Tag Archives | IFA

Elvis is on the Toaster

Seen at IFA Berlin: A line of Elvis Presley small kitchen appliances, including this toaster:



Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

On Friday morning here in Berlin, I headed to the IFA electronics show. My first stop was Samsung’ ginormous exhibition, where one of the biggest sections was devoted to the upcoming Galaxy Tab 7.7. I played with one, admired the amazingly vivid Super AMOLED Plus screen, and snapped the photo above. Then I left.

Turns out that I was lucky. Samsung later removed all the Tab 7.7s from the show, presumably for reasons relating to Apple’s ongoing patent case over the Galaxy Tab. Here’s FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller with some details. (In Germany, Apple has an injunction against Samsung that prevents it from selling the Tab 10.1 here.)

Samsung apparently doesn’t plan to sell the 7.7 in the U.S., a move that Mueller speculates could be spurred by the Galaxy Tab line’s legal woes. I’m not a patent lawyer and am not taking a stance on the case, but I’ll be sorry if the 7.7 can’t make it into the market. From a hardware standpoint, at least, it’s the nicest 7″ (or thereabouts) tablet I’ve seen. I’d like to see consumers get the chance to embrace it or reject it as they see fit.

[Full disclosure: I spoke on a panel at IFA, and the conference organizers covered my travel costs.]


IFA: LG’s Net-Connected Appliances


Way back when, LG introduced a refrigerator that–for reasons which were unclear at the time–ran Windows 98. The company’s still at it. As I wandered around the numerous halls at the IFA electronics trade show here in Berlin, I stumbled on LG’s booth, where a demo of its Smart ThinQ appliances (which, I assume, are powered by something other than Windows 98) was in progress.

The line includes a refrigerator, a washing machine, a microwave oven, and a robotic vacuum cleaner; all use Wi-Fi to connect to the Net and work with smartphone apps. For instance, you can manage a shopping list on the fridge and zap it to your phone and back. (The fridge screen also runs Facebook and various entertainment apps.) You can download new wash cycles from your phone to the washing machine, as well as adjust the cycle on the fly. And you can use a smartphone app to download receipes to the oven.

If nothing else, I admire LG for showing patience with this concept. Wonder how many of the appliances they’re selling, and whether folks continue to use the techy features after the novelty wears off?

A couple more photos after the jump. (Full disclosure: I spoke at IFA on a panel, and the conference orgaziners covered my travel costs.)
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The Curse of 3D TV, Continued

[At Panasonic’s booth, IFA attendees use glasses to view 3D images of the women performing right there in front of them.]

Last year, I attended the IFA consumer-electronics megaconference in Berlin. The exhibitions of the big manufacturers were utterly dominated by 3D TVs. All that blurry 3D hurt my eyeballs, put me in a bad mood, and prompted this rant.

This year, I’m back in Berlin for IFA. There’s still scads of 3D, but it’s not quite as omnipresent as last year. Whether companies are losing interest or simply recalibrating their expectations to something more in line with consumers’ level of interest in this stuff, I’m not sure.
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IFA: Still More Photos

I’m still playing catchup with all the photos I took on the IFA show floor…

A company called Vogel’s was showing neat remote-controlled mounts for flat-screen TVs. I hope that the Yellow Pages people don’t get wind of Vogel’s slogan, though:

If you told me that Toyota was exhibiting at CES in Las Vegas, I’d assume they were showing off something like a Prius with built-in Wi-Fi. The company was at IFA–but it was with their sewing machines (which, I just learned, are also available in the U.S.):

IFA had a “Room of Silence.” I didn’t visit it and am not positive what it was, but if it’s anything like what I’m thinking it might be, I think every gigantic tradeshow should have one:

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IFA: It’s Not Just a Coke Machine, It’s the Hub of Your Digital Lifestyle

In the United States, about the furthest Coke machines get away from their core purpose of selling you a Coke is selling you a Diet Mr. Pibb. In Berlin, where I’ve been visiting the IFA consumer electronics show, I ran across some Coke machines that sell you ringtones, music downloads, and games, and which double as Wi-Fi hotspots.

I didn’t make use of any of them myself–I was in a rush, and have forgotten nearly all of my two years of college German–but I did take a few snapshots of one of them…

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IFA: One Laptop, No Child

Unlike most tradeshows in the U.S.–which are open only to grown-ups who are involved in the trade in question–the IFA show in Berlin is open to the general public, and some attendees bring their offspring. In fact, there’s an area called the Kids’ Playground, which is basically a couple of rooms equipped with electronic toys and kid-oriented gadgets.

When some of us American journalists dropped by, we saw four kids deeply engaged in using Asus’s eee PCs–and ignoring a One Laptop Per Child XO laptop that was sitting off to one side. That may or may not be a commentary on the relative appeal of the two low-cost notebooks, but it makes for an interesting photo:

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IFA: A Few More Photos

My time at the IFA electronics show is winding down, but I’m still catching up on reporting back here on everything I’ve seen on the show floor. Herewith, a few more items…

Beko had a booth full of pretty generic looking TVs and other products, but in a world chock-full of electronics companies with pompous taglines, liked its slogan: “Buy It Before It Becomes Famous”:

American domestic robot manufacturer Ugobe wasn’t just at the show with its Pleo dinosaur–it brought along a cool giant-sized Pleo:

IFA isn’t as thick with booth entertainment as an American show like U.S., but it wasn’t entirely devoid of it, either. I never quite figured out what a company called 2DF did, but its giant walkaround mascot was downright adorable:

Becker had an in-dash navigation system called the Indianapolis Pro–and while I assume it refers to the Indy 500, it was still startling and entertaining to see a German product named after a midwestern American city:


IFA: Yet Another Monster to Keep Track of

In the U.S., we have both Monster the cable company and Monster the job-hunting service. That’s confusing enough–the San Francisco 49ers play at Monster Park (née Candlestick Park), and I can never remember which Monster it’s named after.

Here at IFA, there’s yet another Monster on the show floor. This one makes…$1200 ironing board/iron combos that blast your laundry with more steam than I’ve ever seen in my life. As far as I know, this one doesn’t sell its products in the U.S., at least under the Monster name–which is probably just as well. Even though the product looked kind of nifty. At least for those who’d spend $1200 to keep their clothes looking sharp.

Here’s a Monster employee demoing the company’s wares by pressing the jacket of CBS News’s Larry Magid:

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