Gadget Man (2012) s01e04 Episode Script

Fun and Games

1 They connect us.
They educate us.
They impress us, and of course, sometimes they frustrate us.
But, whichever way you look at them, they make the world a much, much better and, dare I say, happier place.
So, come into my world as I, along with some of my friends, reveal a feast of magnificent gadgets that provide a fun and stress-free existence.
Ah! It's taking me to a happy place.
Consider me your humble servant, your knight in crumpled corduroy.
Your Gadget Man.
Tonight it's all about the gadgets whose sole purpose in life is to entertain us.
Oh, yes, genius! Jeremy Clarkson will help me test the future of pub games.
Eat my balls! (LAUGHS) And I'll be attempting to turn this building into the biggest video game the world has ever seen.
We're about to make history! Dream, dream, dream, dream ALARM CLOCK BEEPS ALARM BEEPS LOUDER ALARM BEEPS MORE RAPIDLY No.
Well Urgh! There! BEEPING STOPS Ah! It's instinctive, isn't it? The moment you wake up, you reach for one of these.
Not to send a text message or phone someone.
In fact, those are considered rather old hat these days.
They are about the fifth and sixth most used functions on our smartphones.
Now, we surf the web, we checked into our social networking sites.
Or, we play a game.
Whereas once it was birds singing that roused us from our slumber, now it's Birds being Angry.
Over one billion people - one in every six of the world's population - have downloaded the Angry Birds game.
Angry Birds is all very well but my current favourite has a more, you know, calming solace about it.
It's called Contre Jour.
It's a very elegant design.
Very beautiful.
You have to make a hill for yourself.
And yes, while gadgets have many practical uses Good lord! Excuse me! .
What they're best at is entertaining us.
Today, even a bathroom can be fun.
This futuristic mirror from Hong Kong doubles as a computer display equipped with wi-fi, letting you watch TV or browse the internet.
One's ablutions have never been so enjoyable.
I suppose the most obvious source of technological fun is a video game.
It's an incredible $80 billion industry.
That's bigger than the entire music business, and it's growing faster than Hollywood.
I can play this kind of Atari console which allows me to play classics like Missile Command and Asteroids and that sort of thing.
Or, I can be more up to the minute with an Xbox and go online and challenge some random American youth to see who can throw the most hand grenades.
Take that.
Oh, no.
I'm dead.
But, the charge that's often levelled against gadget-related fun is that it's so solitary and sedentary.
But it doesn't have to be so.
Where better for some sociable exercise than the park? I'm going to test some fun time gadgets for the great outdoors.
Oh, it's the good, old-fashioned municipal park where we come to get our exercise and, of course, to exercise man's best friend.
But this man's best friends can be combined in one ? not only the lovable dog, but the gadgets.
Combined, in these extraordinary animal gadgets.
And we're going to try them out with a willing crowd of canine and human testers.
See how they work.
They're heavy enough.
Goodness me.
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog Meet the guinea pigs.
Or rather, guinea pooches.
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog Been snoopin' round the door You can wag your tail But I ain't gonna feed you no more Man's best friend loves playing fetch and there's a selection of devices available to liven things up.
The Hyper Dog Tennis Launcher is essentially a catapult.
Watch, watch, watch this.
Look! Oh, good boy! Girl! Good girl! Yeah, I like that.
It shoots further than you can throw it.
So better exercise for the dog.
WOOF! Place a tennis ball in the Doggy Driver and you can launch it like Tiger Woods.
Playing crazy golf.
If all that's too much effort, then this automatic launcher from America might take your fancy.
It can fire a ball 45 feet at the touch of a button.
Whoa! Where's it gone? Not everything I've brought along is a hit.
The Safe-Stick is less prone to splintering and harbouring bacteria than the normal wooden affair.
But Molly makes her thoughts on it quite clear.
She's now peeing on it.
This is a disaster.
You may be wondering, where's my little pet? Well, I do have one, and he's very special.
In fact this is the first time he's ever been to Britain.
Let's see what they make of him.
This remote-controlled critter hails from California and is designed to be a toy for lonely canines.
You operate him like so.
It will do 20mph on even bumpy grass.
As you can see, if you're a dog, it's clearly the next best thing to humping a sofa.
They really are absolutely obsessed with it.
DOGS BARK EXCITEDLY There's one gadget I'd like to test.
