EU Commissioner Oettinger calls for IT to generate more added value in Europe
Günther Oettinger, the EU Commissioner responsible for the digital economy and society, called for Europe’s industries to start producing IT systems again. Speaking at the opening gala of IFA 2015, CDU member Oettinger called for “industrial manufacturing, research, development and services to do more to create added value.“ This was the only way to create and safeguard jobs in Germany and Europe. “That is a demand that has to be made public at the opening of this fair. We have already lost too many markets“, Oettinger said, noting that Bosch, Siemens and Nokia were among those companies no longer producing mobile phones. It was the responsibility of politicians and the EU Commission to establish a domestic digital market, he added. “Currently we have fragmented markets.” Individual countries still retained their own data protection and security laws, and there were marked differences in the digital infrastructure. “If we can make the digital union work we will be the world’s most attractive marketplace”, the EU Commissioner said.
Federal Minister of Economics Sigmar Gabriel also noted that IFA’s key themes, among them the networked home, offered extremely good prospects for German enterprises. “What we need is an intelligent overall framework for the digital age, one that can transform big data into smart data.“ The federal government was making every effort in this respect. “We want to envision opportunities without overlooking the challenges”, he added.
International Keynote: Paliwal (HARMAN): from digital to interconnected to intelligent
What is Smart Audio? For Dinesh Paliwal, President, Chairman and CEO of HARMAN, the relevant solutions and systems have to be interconnected, personalized and adaptive, as he stated in his International keynote speech on the morning of the second day of IFA. And Paliwal is convinced that smart audio will lead to an explosion of the Internet of Things. For example, the number of people using interconnected products will double by 2018. And by 2016 we can expect the number of interconnected devices to double from the current 300 million to 600 million. “Smart audio has only just begun”, said Paliwal at the conclusion of his keynote speech, and stated that the influence of audio will increase in all areas of life. A change is taking place, from digital to interconnected to intelligent, and in the course of this process some new and exciting markets will be created. The key factors driving this process are the fields of software, security, data and “over the air” (transmission).
International Keynote: Assistance from Microsoft and Cortana
During the first month following its introduction Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 10 has been downloaded by 57 million users, on 90.000 different types of computers and models. It was with these and other similarly impressive figures that the Microsoft vice president with responsibility for original equipment for computers, Nick Parker, began his keynote speech at IFA 2015.He declared that the new system is ready to handle a world of data that is largely dominated by mobile devices and cloud memory. According to figures compiled by Microsoft, there will be an additional 509 million new users within one year, with no end in sight to the pace of expansion. Windows 10 product manager Brian Roper delivered a witty crash course, providing insights into the diversity offered by this system, and offering hints and tricks. Among these were suggestions as to the kind of questions one could address to Cortana, the user’s “personal assistant”: “Show me the Powerpoint presentation of the last charity auction”, which is more or less a search function in the form of a dialogue. For Roper the system is perfect because it combines the familiar with the new for touch screens and keypads alike.
IFA and ISTAF – two world-class events
Berlin, 4 September – two world-class events have kicked off in Berlin: ISTAF, the International Stadium Festival, and IFA. This year’s IFA takes place from 4 to 9 September, while ISTAF takes place in the Olympic Stadium on 6 September.A combined ticket costing only 19 euros grants admission to both events. Yesterday, speaking at the press conference of ISTAF on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds Jens Heithecker, director of IFA, welcomed world champion Shawnacy Barber (Canada), world championship silver medallist Raphael Holzdeppe and Piotr Malachowski, world champion from Poland: “ISTAF and IFA are two firmly established events on the Berlin stage that are taking place at the same time. The combined ticket lets visitors watch the world’s best athletes after the Olympic Games and see state-of-the-art CE products at a price that the family can afford.“ www.ifa-berlin.com > Tickets.
Highlights of the products and sectors on display at IFA
Enjoy large screen 2D and 3D cinema at home with Epson
Three full HD projectors for a big screen experience at home are being displayed by Epson at IFA with its new EH-TW5000er series. The “EH-TW5350”, “TW5300” and “TW5210” models can display 2D and 3D content, producing sharp images measuring up to 8.5 metres in natural colours. Moreover the new 5000 series is very easy to operate and television, sporting events, games or films can be enjoyed for eleven years before the lamp needs to be replaced. Each projector has two HDMI ports and a five watt speaker, brightness of up to 2,200 lumen and a dynamic contrast of approximately 1 to 35,000 to create well defined shadows and intense blacks. The EH-TW5350 also has a Miracast port for connecting mobile Android devices. The new EH-TW5000 range will be available in specialist outlets from September and represents the new entry level for Epson’s full HD home cinema.
