Flat screens or fridges?

It's Miss IFA. Again! For the third year in a row...
It's Miss IFA. Again! For the third year in a row...

This year's IFA consumer and trade fair has kicked off with the standard level of hype and has been dubbed the biggest and best ever. Once again.

There's no doubting the size of the event as it spans over 30 halls to encompass everything from the tiniest MP3 player to the world's most expensive sound system.

The early chat from the opening press conference is mostly about flat screen TVs, the UK's negative growth due to the falling value of the pound against the Euro, and England's failure to qualify for this summer's European championship.

Strong TV preview

However, Europe and indeed the rest of the world, are showing strong growth with over 92 per cent of TVs sold HD ready or better, so there are few doubts as to where the main focus of the show will be this year.

Things that are exciting us are: Sony and Samsung going to head to head with OLED demonstration TVs.

The Koreans have been beavering away at this tech for a number of years now, but Sony beat them to the punch to launch the world's first OLED TV... we hear rumours of a surprise here this year, and we'll be among the first to get a hands on.

Philips is also showing off the fruits of its research in the TV arena, and 3D TV is set to get a big kick up the backside when the Dutch company shows off its latest invention.

The MP3 fridge

But it's not all about TVs. Home appliances makes its debut as a category at IFA this year, and there's a lot of excitement about what will be unleashed.

The big buzz words are convergence and energy efficiency... there appears to be a big push to make people pay more money for more environmentally-friendly goods, so perhaps making them do more is the way to go, with refrigerators with built in TVs likely to be popular.

To quote our reviews ed: "When my fridge also doubles as a pocket MP3 player, then I'll be upgrading."

TechRadar managed to sneak into the halls before they were open, and took a couple of snaps before the whole thing kicks off (but we were forced to exit sharpish when some shady-looking security people started heading our way).

It seems either cardboard boxes are the next big thing in tech... Either that or the ground staff are going to have to pull off one hell of a big, fast turnaround to get the halls ready for the throngs any moment now!

We hope they're up to the job! In the meantime, we'll also be scouting around for Miss IFA to get an 'exclusive' interview with the face of the show... we're keeping our fingers crossed we can even try on the wig.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.