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3D Printers: There were 47 exhibitors – most of the evolution was in the materials used to print – stronger, lighter, more flexible etc., allowing for the additive printing of useful replacement parts etc. The main impact has been to allow a better design that was capable with injection moulding or mechanical milling.

Start-ups: There were 18 exhibitors at the aptly named ‘Eureka Park” pavilion but almost 1000 other exhibitors that could be classed as in the start-up phase. The majority of these had software-based products have hit on an idea for an app – the next frontier. The focus seemed to be on gaining sufficient risk capital to take the next step.

After all it is all about ideas – there are few products you will ever buy.

Regrettably GadgetGuy’s commitments elsewhere precluded spending time here.

Summary

2018 is all about the voice interface to get the most out of a machine. At present that seems to be a fight between Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (my money is on the latter as it is more universal). What is clear is that establishing a voice-based digital assistant is hard and even the mighty Microsoft/Cortana (on every Windows 10 machine) and Samsung/Bixby (on every Galaxy device and Smart appliance) are struggling to gain market acceptance.