IFA presents future trends in electronics industry
Faster, sharper, more efficient – and, first and foremost, cleverer. What’s on offer at this year’s consumer electronics and household appliances fair IFA is primarily polish. Groundbreaking innovations are expected to be few and far between this time at the IFA, which opens on Friday, 31 August at the Berliner Funkturm (the Berlin Radio Tower).
To be showcased are developments in high definition televisions, cameras, computers and household devices. Interconnectivity is a buzzword; all the devices can be connected with each other, and with the internet. At the same time, they should be easier to operate. Energy-saving improvements have also been made in devices from laptops to refrigerators.
“We won’t see that one great innovation that overshadows all the others – instead we will see many smaller innovations”, IFA director Jens Heithecker had announced at a preview of some exhibitions in the middle of July.
Television sets in particular are benefiting from increasing internet connectivity. Competing manufacturers are working together instead of against each other to ensure access, for example, to the online media libraries of the various television broadcasters. “This smart TV alliance helps us to create standards to ensure compatibility between different manufacturers”, a representative from Philips said. At the same time, manufacturers want to differentiate themselves from their competitors with their own offerings such as game platforms.
The new possibilities ought to boost revenue. “We expect that for the first time since the invention of the television, more than ten million devices will be sold in Germany”, said Ralph Haupter, board member of the IT industry association Bitkom. Every fourth household should receive a new television – and almost the half of those should be smart televisions.
Both Samsung and LG announced new kinds of television before the start of the fair, which are based on organic light diodes, so-called “OLEDs”. The technology should offer more intense colors and contrasts as well as depict movement with greater clarity. Both models are expected in shops before Christmas.
Enlarge image At the centre of almost all manufacturers’ considerations are smartphones and tablet computers that serve as central switchboards (© Messe Berlin) At the centre of almost all manufacturers’ considerations – whether in entertainment devices or house hold devices – are smartphones and tablet computers that serve as central switchboards. Television viewers can thereby surf the internet using their handheld secondary device and then view the video that they’ve found on their large television screen. At the same time, televisions can be increasingly controlled via gestures and spoken commands. This is made possible by cameras in the devices.
In addition, vacuum cleaners, fridges and washing machines should in the future be able to be controlled by cell phones while the user is out and about. They will be able to inform the user of any technical problems.
The first IFA took place in 1924. From 1953 to 2005 it took place biannually. Since 2005, the fair has taken placed annually in the summer and household appliances have also been showcased. Many of the most important innovations in technology were presented at the IFA for the first time, such the first affordable “people’s television receiver” (“Fernseh-Volksempfänger” - 1939), the programmable video system VPS (1985) or the MiniDisc (1991). At the 1967 IFA, with a press of a button, the German Chancellor Willy Brandt started the first broadcast of colour television in Germany.