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Preview Edition - IFA International

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Market & Technology

Market & Technology Trends TV and web – the best of two worlds on one screen Catch-up TV, mediatheques, video clips from YouTube pages, the world of social networks from Twitter to Facebook, slide shows from providers of online photo services, weather reports, up-to-the-minute news, sports results, stock market prices or communication via Skype: all of this content from the internet can be seen on the same screen as that used for traditional television viewing. App icons, similar to the virtual keypads on smartphones and tablets, provide access to the content and applications. E a c h m a n u f a c t u r e r offers a slightly different approach, with terminals defining their own, rapidly expanding portals. Some manufacturers have already c re a t e d d e v e l o p m e n t communities for TV apps, combining various forms of IT creativity. In addition to apps, some sets also include browsers for internet access, as on a PC. Special operating apps with virtual keypads on smartphones or tablets, and connected with televisions via the wireless network for the home, are an ideal way of navigating through such pages on the screen. In 2011 HbbTV (Hybrid Broad Band TV) will continue to acquire a stronger presence. The abbreviation refers to a standard that permits a direct link to be established between TV broadcasts and web content. Using this system broadcasting stations can also transmit data to accompany a programme, functioning in the same way as a web link. Pressing the red button on the remote control switches from the current TV programme to programmerelated information from the Internet. The merging of television with the Internet has been a growing trend over the past two years, and will acquire even greater importance in 2011 and the years that follow. It marks not only a significant technological trend but also a latent paradigm shift in business models within the CE sector. In future commercial success will be largely defined by the successful combination of the features installed on terminals and the range of available content, and by cross-sectoral cooperation between the hardware and content industries. Apps and tablets – the missing link in consumer electronics and home networking Taking the iPad as a prototype, within just a few months an entire new category of devices has been created. Demand for these flat devices is enormous, and the manufacturers are meeting this demand by constantly introducing new models. "Originating from the world of computers, they are defining a completely new, intuitive way of accessing the entire digital world" Like their smaller equivalent, the smartphones, the f l a t c o m p u t e r s a r e setting new standards in ergonomics and in their range of applications. Originating from the world of computers, they are defining a completely new, intuitive way of accessing the entire digital world. Along with the hardware a massive range of applications has been created, and the combined creativity of thousands of developers is producing a constant flow of new uses. Traditional CE manufacturers are also making a significant contribution with their own ideas for applications. It almost seems as if they have been waiting for these new types of devices. In fact apps on tablets and smartphones are acting like a missing link in consumer electronics: applications now permit even the most complex functions of networked consumer electronics to be controlled Samsung Galaxy Tablet easily and in a clearly arranged, visual form. Music distributed throughout the house, easy, image-assisted selection from a vast range of TV programmes and web services, and even the ability to operate an entire networked home – tablet apps can handle all of this with ease and at a cost well below that of specialized remote control systems of a similar technical standard. www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 29 th August 2011 25

IFA International