Oval TVs and virtual reality gizmos the next must-haves?

Left: A robot drawing a portrait on a Galaxy Note7 smartphone at the Samsung booth at the IFA fair in Berlin on Thursday. Above: A hoverboard by Beamie at the company's stand at the fair.
A robot drawing a portrait on a Galaxy Note7 smartphone at the Samsung booth at the IFA fair in Berlin on Thursday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Left: A robot drawing a portrait on a Galaxy Note7 smartphone at the Samsung booth at the IFA fair in Berlin on Thursday. Above: A hoverboard by Beamie at the company's stand at the fair.
A hoverboard by Beamie at the company's stand at the fair.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Mega consumer electronics fair in Berlin features latest trends in industry

BERLIN • Berlin's mega consumer electronics fair IFA opened its doors to the public yesterday, offering a dizzying array of high-tech goods, from home robots to surround sound systems to drones.

Some tech giants are also seeking to define what they believe will be the next gizmos and digital must-haves to drive the industry.

Oval. Or any other shape that would fit into a car, the kitchen or the bathroom mirror. That's the "future of TV displays", says Sharp, which showed off its new IGZO technology during previews before the public opening.

IGZO is the acronym for indium, gallium, zinc and oxygen, and Sharp says the technology has allowed it to build TVs that are frameless, have outstanding image quality and consume little power.

The three-dimensional experience first began in cinemas, but virtual reality is increasingly entering homes with video-gamers jumping in. Unveiling a new VR headset in Berlin, Acer chief executive Jason Chen said the lines are blurring between movies and video games, and converging to a more dynamic, immersive form of storytelling, with VR to feature prominently.

South Korean giant Samsung also did not miss a chance to tout its Gear VR headset when it presented its latest smartwatch on Wednesday, as it offered a tour in the Russian mountains with the reality-altering glasses.

The three-dimensional experience first began in cinemas, but virtual reality is increasingly entering homes with video-gamers jumping in. Unveiling a new VR headset in Berlin, Acer chief executive Jason Chen said the lines are blurring between movies and video games, and converging to a more dynamic, immersive form of storytelling, with VR to feature prominently.

They began life as mostly square or rectangular blocks on wrists. But the latest generation of smartwatches have had their edges smoothed out, and are now mostly round- faced as their makers seek to broaden their reach to the wider public.

Samsung's latest Gear S3 and ZenWatch3 by Asus unveiled at IFA were both cases in point. Gartner estimates that sales of smartwatches will reach 67 million units next year, compared with 30 million last year.

From the coffee-maker, which can be told to make one's favourite blend from a distance, to the dishwasher that picks the best programme, electronics giants Siemens and Bosch believe these smart appliances should feature in every kitchen.

There is also a ventilation hood that turns itself up when the cooking gets intense and a fridge that can take a selfie so users know exactly what is missing while dashing around the supermarket.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2016, with the headline 'Oval TVs and virtual reality gizmos the next must-haves?'. Print Edition | Subscribe