Something to help when nature calls.
I've been hunting for hours and I'm using this extraordinary vacuum-powered dog doo sucker-upper.
Oh, God.
Here's work.
Oh, that's gross! And look, it's going in.
Look, oh.
Oh, good gracious.
And what do you do with it, you may ask.
Well, you've got two feet, and you do that.
Ugh! The smell is absolutely unspeakable" Then you have a little bag of Oh, no.
It's just revolting.
Argh! The smell is not nice.
Follow me and we can put it away.
Oh! Ah! In you go.
And goodbye.
Thank you.
I managed not to touch it.
Now, before I leave the park, there's something I've been dying to have a go with.
The 21st Century version of a humble kite.
Black Hawk Down, here we go.
Yes! Oh, hover, hover! This is the Parrot AR Drone.
You simply download an app to control it, and with four rotors, a gyroscope and an accelerometer to keep it all flying, there's also an HD video camera that records the in-flight action.
Perfect for spying on your neighbours in their back gardens.
Let's try a flip.
Oh, yes! Genius! Oh, good, I'm good.
Oh, yes! All great fun, but what I'd like to do is find a way of making gadgety games much more social and put them on a much grander scale.
I need some inspiration.
I wonder what other ideas people have had over the years for fun and games gadgets.
Once upon a time, fun gadgets were basic to say the least.
This curious toy called Pie Face was about as complex as the technology got.
But the '70s changed all that with the advent of the computer game.
It was all rather scary.
More worrying are those children who are clearly finding it easier to relate to a computer than they are to other children.
For the next 30 years, kids stayed hermetically-sealed in their bedrooms, welded to their PlayStations and Nintendos, and although the Wii and Kinect have made things a bit more family-friendly, I want to take things to the next level.
So I thought, why not try and devise a game that was bigger that was more social, that takes place outside? The answer? The world's biggest video game.
First, I'm going to need a screen big enough to play it on, which means commandeering an entire building - the enormous Millennium Mills in London's Docklands.
I've also set the Gadget Man Games Division to work, producing a bespoke game that can be played by a whole crowd of people via their mobile phones.
If they can pull it off, we could be playing our way into the record books.
In the meantime, I'm off to a local watering hole to test another batch of fun gadgets.
Ah! A traditional English inn.
What could be more conducive to fun and games than a selection of English ales, a ploughman's lunch and a gentleman in the corner wheezing over an edition of the Racing Post? Henry VII legislated against pub games because he felt they distracted his men from archery practice.
Fortunately, nobody took a blind bit of notice and it resulted in a torrent of fruit machines, shove ha'penny and quizzes.
But what of the 21st century pub game, hmmm? I'll need a glamorous assistant to help me investigate, of course.
And here comes one now.
Jeremy Clarkson.
So Jeremy, you're a gadget man yourself, aren't you? Hugely, yes.
If I see something, anything, I buy it immediately and it never works, ever, ever.
You've got the hot tap, yeah? Permanently telling us, boiling water and then you have people say, "I'm just going to wash my hands.
" So.
Nooo! (LAUGHS) I think a quick loosener is in order.
You look like a man who needed a stiff drink.
This has ten bottles attached to it and is an automatic cocktail maker.
Already, I want it.
Yes, you see?! Designed primarily for pub use, you can buy one for the home, too, and it takes around 60 seconds to automatically mix a perfect cocktail.
The most important thing about this is the designer of it has fitted it with blue lights.
You're a fan of blue lights, aren't you? Blue light says, "gadget".
So that's important.
And what about the actual taste? Do you think it beats the fancy-shmancy Mixologists? You'd need Tom Cruise standing next to it to do a taste comparison.
But it hasn't made something disgusting.
No, well, that's good.
Let's be honest.
The result of the gadget isn't very important.
The look of it is.
It is entirely style over substance.
People who think that that's a bad thing, mistake the matter.
The style is the point.
Let the games begin.
First up, darts.
We're going to use an app called KL Dartboard.
As you can see, I've got three darts.
You're holding the dartboard.
This is the magic of the modern world.
All we can do now is drink and talk.
The phone and tablet connect via Bluetooth.
Don't! Oh! You big cheater! Throw a dart from your phone and the accelerometers inside calculate the speed and flight of the dart, so it's surprisingly realistic.
