IFA 2013 officially closed its doors last night. As the dust settles on the show floors, the products on display over the past six days will continue to stamp their own mark in the world of consumer electronics and devices. IFA 2013 not only offered consumers the chance to witness the latest and greatest in the world of technology, it also offered a glimpse of the future, today.
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As one of the last global consumer electronics shows of the calendar year, IFA has always been the trade show to showcase the latest devices that will be available during the highly profitable holiday season and into the new year. It is no surprise, then, that companies leave no expenses spared to show off their products in the most imaginative ways possible. Have a washing machine that washes with cold water and bubbles? Hire a professional soap bubble blower! Have a smartphone that shoots 62 shots in 2 seconds? Get a freestyle footballer to juggle balls as a photography subject! Have the nation’s largest LTE network? Build an LTE tower with Lego bricks! More often than not, these zany ideas actually pull more crowds than a standard (and thus boring) presentation.
Of course, in the midst of all this, there are the products themselves. Some of this year’s best smartphones were on display at IFA 2013, namely the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Sony Xperia Z1 and the LG G2. Each had its own dedicated “experience zone” in the respective companies’ exhibition halls; Samsung and Sony even held separate launch events to make sure their smartphones hit the headlines above and beyond the others at IFA.
Let’s also not forget the myriad of Ultra High Definition (UHD) – or 4K – televisions on display. And it was impossible not to, given that they were pretty hard to miss: Samsung’s 110-inch S9 UHD TV dwarfed the female model next to it, while the new curved OLED UHD TVs by companies such as Samsung and LG took the term “desirable” to new heights.
Besides that, there is Lenovo and its new Yoga 2 Pro and ThinkPad Yoga convertible Ultrabooks. The Yoga 2 Pro was, for me, the standout Ultrabook on display here at IFA 2013. It improves on almost every single aspect about the original IdeaPad Yoga from last year: Haswell chips (and thus more battery life), thinner and lighter with a sleek wedge design, and that sensational QHD+ (3200 x 1800) screen. Well, almost everything. The horrendous AccuType keyboard returns on the Yoga 2 Pro, and despite all the improvements, the highly impractical keyboard layout may prove to be one of the main reasons consumers stay away from purchasing the convertible Ultrabook.
Meanwhile, Sony’s humongous exhibition hall housed an impressive array of products in the company’s portfolio. From smartphones to Ultrabooks, audio peripherals to home entertainment systems, Sony’s IFA presence was particularly huge. There’s even a special section promoting its push for UHD content adoption: UHD TVs, UHD camcorders to digital UHD content distribution channels for media corporations. And, not forgetting, the gaming center where the company’s next-gen console, the PlayStation 4, was on display. There were even booths set up with pre-installed games for attendees to play.
Oh, there’s the ridiculously expensive, made-for-Western-nose-bridges HMZ-T3 personal 3D head-mounted display, too.
Despite the increasing trend of companies increasingly opting to hold their own events for announcing a flagship product, IFA continues to attract the biggest names in consumer electronics to fill up the venue’s expansive exhibition halls. Walk-in attendees get a first-hand feel of the latest and greatest gadgets on display, while the exposure given by the global media ensures that global consumer electronics events such as IFA remain a very important avenue for showing what the future holds in consumer technology.
Right then. Who’s ready for CES 2014?