The IFA in Berlin is one of the world’s leading consumer electronics fairs. The expo attracts 1,500 exhibitors from across the globe to showcase the latest gadgets and product upgrades.
Around 250,000 visitors turned up for the 53rd edition to view the latest developments in HD TV, tablets and cameras along with new generation smartphones, refrigerators and coffee machines.
Euronews’ Claudio Rocco cast his eye over the exhibits: “Spider-man, cat woman and Batman. This year the superheroes meet the super products.”
The one to watch this year is the Galaxy Gear produced by the South Korean giant Samsung. The new smartwatch weighs just 74 grams and is powered by Google’s Android operating system and designed to complement the new smartphone Galaxy Note III.
The watch can be used to make and receive calls and informs the wearer of new email and messages. It has a camera incorporated for stills and video.
LG turned on the crowd with a new OLED TV the record breaking screen with 4K Ultra HD display resolution continues the trend towards curved screen design.
What is 4K and why is it curved?
Peter Booth is LG’s sales director in the UK:“A lot of people ask what does it mean? Is it just a number? It is four times full HD. So you see a very beautiful picture, very good contrast, very black blacks and white whites within the picture. The idea of curved actually comes from the I-max theatre, in these large screens, the curvature is the same curvature of the eyes. So one is immersed in the picture.”
In the world of smartphones, Sony showcased the Xperia Z1. This is the new flagship Android devise, which eclipses the Xperia Z released in March this year. Like many other smartphone upgrades the concentration is on camera quality. The Xperia Z1 is water and dustproof.
Competition between tablet manufacturers is intense. In Berlin the trend is for big devises. Panasonic have launched, what it claims is the first large tablet with 4K resolution. This is not something for the kids, but more aimed at the professional market it displays crystal-clear resolution and comes in a rugged carbon-fiber case.
Wacom presented another large tablet called the Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid that offers professionals the chance to stay productive while on the move, but it is also a standard tablet.
Hybrid is buzz world at the IFA, but what does it mean?
Jens Kellerman is head of PR for Wacom: “Well first of all, hybrid means two in one. So we have one device to realise two different kinds of operations. In this situation you have the professional use and it is plugged in to the Mac or the PC station. If you just unplug it you have a media tablet running on an Android jelly bean operating system.”
Making a splash this year, waterproof phones, with many demonstrations of just how deep and how long the phones can stay underwater, quite handy if you fancy a submerged chit-chat.