlights after the show finishes) by heading to the live stream page on the Photography Show website (taking a peek just here).
The Photography Show runs from Saturday 21st to Tuesday 24th March 2015 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Tickets are available from the Photography Show website.