Dancing robots, eye-activated televisions, ultra-thin tablets, super-connected homes… it can only be IFA 2012, the world’s biggest consumer goods showcase. The Berlin trade fair gives a glimpse of the future of technology and how it could change our lives in the next few years.
It’s been a packed few days for Lingo24’s Oana Stan and Karina Strobl, who are visiting the show. They were fascinated to see some of the latest developments, from mobile technology to eco-friendly cars.
They joined an estimated 240,000 people who traveled from around the world to visit the show, which has 1,400 exhibitors. Now in its 52nd year, many common appliances were first demonstrated there, such as car radios and colour televisions.
This year some of the big trends were cloud computing, increased connectivity between devices, and smarter household appliances.
Oana said: “One highlight was Acer’s stand, where we were shown how the AcerCloud works. You can share music, photos, videos, and documents on your PC with all your devices including Android tablets and phones.
“We were also impressed by how the Xperia Tablet S from Sony was introducted. There was a fabulous show presented on hundreds of Sony flat screens. And of course, Smartphone Land was not to be missed, where Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, HTC and Motorola had the latest phones on display.”
Exhibitors such as Belkin showed off their visions of super-connected homes. There were several examples of televisions activated by hand gestures or voices, while Haier and Tobii’s Gaze TV is controlled by eye movements. Staring at the screen brings up a menu, while blinks can be used to choose options.
Many innovations are designed to make everyday life easier. A new generation of cookers, refrigerators and washing machines could be controlled remotely. Soon we could be switching on the laundry from our smartphones, while fridges could be programmed to order fresh milk when supplies are low.
Of course, international companies still face language barriers when marketing. Translation apps might be improving, but they’re still not smart enough to match human translation or develop compelling marketing campaigns! Lingo24 has hundreds of translators specialising in technology and consumer retail, and this was a great chance to chat to companies about their translation needs.