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IFA 2011. General Impressions of the Show
What happened to IFA and why this show never had its time to shine? I don’t think there is an answer to that. When CeBIT was dying IFA saw its golden days – the show became annual and was boasting of being the main European event of this kind. The American CES takes place in January and sets standards for the whole year leaving enough room for IFA in September. Sounds legit? Yes, but IFA has always had the provincial taste and it’s not nearly as big as CES in any way. Manufacturers never reserve any big announcements for IFA – the show is always rather quiet. Except for the companies that use any opportunity to announce new products and there are quite a few of them there like Samsung. Even when CeBIT ceased to be a mobile show and everyone moved Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Samsung continued to announce some of their new products at CeBIT just out of the old habit and they do the same at IFA.
Probably this is why my brightest impression from the show is miss IFA – this girl was on every poster and in the IFA magazine.
Here I will be sporadically telling you about miscellaneous devices I found interesting. Miscellaneous is the word that best describes IFA – they could easily place all the worthy stuff in just one showroom and not cover vast spaces. Chinese manufacturers occupied a lot of room this year but the quality of products was very low – all sorts of pointless devices. If you have this kind of companies at your show it means it is going down.
There were not many robots at IFA but I found it funny that the Windoro showroom was attracting a lot of attention – many people liked the idea of a cleaning robot moving on vertical surfaces. I think it has zero practicality as well as the most of domestic robots vacuum cleaners that move around objects which are just useless toys and are no good at what they do so far, despite what some owners will tell you.
That’s why some manufacturers present their robots as toys. How do you like this racing steering wheel for your robot? Be a racer controlling your electronic pet! It’s not about cleaning it’s about entertaining yourself.
I don’t think that there are a lot of embroidery enthusiasts among our readers but I liked these devices. I know this kind of things have been there forever but it was refreshing to see these little buddies at work.
This guy was not working at the showroom he is a photographer for a German magazine. But look how well his haircut works with the fan ad.
The show was mostly presented by rows of gadgets of absolutely no interest. At this picture you see the Garmin showroom but it could be any other of them.
Nokia did not have a showroom but one of the European distributors was presenting new phones. i think only Nokia 700/701 is worth mentioning – just what I was expecting – they are faster than before but not as fast as modern smartphones should be. They are just touch phones (not smartphones) for people who some reasons are still loyal to the company. There are no reasons for that actually but habits can be strong. You can watch the video with these two phones and have a look at their pictures.
It’s funny that there was the Nokia 500 prototype, notice the C0 index. It’s funny that a Nokia’s partner presents a prototype with demo videos of a not yet announced model. I will discuss this next time.
Some company named Utano sells Chinese phones in Europe. This company specializes in protected phones – the look nice, do the same thing their competitors do and cost too much.
I remembered the LG showroom for the new PenTouch TVs – with a special pen you can write and paint on the TV screen. It’s a great idea to entertain kids and give them an intensive to develop their fine art skills. It’s a cool toy that adds new features to good old TVs.
All companies tried to impress the guests with size or show. I liked the Panasonic showroom but the girls playing volleyball seemed dead tired and it’s perfectly understandable – you cannot do that for hours.
There were lots of mockups of batteries used in cars and dedicated to smart and green homes.
I suspect all companied will pick up these ideas and Panasonic is being the pioneer in this sphere.
All in all, IFA is rather dead than alive. There is no big scale you expect from an annual European show. There is nothing that would really impress you or change the industry. It’s just boring. CES on the other hand is a real deal and it’s a real big event. IFA is just a roll call for manufacturers that see Europe as an important market but they don’t reveal their plans here. Alas.
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Published 09 September 2011
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