'Smart' Devices Dominate IFA Electronics Show

      September 03, 2010 11:43

      Exhibition staff look at LG Electronics' smart TV at the IFA 2010 in Berlin on Thursday ahead of the opening on Friday. /Courtesy of LG Electronics

      The IFA 2010 consumer electronics show, the biggest in Europe, opened Friday in Berlin with around 1,200 companies demonstrating their latest products. This year's event is the largest ever, and the buzzword of the show is "smart."

      Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Sony and other major manufacturers who heralded the era of 3D TVs at IFA 2009 are this year introducing intelligent devices that allow users to enjoy various media content and applications. This so-called "smart" technology, first seen in smartphones, has spread to TVs and other home appliances.

      ◆ Tablets PCs and Smart TVs

      Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Tab tablet PC to challenge the Apple iPad. "The Galaxy Tab is a smart media device that incorporates a variety of media, including newspapers, books, movies, music and social networking services," said Yoon Boo-keun, president of Samsung's visual display business.

      The device runs Google's Android 2.2 operating system and features a seven-inch display, touchscreen and video calling function. "With the Galaxy Tab, we will lead the media revolution that started with smartphones and smart TVs," Yoon said.

      TVs are the highlight of IFA. Samsung and LG are showcasing intelligent sets equipped with their own operating systems that enable viewers to surf the Internet and run applications. LG also unveiled a 3D OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TV that is just 0.29 cm thick.

      Sony is seeking to regain its former glory with its own smart TV. Sony chairman Howard Stringer announced the company's plan of bringing Web content to TV viewers through the Sony Internet TV, the world's first HDTV powered by Google.

      ◆ Energy-Efficient Home Appliances

      Washing machines, refrigerators and other home appliances have grown much more intelligent through the application of smart grid technology. LG unveiled a device called the TROMM Styler that deodorizes clothes and smoothes out wrinkles. The company is also featuring washing machines, refrigerators and ovens that are 20 to 45 percent more energy efficient than previous products.

      German home appliance maker Miele introduced the world's first drum washing machines and dryers that reduce energy use through smart grid technology. It also unveiled an integrated home network system that allows users to operate home appliances with their smartphones.

      Woongjin Coway, iriver, Hyundai Corporation and Kyungmin Mechatronics are some of the other Korean firms participating in IFA this year. Woongjin is introducing its latest lineup of air cleaners, water purifiers and vacuum cleaners, while iriver is showcasing its Cover Story e-book reader, an MP3 player and other products.

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