7digital attend IFA in Berlin and live to tell their tale…Posted by Jonathan Southall on September 9th, 2010 – Be the first to comment
Nothing can prepare you for the scale of IFA, the consumer electronics trade show now celebrating it’s 50th year in Berlin. If I tell you it was huge or enormous or really, really big it doesn’t quite do it justice. Whatever you are imagining now is much smaller than it actually is.
It is vast. Even if it weren’t full to the brim with buyers, sellers, members of the public and journalists, and were totally empty it would take a couple of hours to walk round it all. It’s hard to imagine what other conferences could fill it.
No Apple at IFA though, but plenty of response to the iPad. The Samsung GALAXY Tab was a very hot topic, which was great news for 7digital, given our music store’s position on the tablet. We watched consumers interacting with the store on display devices, which is always heartening, especially when the execution is as good as it is on that device.
As well as meeting with existing partners, it was good to meet with a whole host of new partners and talk about new opportunities with them. Having ebooks in our portfolio of services is an enormous help, as the current tablet mania has great implications for ebooks.
While tablets were a huge talking point for us at 7digital, there was a mammoth amount of noise about 3d televisions. Some CE brands were so keen to push 3D they didn’t have any audio devices on display. Every room seemed to have acrobats, jugglers and the like performing on stage, broadcast live to banks of 3D TVs where huge groups of people would watch them through special glasses, rather than taking them off to see the real thing. I understand why this is, but it did look pretty absurd to a passer by.
Whether consumers really want 3D just yet is open to question. There’s precious little content, and most have upgraded to flat panel pretty recently. The glasses seem to be one of the biggest obstacles, and you might be tempted to think the whole concept could go the way of the mini-disc if it weren’t for the fact that it has clear and immediate implications for gaming where the issue will be much less of a barrier.
If the no-glasses-required 3D technology improves and takes off, it could have some pretty wild implications for tablets. Sharp already have a 3D tablet, which with the addition of motion control being demoed on some TV’s, really set the mind racing about how 3D user interfaces could work in the future.
But back to the present: the other clear trend was for connected devices, especially TV’s and the requirement for cloud based media services, which for 7digital is a very good news indeed.