Towering 4K TV screens with crystal clear displays, a myriad of slim and light ultrabooks, easier-to-navigate user interfaces, and all kinds of gadgets for the connected home will be on show at this year’s Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, aka IFA, in Germany.
Alongside CES, CeBIT and Computex, IFA is one of the world's biggest consumer electronics (CE) trade shows. Major manufacturers come out in force to show off their latest innovations and to unveil brand new CE products.
IFA attracted 1,440 exhibitors and 238,000 visitors in 2011, generating 3.7 billion euros worth of orders.
This year some of the major trends on the the showroom floor will be high-definition 4K TVs, ultrabooks and connected household appliances.
Smart user interfaces will be more important than ever before as consumers swap from using the remote or typing in commands on a keyboard to voice commands and gestures.
“New operating concepts are among this year’s dominant home entertainment trends,” explains IFA. “Many TVs can already be remotely operated via a tablet or smartphone, eliminating the need for a remote control. Now the first CE devices, in particular TVs, that are capable of reacting to voice and gesture commands are coming onto the market. For many users, operating a smart TV still remains a complex affair and for this reason the industry is urgently working to solve the problem with hardware and software that can simplify the process.”
Ultra high-resolution TVs known as 4K TVs -- with resolutions of up to 4096 x 2160 (four times the resolution of today’s HDTVs) -- will replace HDTVs as the next standard in lounge room viewing.
Manufacturers will continue to experiment with ultrabooks and hybrid tablet-laptop devices; expect to see more powerful and capable machines wrapped in thinner, more polished bodies.
Chip maker Intel will be back at the fair in 2012. Intel is said to have more than 60 ultrabook and 20 Windows 8 tablet PCs to show off at IFA with partners including Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba.
The 52nd edition of IFA runs from August 31 to September 5 at the Messe Berlin GmbH exhibition center in Berlin, Germany.