EURONICS strengthened by strategic collaboration
In 2014 EURONICS International achieved a turnover of 18.2 billion euros. The year’s results confirm the position of EURONICS as the second largest marketing and buying group for consumer electronics in Europe, and as the third largest worldwide. “Our strategy for expansion is based on profitable growth and on the pursuit of added value”, explained John Olsen, Managing Director of EURONICS International. “Our strategic approach of entering into partnerships with local dealers who share this conviction has proved to be the right one.” Speaking at the press conference on the first day of IFA, he emphasized that the buying and marketing group has become established as a major economic factor in the EMEA region as a result of its growth and the developments that have taken place over the past 25 years. The corporate strategy has been adapted accordingly. This also explains why EURONICS International recently entered into an important partnership with Sharaf DG, the leading name in electronics dealers in the United Arab Emirates.
Grundig’s progress from the Heinzelmann to the Cosmopolit
Grundig is presenting its full range of both white and brown goods on a stand measuring 3,500 square metres. There were plenty of reminders of the company’s 70 year history, which began just after the end of the war with the “Heinzelmann” radio which, because of restrictions imposed by the Allies, could only be sold as a kit. Christian Struck, Brand Manager Germany for the company, sees the modern internet radio, the Cosmopolit 8, as a continuation of what was began so long ago. Grundig still has a strong position in the radio business and, as CEO Murat Sahin explained, a ten per cent increase in turnover is expected this year. Another area of consumer electronics is that of ultra-HD televisions, whether flat or curved, which are all state of the art and fully interconnected. Here too Grundig has a ten per cent share of the market, making it the third largest company, even though, as Sahin pointed out, the lack of major sporting events in 2015 has created difficulties for the market. A service consistent with the manufacturer’s 70 year history is now being offered for some large appliances: a 70 month guarantee, i.e. just under six years.
Leondrino plans a digital wallet for digital branded currencies
Smartphone users can soon have their own digital wallet, managing several virtual brand currencies, with which customers can make purchases in their favourite stores. This is being planned by Leondrina Exchange, a Berliner FinTech start-up which, because of the increasing regulation of virtual currencies, has been set up in New York as a US company by its founders Peter Reuschel and Sandra Leonie Ritter. The first Leondrina brand currency, for a network of restaurants belonging to the company Leaf Systems, is already in preparation. It might be possible in the future that hamburgers from a particular fast food chain could be paid for in McCoins or KingCoins. The idea behind this concept is that companies with their own brand currency can benefit from improved customer loyalty, and the customers can enjoy special discounts and reductions.
Leondrino Exchange administers the currencies, which are named after the particular brand, with contractual safeguards for the owners of the brands. The brand currencies can be exchanged for central bank currencies such as euros or dollars. Discussions are already taking place not only with companies in the food and restaurant sector but also with sports and music companies, the founders reported during the presentation of their concept at IFA 2015. Providers in areas such as renewable energy and health can also be expected to offer brand currencies. Users of the Leondrino digital wallet can also suggest companies themselves.
Garmin focuses on road safety
At IFA 2015 Garmin, which specialises in sat-nav equipment, is focusing on the safety of car drivers and cyclists. The companiy is currently marketing numerous devices with assist functions. The new Dash Cam 35, due on sale in November, can be mounted on the windscreen and acts as a reliable witness to events. Pointing in the direction of travel, it records events which are continuously copied over with new data. Whenever the integrated G-force sensor detects an abnormal occurrence such as heavy braking or a physical impact it ensures that HD images of an event are saved from 60 seconds before the incident until 120 seconds afterwards. A built-in GPS module also stores data recording the vehicle’s speed, physical coordinates and the date and time of the event. A microphone also allows the driver to record events inside the vehicle. This camera is already a built-in component of the nüviCam sat-nav, where it records accidents. Both articles have a feature that warns of an imminent collision if the driver gets to close to the vehicle in front. It is also possible to install a rearview camera on the rear number plate, which is activated by the reversing light. Whenever reverse gear is selected the camera transmits a wireless signal to the dash cam. The use of such video recordings as evidence in court remains controversial under German law. Garmin also markets the Varia Radar, a device made for cyclists. A connected display, or optionally a Garmin Edge cycle computer, warns the rider whenever an approaching vehicle is closer than 140 metres. The top of the range Explore 1000 from the Edge series automatically makes an emergency call in the event of an accident. If the device’s impact sensor registers a collision then a previously connected smartphone transmits a text message and an email containing accident information and GPS coordinates to previously registered persons, unless the rider interrupts this function within 30 seconds.
