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Review Edition - IFA International

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Journalists from around

Journalists from around the world give their views on products on show at IFA Patrick Bily and Krystof Woldrich from the Czech Republic produce the website Mac je Mac, which covers all things concerning Apple. They have observed some “impressive Apple accessories” here at IFA but have been particularly impressed with Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch. Patrick Bily & Krystof Woldrich Mac je Mac The watch can be customised to the users exact specifications using Moto Maker, Motorola’s online design studio. The Mac je Mac team noted the impressive number of people here at IFA. “It’s a sign that the CE business is strong at the moment,” Woldrich said. Steffen Herget editor, AreaMobile, Germany “Three smartphones stood out for me. The Marshall London, the new Gigaset range and the Samsung Gear S2. The Marshall London is a phone that puts the focus on music and audio quality and I like the fact it has two headset jacks. It also looks very nice and, of course, carries the Marshall name Falko Benthim Pro-Linux.de Germany which means so much to music lovers. “Gigaset is better known for its fixed line phones so it has been interesting to see it introduce a good quality smartphone with high design stainless steel frame and glass panelling. It looks like it is a high performance model.” “I’ve been looking at some of the new photographic equipment at IFA. I am really interested in the new Kodak Pixpro SP360- 4K,” Laura Martins said. The new Pixpro is cube-shaped with a dome lens. This allows it to take 360-degree photos and videos which can be panned 360 degrees horizontally. The camera can record videos at resolutions Laura Martins Techtudo, Brazil of up to 4K 2880 x 2880 pixels and also has time-lapse and burst shooting modes. Like the Go-Pro the camera is perfect for shooting extreme action activities but also has other professional uses. Laura also picked out the LG OLED screens and the Marshall London smartphone as stand-out products at IFA. “I was very impressed by the launch of My Home Box. I have not seen anything like that before. It allows you to connect all your wireless devices. I think it has got very good market potential. “For me the real interest has been in Hall 11.1 where there are so many Linux open Alex Davies Rethink Internet of Things, part of Rethink Technology Research, UK source products. There has been some real innovation there. “I have also been particularly interested in finding out more about the Accer BYOC (Build Your Own Cloud) Ecosystem which has very impressive and strong open source possibilities.” Yorick Dupon Geekster, Belgium “It is my first time here and I have been very impressed. It is nice to come and see for yourselves things that you have written or read about and get that personal hands-on experience. Having consumers here makes it different from other exhibitions. But it is also really nice to see their genuine excitement in products and seeing their minds blown away by technology that we might think is already well known.” “Smart watches have definitely stood out for me. They have really matured as products and I think now have the potential to be a real breakthrough category. They look and feel a lot more premium and have improved their functionality. “Importantly they also work as a watch in their own right. That is a key difference. You are not just wearing a computer on your wrist which people are likely to wear for a while and then give up. You can now use them as a watch and I think can that is very important. “In terms of individual smart watches I was very impressed by the Samsung Gear S2 and the fact it is using open software for other models to use. It also looks really nice. Motorola has also refined its Moto 360 model and it is a lot better than its predecessor.” Lukasz Golabiowski Komputer Swiatm Poland “This year’s IFA has really surpassed my expectations. Even though I knew there would more than enough brand new products and ground-breaking technologies, the sheer number of products on show really surprised me. Thanks to well organised transport and extremely helpful people, being here as a reporter has been a pleasure. Our readers absolutely loved every single video and article that we produced during the event.” 20

Exclusive Interview Making Monstrous Progress in Audio Technology “The head monster”, Noel Lee – on his company’s new roadmap In an exclusive one-on-one with Monster’s founder and chief officer Noel Lee, IFA International editorin-chief Richard Barnes asked the basic question… ”What’s new?”… Firstly, we have really found our roots in audio, and we are very clear about our message, which we haven’t been over past years. Were we in the cable business, or the power business, or what? So you have a new elevator speech? Well kind of. It’s a new elevator phrase. We made a commitment to our consumers that comes in just four words – “because the music matters”. That’s what Monster is about. We are dedicated to bringing a phenomenal musical experience to consumers in a way they’ve never experienced it before. The new technology is called “Pure Monster Sound”. It gets you closer to the music. If you look, at what I did before, it was bringing the club to your ears and reproduce that new music like no one else could. But we’ve been there and done that. We can of course keep all the qualities of that, but it’s got to go beyond that to dynamics, clarity, transparency, articulation, and other elements in our new headphones like long-term comfort, speech intelligibility, app-driven options that can control the headphones. We are also looking at the wearable space to see when we should jump-in there. We are also coming out with more business-oriented accessories. For example our new Superstar speaker – a little Bluetooth speaker – is made for the business user. Then there’s a generation of kids who are ready for the next new thing. That’s why we’ve got the rose gold 24K. We have a new line called the Elements series – which is incredible looking, and is based on the design we made for Ronaldo. Where the industry is tending to go cheaper in price points and quality, we are aiming higher. We think there is space for Monster always to be in the “better and best” and “’good, better, best”. We made a commitment to our consumers that comes in just four words – “because the music matters”. So you’re getting back to the core values you had when you were doing “just cables”? Exactly. That’s an example. Why did I design the cables that way? Because the music matters, right? We had to clarify the message for ourselves internally and also externally. The technology message underlying that is “Always lead. Never follow”. You’ll see that on our banners. You will never see a Monster product that is a copy of what someone else is doing. It’s always an enhancement of the status quo. What has been the secret to your rise to success over the years? I think the secret is where the technology and the consumer use of that technology goes. It’s the metamorphosis of marketing through social as opposed to TV ads. It’s about how one communicates. We are using applications like WeChat. It’ll do photos, video, messages and so on, and it’s free. So I thought, “Wow, how can I use that to a competitive advantage?” I think throughout the years you have to be a technologist and follow the use of that technology. So now we are highlighted by WeChat, which is the biggest social network in the world – with over a billion users – and we are applying communications in a way that no-one else has. That is how you win the war. We are fighting a war. There are a lot of competitors out there, a lot of people fighting for the spaces, a lot of money being spent, and we don’t have big money to spend, so you have to be sharper. And you have to be able to redefine yourself. It was Gen X before, now it’s millennials, and how one markets to millennials is a huge advertising question today. The big social media question is “How do you drive conversion?” In our space, do you have an icon that can sell product any more? Everybody else chased that rabbit and that’s been played. So what do you do next? That’s what we’re figuring out. You’ve got to be relevant as a brand to keep reinventing. I just employed a whole new social team – younger people – and kind of moved the old people out – because they don’t think that way. “The Head Monster” Noel Lee hosting world champion soccer star Lukas Podolski (German striker) at the Monster private viewing zone at IFA. www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 21 st September 2015 21

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