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The Blue Room at IFA 2010

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Roland Allen | 13:35 UK time, Monday, 6 September 2010

In our mission to inform our colleagues in the BBC about developments in consumer technology and how these will potentially affect how our output is consumed we place great stock in observing year-on-year trends at events such as the Consumer Electronics Show, held each January in Las Vegas.

3D TV display

From the Blue Room's Twitter: "#IFA2010 One of the many specs-free 3D Displays at IFA, this from Vestel. Perhaps 3-5 years away?"

This is cited as the biggest event of its kind and if you look to find a European equivalent then IFA is undoubtedly the prime candidate.

The Blue Room last visited IFA some three years ago when it was a relatively modest affair and as per previous experience we found that the general attitude amongst exhibitors in respect of the UK market was largely one of indifference or at best ignorance.

How things have changed.

IFA 2010 is expanding on a scale to compete with CES with a confidence and enthusiasm to mark this, its 50th year. The profile and importance of the event was reinforced in by the presence of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel officially declaring the show open, as well as the prominence being given to the event in the German media. A more visible touch is the large bow tied to the radio mast in the middle of the ICC exhibition complex

LG TV

From the Blue Room's Twitter: "The LG 31" OLED display is probably the most impressive thing we've seen at IFA so far - quite stunning."

Whilst the likes of Sony and Panasonic still boast the largest presence and most elaborate product displays the sheer scale and rise to prominence of Samsung and LG amongst others is most striking, Korea seemingly in the ascendency in the consumer electronics world in terms of the multiplicity of new product ideas and the speed with which they bring these to market.

Focussing on our primary interest for being at IFA we have identified a number of trends that we think are of interest:

  • Most notably 3D everywhere and in many different formats: TVs, Projectors and Laptops
  • A surprising number of glasses-free (auto stereoscopic) 3D displays in evidence albeit in prototype form and realistically 3-5 years away from production
  • An explosion in the number of Tablet PC/Apple iPad clone devices
  • Numerous examples of all-in-one computing devices where the processor and storage are built in to the display screen
  • The Google Android OS appearing on a wide range of TV sets powering the applications available as a result of the growth in IP connectivity
  • As predicted, e-Reader devices becoming cheaper, sometimes at the cost of functionality such as Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity but as a result seeking to occupy a different market space to the Tablet/iPad class of product.

From the point of view of specific products the ones that stand out for us are:

We hope to get our hands on some of these new devices over the next few months in order to study their potential impact for our services.

If you'd like to see more from IFA 2010 you can follow us on Twitter, Flickr and YouTube as BBCBlueRoom

Roland Allen and Richard Robbins.

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