Olloclip turns the iPhone into a microscope
The American company Olloclip from the surfers’ paradise in Huntington Beach, California, can be relied upon to produce some smart ideas for use with iPhones. Its latest products can be seen at IFA 2015. The Micro Pro Lens transforms an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus into a digital magnifying glass or a mini microscope. Its products include three different lenses with magnification factors of 7, 14 and 21. Micro Pro products are not only intended for private users but have already proved effective with opticians, dermatologists, and forensic researchers as well as with fashion and industrial designers. The display at the fair includes the prototype of a new case with attached mountings and a stand, to turn an iPhone into a professional movie camera.
Visitors to IFA can test the Oxboard from Holland
The Oxboard is a sort of cross between a Segway without a handle and a two-wheeled, motorized skateboard. The electrically powered personal transporter from the Dutch company of the same name and has been developed jointly by the entrepreneur Ernie Hiemstra and the Helmond-based company GBO Design. The board with two wheels has four gyroscopes that enable the rider to retain his balance in real time as he moves forwards or backwards, goes round small curves or rotates 360 degrees. The Oxboard has a top speed of 15 kilometres per hour and the battery gives it a range of 20 kilometres. “This is a simple and pleasant mode of travel which goes very well with a modern and efficient lifestyle”, says Ernie Hiemstra. “The Oxboard has met with a great reception in the Netherlands and now we want to spread this idea to the rest of Europe. The Oxboard is now available from his own online shop, and at the same time a European distribution network is being set up. Visitors to IFA 2015 can try this new means of transport for themselves on the company’s stand.
Healthy sleep with the Breuer app
The minutes during a night’s sleep in which the greatest dreaming activity has taken place can now be seen the next morning on a smartphone. The health specialist Beurer, from Ulm, is offering its “SleepExpert“ app, which records phases of sleep and correlates them to the sleeper’s body data, such as heart and breathing rate. The data is obtained by a disc-like sensor placed under the mattress and is linked to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. These are then used to display diagrams not only of the different phases of sleep but also Rapid Eye Movement, an indicator of particularly intensive dreams. In this way SleepExpert provides the prerequisites for effective self-monitoring. If the patient is not sleeping well he can keep a “sleep diary”, and can take this to a doctor in order to obtain treatment. He can also set his alarm clock “so that it does not ring during a phase of deep sleep”, as general manager Georg Walkenbach explains.
WMF rotates at 33,000 rpm to make smoothies
A 2.2 hp motor powers the new WMF Green Smoothie upright mixer. At 33,000 rpm it can chop up even the most fibrous vegetables that get between its blades. “That saves me from all that chewing”, is the satisfied comment of Martin Ludwig, WMF Consumer Electric Manager. By reducing the power output the mixer can also be used to make ice cream or create sauces. The group, which manufactures kitchen aids in Swabia, is planning to build on the success of the Smoothie Maker, which has already achieved sales of several hundred thousand and is especially popular with younger customers “who would otherwise rarely enter a WMF store”, said company president Matthias Becker, who is also responsible for consumer business. He describes his own shops as an indispensable component in the company’s success. There are already some 200, and the first shops are now being opened in Asia. The “Kitchen minis” have been a great success in recent years, and WMF is presenting the second generation at IFA 2015. In line with current coffee trends, WMF is again featuring a coffee machine with a filter which, Ludwig promises, will recreate the filter coffee of past years but with greater precision.
(Contact: WMF consumer electric GmbH, Halle 6.1, 102, Petra Reppert, tel.: +49 89 9901970, www.wmf.com/de/)
Deutsche TV-Plattform: Ultra HD and mobile media use on the up and up
There has definitely been an upsurge in sales of ultra HD displays. According to the GfK, within a year their share of sales has risen from one per cent to 7.7 per cent. A study commissioned by Deutsche TV-Plattform and conducted by GfK SE reveals that one in every three people is planning to buy an ultra HD television. The findings of surveys were presented by the association at its press conference on the first day of IFA, when it was announced that the desire for a higher resolution and improved picture quality is leading a growing number of consumers to choose an ultra-HD set when buying a new television. The GfK study reveals that more than two thirds of those questioned view moving images on mobile devices, in and out of the home. Although the television set remains by far the most commonly used device for viewing audiovisual media, for 67 per cent, taken together, smartphones and tablets are almost as frequently used.
