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Preview Edition - IFA International

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  • Berlin
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  • September
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News From left to right: Volker Klodwig (Managing Director, BSH Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH), Prof. Dr-Ing Rüdiger Kays (Communication Technology Institute, TU Dortmund University), Hans-Joachim Kamp (Chairman of the supervisory board of gfu), Judith Rakers (moderator), Hans Wienands (Chairman of Consumer Electronics trade association - ZVEI), Frank Schipper (Board Member of the Association of Retail Trade Technology - BAT), Marcel Gonska (Managing Director, WLC GmbH) and Dr Christian Göke (CEO, Messe Berlin GmbH) gfu Celebrates 40 Years with IFA IFA Innovations Media Briefing “TV was a big focus at this year's Insights and Trends, especially the Internetnetworked Smart TV and Ultra HDTV sets that display spectacular, crystal clear images (…)” [ by Stuart Braun ] At this year's IFA Innovations media briefing - the second in what has already become a vital part of the IFA calendar - the German Association for Consumer Electronics (gfu) celebrated 40 years as the organiser of the world's largest consumer electronics trade fair. "Smart in the future" is the motto of this year's IFA, and the July 10 media briefing saw government officials and industry representatives introduce the themes for IFA 2013 - meanwhile, downstairs at the Berlin Convention Centre, some 30 exhibitors previewed their innovative wares due to be launched at the September 6-11 event. In the introduction, it was noted that the consumer electronics and home appliance industry is expected to grow by 4 percent in 2013 worldwide (though only 1.5 percent in Europe). In times of global economic uncertainty, the industry can happily claim continued growth in the three years since 2010. Judith Rakers, the German journalist and television presenter who moderated this year's event, presented and interviewed a range of speakers, especially for their views on Smart TV. TV was a big focus at this year's Insights and Trends, especially the Internetnetworked Smart TV and Ultra HDTV sets that display spectacular, crystal clear images and offer a new frontier of cross-platform entertainment solutions. Other smart devices including smartphones, tablets, hybrid computers, or smart home entertainment featuring radio-controlled speakers that enable audio streaming, are some of the fully networked home electronics products that will be key CE trends at IFA 2013. Celebrating gfu's 40 years with IFA Highlighting the gfu's 40-year association with IFA, Berlin's Senator for Economics, Technology & Research, Cornelia Yzer, praised the gfu for advancing IFA's status as the world's preeminent consumer electronics trade show. She spoke of the innovations from CDs to MP3s that have been launched at IFA over the past four decades. Berlin, as “the new silicon valley of Europe”, remained the perfect location for the event, said Yzer. She described the city as a capital of innovation, not only due to its burgeoning start-up scene, but the many research institutes creating technological innovations in the city. Berlin has a long tradition of innovation, with local scientist Albert Einstein opening the 7 th IFA in 1930, where he was shown a prototype television receiver. Organisations like gfu were a vital part of Berlin's growing renown for revolutionary new technology, said Yser. "We intend to further expand this position. We need partners like the gfu." The long partnership between gfu and Messe Berlin, IFA's venue since the event began in 1924, was also honoured at the media briefing. "The success of a trade fair comes from strong partners," said Dr Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin. "Gfu and Messe Berlin can look back on 40 years of excellent cooperation and have always focused on the success of the common cause," he said 14

News on the occasion of the gfu anniversary. Dr Göke added that IFA itself was a "smart" marketing instrument because it brings promotional synergies to a global industry. Hans-Joachim Kamp, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the gfu also reiterated IFA's progress and successes over the past 40 years, adding that better market research and a clearer vision have increased the success of the event globally. He summarised some of the key achievements over four decades, including the development of strategic partnerships with retailers (in addition to manufacturers), and the successful integration of home appliances into IFA in 2008, among other milestones. Kamp also reiterated the key factors of success at IFA 2012. These included: 1,450 exhibitors from nearly 60 countries 240,000 visitors in total 138,000 trade visitors 46,000 international trade visitors and 6,000 media representatives Kamp reiterated that a key trend for IFA 2013 will be the interconnection of home appliances and consumer electronics via the Internet. This will be something akin to the technological quantum leaps in the late “ (…) devices like smartphones and tablets are a vital complement to Smart TV.” 60’s with the launch of colour television, he said. HOW SMART IS THE CONSUMER? Gfu's commitment to complement IFA with more industry promotion and strategic market research was backed by the release of its new Europe-wide survey, "How smart is the consumer?", a study of Smart TV take-up in the EU (the 8,000 participants in the study were surveyed in nine European countries in April and May 2013). Giving greater context to IFA's 'smart in the future' theme in 2013, Kamp showed how consumer preferences in terms of TV size, design and future technological needs will be shaped going forward. Focusing on the German market, the report showed 69 percent of respondents said they wanted to buy a device with a screen larger than 42 inches. But among the nearly 40 percent of Germans surveyed demanding greater technological innovation, most said they wanted to upgrade to an Internet-enabled Smart TV. With Europe's largest economy far below the European average of Smart TV take-up (39 percent as opposed to 48 percent), the technology has significant growth-potential. Throughout the European region, Turkey leads the way with 58 percent take-up of Smart TVs, said Kamp. This is partly because they have embraced mobile Internet technology - devices like smartphones and tablets are a vital complement to Smart TV. Meanwhile, mobile device take-up in Germany is still relatively weak. According to the gfu survey, Germany is a good test case for harnessing more growth in the smart appliance sector. While the purchasing power and potential is strong, better marketing and information is required to build greater enthusiasm for networked products in Germany, especially among older consumers. But turning older generations into regular users of smart technology will be a challenge across a number of markets, stated the survey. Only 13 percent of households use the Internet to control home appliances in Germany, Kamp noted, even though Smart technology benefits in terms of energy efficiency Cornelia Yzer Berlin's Senator for Economics, Technology & Research and safety - for example, remote control of heating and washing machines. "Many [German] consumers are waiting [to embrace the technology], and more so than in other European countries," Kamp said. But for all the caveats, the Insights and Trends event focused largely on the positives. Even in Germany, smart technology is moving fast and has a very strong future, explained Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Kays of the University of Dortmund. He noted some basic scientific facts that will spur the rise of a smart technology that must be available everywhere, anytime". The power of microchips doubles every 18 months; the bandwidth in www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 2 nd September 2013 15

IFA International