Have you thrown all three? I've got one left.
Pay attention, sorry.
We're playing a game of 301, but that may be slightly optimistic.
What goes between ten and four? Oh, 18.
Sorry Bleurgh.
It's the opposite, look.
It's sort of 15? No.
13? Is that a six? So you got a double six.
First double wins - 12.
You have actually won, and I'm not bothered.
I just thought of a brilliant new version.
It's real darts, but Piers Morgan.
(LAUGHS) That would be good.
This, no.
- So you're not convinced?- No.
There's another popular indoor pub game that's become popular in the last 30 years.
Let's try upstairs.
Follow me.
Join us in a moment when I challenge Jeremy to a game of pool from the future.
It's gone green.
Yes! And find out if my ambitious attempt to stage the world's biggest video game will actually work.
Lights, camera, let's play! 'Welcome back.
'I'm looking at gadgets designed purely for having fun.
' Oh, yes! Genius.
'And I'm also attempting to prove 'that you don't have to play video games on your own, 'by turning this building into the biggest multi-player gadget 'in the world - but for now, it's back to the pub 'and a glimpse at the pool game of the future.
' Right.
Well, I've always fancied myself as a bit of a hustler.
Ah! Billiards.
So yes, billiards.
Are you good? No.
It's like I ski.
People go, "Look at that man.
"He's wearing skiing clothes.
"He's on a mountain wearing skis, but that's not skiing.
" It's much the same with this.
Fair enough.
So, off you go.
Stripes orwhat are they called? Spots, I think.
Not solids? Not solids.
I didn't call them solids.
Ohhh! Eat my balls.
(LAUGHS) Wait, wait, wait.
Just as I planned.
(LAUGHS) Well, this is more as I planned.
Prepare to be amazed.
I have electronic augmented reality on my side.
Now, let's see how this works.
Oh, my God! 'Some scientists from Queen's University in Canada 'came up with this amazing prototype training device 'to make potting balls easier.
' Oh, look at that! 'Cameras above the table feed the position of the balls and cue 'to a computer, which works out the angles and projects guidance 'onto the table to help you line up each shot.
'The pockets go green when you've lined up correctly 'and it also shows the predicted path of the cue ball afterwards - 'helping with the positioning for the next shot.
' Ah.
There, it's gone green! - Yes!- Yes! 'To see if the technology really works, 'I'm playing with the help of the machine, 'while Jeremy's using old school hand-eye coordination.
' So I use it without technology, I've got to get that stripy part in.
Ohhh! Eat my shot.
'It certainly helped my game, 'but one thing the gadget can't do is stop your opponent playing well.
'How unfortunate.
' You've been hiding your light under a bushel all these years.
I genuinely don't understand this.
'The technology is impressive, 'but it was good old-fashioned luck that decided the game.
' Put some side on this 'Jeremy's foul on the black meant I won.
' The black is in.
I believe that is the end of the game.
Well, thank you very much.
A pleasure.
Technology did come to my aid in an important way.
I like this thing and I'd buy it just so I could go, "Watch this.
" Then I wouldn't know how it worked and we'd then go and have a cocktail from the machine with the blue lights.
Exactly, and we might watch television.
And as you probably know, like everything else, televisions almost every six months improve themselves.
'Could this extraordinary glasses-free 3D telly 'be the future of TV?' Feast your eyes on lenticular 3D HD TV.
Well, just my eyes, sadly.
Everybody watching at home isn't able to see the three dimensional nature of it.
What's interesting is, it actually has a camera at the bottom, rather like a Kinect or something might have a camera.
What it does is, it can detect up to nine pairs of eyeballs.
So what it's doing is actually adjusting the image to your own eyeballs, so that it appears 3D.
So it is actually reading you and giving you a particular slant of the pixels such that you might get a 3D image.
No way.
That's how it works.
It is extraordinary that you can watch it without glasses, cos obviously you don't half feel foolish wearing those glasses.
Even if they look like sunglasses, they're a bit silly, aren't they? Make you look silly.
So let's imagine we're playing a quiz game and you've won the star prize, which is whichever one you choose of what we've had today.
So it can be the cocktail mixer, it can be the darts and the dartboard.
Cuddly toy.
All right, my lovey? Yeah.
And it can be the augmented reality pool, my darling.
Barbecue set.
Or are you being Derek Batey? I don't know! I'm not sure.