Monster in partnership with Adidas
This year Monster is again represented by many new products at IFA. In partnership with Adidas they are exhibiting an in-ear range of headphones, adidas Sports by Monster, and the first of these models, “Supernova” will be in the stores in October. The display also features the first over-ear headphones from the ROC Live Life Loud range, a joint venture with the superstar footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. Visitors to the fair can also see the wireless ultra-HD audio system “Streamcast”. Among products making their debut at the fair are the high performance floating loudspeaker “BackFloat“, with built-in hands-free operation to enable telephone calls made on a smartphone to be continued under the shower. Another new development is the “Selfie Case“, which holds an iPhone 6, and has a patented coating that enables it to be attached to smooth surfaces such as panes of glass, mirrors, acrylics and marble, and eliminates the need for selfie sticks, which are prohibited in some places.
Onkyo collaboration with Iron Maiden to produce headphones for rock and metal fans
IFA 2015 provides the first opportunity to try out the first pre-production examples of the “Ed-Ph0n3s” headphones, which have been developed by Onkyo in close collaboration with the heavy metal band Iron Maiden and are intended especially for rock and metal fans. This is a perfect opportunity to experience the band’s latest album, “The Book of Souls” with perfect sound quality. While mixing the studio album the bassist Steve Harris used a hand-made set of these headphones and has been working continuously with the manufacturer’s engineers to carry out fine tuning. It took Onkyo another nine months of careful adaptation and further development in order to ensure that the mass product would satisfy the highest quality requirements. In a special sound room on the stand Onkyo is also providing demonstrations several times each day of the revolutionary sound format Dolby Atmos. Current trailers and film sequences are being presented on the company’s latest AV receivers and on ELAC speakers. This new generation of devices also supports the three dimensional sound format DTS:X.
Five times more on offer from Deutsche Telekom
“More” – Deutsche Telekom is launching its next tariff offensive with this principle. As in previous months it is MagentaEINS customers in particular who benefit from these new offers. After just twelve months already 1.5 million customers have chosen this package of mobile and landline services, according to the Deutsche Telekom board member Niek Jan van Damme, speaking to the international press on the first day of IFA. For this first anniversary the company is offering more speed and capacity for mobile customers, and is also making new offers aimed at families in particular. Following the launch of MagentaEINS in September 2014 with two additions in March and May of this year, van Damme has now announced the launch of MagentaEINS 4.0. Basically this means greater speed, more capacity, more fairness, more service and more for the family. For example, under the MagentaMobil tariffs customers now obtain appreciably higher speeds but at the same price.
Seagate: More memory for the PlayStation
A new, powerful memory upgrade for the PlayStation 3 and 4 is being exhibited by the hard drive manufacturer Seagate at the Show Stoppers event, part of IFA 2015. The Seagate Game Drive is a 1 TB internal solid state hard disk (SSHD), which can hold more than 25 games or one large media library, which means that games no longer have to be deleted just to create more space on the hard drive. Along with improved Gameplay performance owners of the Game PlayStation can also enjoy substantially faster system starts and game loading times. Game Drive goes on sale this month.
Dyson can now clean mattresses too
The little creatures moving about under the microscope on the Dyson stand at IFA 2015 are almost cute, but this view changes completely when Dyson’s microbiologist Toby Saville explains that they are microbes and that “we share our beds with millions of them every night”. And what is even more disgusting: their faeces can cause illnesses and allergies. So it is good that this British inventor and his company have now included a vacuum cleaner for mattresses in their programme. This uses rotating suction brushes to remove these unwanted creatures from beds, along with their offspring and the dead skin cells on which they feed. Another new product is the hygienic air humidifier which cleans the water used by exposing it first to ultraviolet light. In a second stage a piezo-electric ceramic disc separates the drops of water into microscopically small particles before the circular air humidifier blows them into the room. A sensor can be used to automatically determine the best relative humidity for the room and to set the humidifier accordingly. On average three litres of water are sufficient to humidify a room of average size for 18 hours. Dyson, associated primarily with vacuum cleaners, achieved a worldwide turnover of 9.1 billion euros and describes itself as the market leader in 75 countries. More than ten million of the V6 digital motors, developed in-house, have been sold for various applications, according to the company’s manager for Germany and Austria Alexander Schmidt.
