Smarter devices, sharper images, improved ease of operation. These are the main trends for electronics this year and the main specifications that consumers are looking for in a gadget, according to the information gathered by IFA Berlin or Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, world’s leading trade show for Consumer Electronics and Home Appliances. This year, the exhibition will take place between 6-11th of September.
Smart TV sets that offer evermore impressive features, Ultra HDTV sets that display spectacular, crystal clear images, smart devices ranging from mobile phones to convertible computers, radio-controlled speakers that enable audio streaming, unlimited networking, IFA 2013 showcases all the industry’s latest trends.
Arriving shortly: Ultra HD
Early this year TV sets with a resolution exceeding eight million pixels, four times that of conventional HD screens, had already arrived at retailers’ stores. Ultra HD is the name that the industry has given to a generation of sets that boasts a spectacular viewing experience. A typical feature of Ultra HDTV is wall-to-wall screen diagonals measuring at least 55 inches.
Watching an Ultra HD demo video on these screens is breath taking. When images are viewed close up, the impression one gets from this quantum leap in quality is the same as from a standard-resolution screen to HDTV.
IFA will even be showing the first prototypes of an Ultra HD camcorder, which could soon be recording users’ treasured holiday videos in a resolution that would fully exploit the potential of these new screens. What is more, Ultra HD devices can upscale the images of an HDTV broadcast or film from a Blu-ray disc so as to match the higher quality of the new pixel standard.
Next generation of smart TVs
Smart TVs are capable of receiving conventional programmes and accessing internet content and services as well, for example broadcasters’ mediatheques, internet videotheques, programme tips, online games, social networks and information portals.
Another interesting trend in smart TVs is that more and more manufacturers are now signing up to smart TV alliances that lay down common specifications for smart TV internet access. The advantages are obvious. Providers supplying content for sets made by different brands need focus on one technical platform only.
The latest generation of smart TVs also features impressive computing power. Multi-core processors and powerful graphics processors will guarantee rapid internet page processing, improved ease of operation and smoother videos on-screen.
Gesturing and voice commands
With the latest generation of smart TVs bristling with new functions the days of the trusty remote control are now numbered, which is why all the major brands are engineering new interfaces. New infrared remote control sets have been designed with a keypad on the reverse side for entering text, as well as ones with a touchpad on the front for issuing swipe commands. Others operate in a similar way to a mouse, moving a cursor on the screen.
The latest generation of TV sets can also recognise and interpret gesturing, e.g. hand movements.
Second screens – a second display on one’s lap
Tablet PCs and smartphones are increasingly becoming universal navigating tools. The way in which a large living room TV set interacts with a miniature wireless display on the viewer’s lap will be among the most exciting innovations at IFA 2013.
Convertibles – a tablet PC or notebook, or both
The days when a computer meant having a noisy machine under one’s desk are long gone, and even lightweight notebooks are no longer the cutting edge of innovation. Two years ago tablet PCs began to overtake conventional computers. Touchscreen functions let these devices work like a tablet, and when a keyboard is attached they become a conventional notebook. New operating system versions support both generations of interfaces, i.e. that of a keyboard and a touchscreen.
All these things, along a wide range of products, solutions and presentations, await visitors at IFA 2013.