I'd actually have the cocktail machine, cos of course, I'm an alcoholic.
I liked it, actually.
Blue lights, very good.
And the blue light.
That's yours to keep.
Thank you so much.
Thank you very much.
'Now playing around with your mates in the pub is obviously sociable.
'But it's nothing compared to what we're about to see.
'It's time for our attempt to create the biggest, 'most social video game in the world.
'My team of Gadget Man eggheads have been designing and building 'a game that should let lots of players join in on a massive scale.
'But will it all work? 'The plan is to turn this disused warehouse 'into the world's biggest TV screen.
'But how?' The answer is to project across using six of these babies.
They're enormous - two banks of three.
They're about 40 times more powerful than the kind of projector you'd use in a typical home cinema.
And they need to be, cos they've got to throw across 200 metres of Thames water onto the facade of the famous old flour mill.
'So we've got some scale.
'Now I need to make it social.
'I put out a call to action on Twitter 'asking for some volunteers to help me 'and a keen bunch soon turned up to find out what on earth was going on.
' Well, I'm here at mission control and you can see here, the grid is divided into 40 squares.
Randomly distributed amongst them are five glowing keystones, and the aim is to find and destroy those.
'The game is rather like a giant multiplayer version of Battleships, 'but here, every player in the team has to hit a keystone 'for it to be destroyed.
'Once all the keystones have been blown up, 'the building will collapse and the game is won.
' So the race is on to uncover the squares and find the keystones.
It's kind of like Battleships but in a strange But better.
But better, and on a building, on a massive scale.
'The players are split into two teams.
I'll be in team one, 'who'll be playing on the left-hand side of the building.
'Team two will play on the right.
' 'With 50 players logged on to a web address via their smartphones, 'the system seems to be holding up, 'and they're ready to tap in their moves.
' All right, are you ready? (TEAM MEMBERS) Yes.
We're about to make history.
This is the world's biggest computer game.
So, lights, camera let's play! Top left, OK? Who's going for top left? Me.
Two search - I'll search I'll hit the target.
Found one.
Let's focus on that, guys.
One, two, threego.
A couple of people assumed kind of leadership roles and just said, "Right, you guys do this, this and this, and then we'll all do this.
" Anyone can get that, second line in, third up.
Go! So you can see that one's glowing up there.
Oh, there's one glowing at the bottom.
That's a keystone, yeah.
We all rallied together and got it.
It worked really well.
Oh, they've got another one.
Come on, team two, you're doing hopelessly.
You're way behind us.
'Despite my efforts to derail them, 'four minutes into the game, there's nothing between my team 'on the left and team two on the right.
'This is going to be close.
' Oh, it's tense.
Far right, second down.
That's a brilliant one, OK? I find it stressful.
I know, it's really tense, isn't it? 'The trick is to stay focused and calm amongst all the noise 'and excitement - but that's far from easy.
' Oh, dear.
ALL TALK AT ONCE It's very, very close.
They're justoh! Oh, my goodness.
I think they're beating us.
CHEERING Ohhh! We lost.
Very close, though.
My goodness me.
I think we can call this game a success, though, can't we? Oh, yeah.
It actually engaged us enormously.
We cooperated, we communicated, it was a lot better than just being alone remotely in a locked, smelly room with a No Entry sign on it in a black t-shirt and a weird name.
Why are you looking at me?! LAUGHTER Everybody's really into multiplayer games.
They're the future already, so something like this, where you get to utilise a really big space and people all coming together, it was so much fun that I can definitely see this taking off in the future.
This is only the very, very dawn of the concept, you know? I would totally go on a team-building day with this.
I think it has a genuine future.
'The concept has been proved - taking a computer game into the open 'and playing it on a massive scale has been an unmitigated success.
'It's been sociable, inclusive 'and has turned entertainment into an event.
'Believe me, you have just watched the next big thing in having fun.
'That - in my book - is mission accomplished.
' 'Next time on Gadget Man 'I head to the gym to try out some of the latest fitness gadgets.
' Hot! Hot? Am I looking hot? Would you like a cup of tea, dear? I'd love a spray tan.
Amy Childs gives me a makeover 'with some weird and wonderful beauty gizmos, 'and I create my ultimate fitness super-gadget 'to race against Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.
' I should be able to destroy her! (CHUCKLES)
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