Bauknecht’s dryer knows what is in the washing machine
It is planned to keep the old-established German manufacturer Bauknecht as a separate brand following its takeover by the American Whirlpool group. “Our core brand is Bauknecht in Germany and it will always remain so”, announced the chairman of the board, Jens-Christoph Bidlingmaier, at IFA 2015. Bidlingmaier is now also head of a former competing company, Indesit Deutschland, which was also taken over by Whirlpool last year. The expansion by the parent company is producing some very evident synergies. For example, in a development period of just nine months, and supported by the international production capacity available, it has been possible to expand the Bauknecht product portfolio with the addition of a fully automatic washer/dryer. Bauknecht is the first of the group’s brands to embrace the current trend for interconnecting home appliances. Via the Internet of Things the washing machine can inform the dryer what washing to expect. This relieves customers of the need to programme the dryer themselves. The only physical work they have to do is to load the machines. A market study has revealed that customers are prepared to accept this development, according to Bidlingmaier. However, this does not mean that customers would leave it up to the refrigerator to place an order with the food supplier in order to restock.
First live transmissions in ultra HD quality from pearl.tv go on air
At IFA 2015 Pearl.tv has launched the first freely receivable, commercial TV channel by satellite in Ultra High Definition in Europe. A joint venture for this purpose with the satellite operator Astra was announced by the station in May 2015. The symbolic pressing of the red button to start these high end TV broadcasts was made by the current Miss Germany, Olga Hoffmann, and Astra Germany Chief Executive Wolfgang Elsässer. The shopping channel operated by the mail order company Pearl could be said to be driving innovation in the European TV sector. In recent months the studios at the company’s headquarters in Buggingen have been expanded and improved to include the latest 4K technology. Many prototypes of new equipment are now in use. Since 4 September viewers with a 4K television set can enjoy the shopping experience from the comfort of their own homes, in 4 x HD resolution.
Livall cycle helmet indicates, makes phone calls and relays GPS coordinates
Networked communications that for once have nothing to do with the kitchen, but instead with bicycles: Livall, a manufacturer from China, intends to introduce a helmet on the German market that is networked and communicates. The helmet is connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing the rider to make phone calls without taking his eye off the road. Two speakers installed at head height allow the rider to listen to music or make phone calls. At IFA 2015 Mark Yu, head of Marketing, said that in China the approximately 3,000 beta versions which have been sold to date were enthusiastically received. A group of cyclists wearing these helmets can communicate via a walkie-talkie link rather than make frequently expensive smartphone calls. According to Livall’s PR agent Henri Zix this helmet is extremely safe, as it is fitted with a sensor that can tell whether the rider is motionless after an accident. If so, it automatically makes an emergency call and transmits GPS coordinates. It is also equipped with 102 LEDs that vastly improve the rider’s visibility. These can be switched on manually or can be activated automatically by fading ambient light. 12 LEDs on the back of the helmet can be programmed to flash in the same way as a car indicator. The rider operates the helmet using a handlebar-mounted switch. Other sensors are sometimes installed inside carbon-fibre bicycle frames that can monitor altitude, for example. A follow-up version will be able to automatically set up a link between the helmet and bicycle data and a health app.
Gorenje offers minimalism with Philippe Starck
The star designer Philippe Starck has created a range of kitchen appliances for the Slovenian manufacturer Gorenje. Together with the president of Gorenje, Franjo Bobinac, he is presenting them at IFA 2015. “The bridge by which we approach the consumer is the design.” In this case this is certainly very true. The “Gorenje by Starck” range has smooth, reflective surfaces like many competing brands, but the designer has a very good reason for this: “Users see themselves reflected in the appliances, and they are what actually count.” Not machines but people should be the focal point of kitchen work. In all other respects the design has a strong minimalist feel. Apart from a square handle, nothing interrupts the front surface of the appliance with its usual viewing window and large display. The colours almost blend into one another, And only the handles on the back are orange, so that the colour is also perceived as a reflection.
(contact: Gorenje d.d., Hall 1.1, Stand 201, Ursula Menih Dokl, tel.: +386-51-332551, http://international.gorenje.com/ifa)
Source: Press release