IFA, the Berlin tech showcase, will open its doors to the public in just a few days as we get a glimpse at the hottest new tech set to launch in 2011 and beyond.
A hotbed for the latest TV technology and appliances, tablets have also found their way on the IFA agenda. So what's in store for IFA 2011? We've rounded up all the latest talk to try to and piece together the big themes and new gadgets we can expect to see.
IFA 2011 Themes
3D has added another dimension (literally) to popping down your local Odeon, and IFA 2011 could see major TV manufacturers focusing on re-creating that cinema experience as close as possible in the home. 3D TV is already there, but we could well see the emphasis on passive 3D technology as opposed to active technology, helping to make the 3D in the home more affordable and more familiar to consumers.
Glasses-free 3D TV
It's likely to be the major gripe for most when thinking about buying a 3D TV, well along with the premium price, but we've already seen Toshiba unveil glasses-free 3D TVs at CES at the beginning of the year so we could see other manufacturers follow suit by showcasing the technology in action. Whether we are likely to see glasses-free 3DTV sets in the near future we are not so sure. When we spoke to Andy Griffiths, Vice President of Consumer Electronics for Samsung UK earlier this year he told us that Samsung glasses-free 3DTVs were not on the agenda for 2011.
Universal 3D Glasses
Another one of the problems with 3DTV has been the compatability of 3D glasses with TVs from other manufacturers. So we could well hear more about the recent announcement by Panasonic, Sony and Samsung to work with Xpand 3D to make universal active-shutter 3D glasses. Set to use Bluetooth technology, while we are not likely to see availability until some time in 2012, IFA could be the platform to see how the universal 3D specs will look.
Smart TV is already making its presence felt with the likes of LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony amongst others having already launched hardware with the content rich technology that has seen the likes of LoveFilm, YouTube and Facebook now being accessed from the comfort of your sofa. IFA could see more deals being struck with content providers, potentially film studios to increase content on Smart TV platforms.
IFA 2011 TVs
LG LW980S 3D FULL NANO LED TV
Starting with one of the few confirmed products the LG LW980S 3D FULL NANO LED TV, is set to offer some of the best telly specs on show. With the LG Smart TV Hub on-board the LW980 will also utilize CINEMA 3D technology. The LW980S offers 3D without the need for the larger active-shutter glasses, instead opting for the lightweight and cheaper 3D glasses you'll find in the cinema. It's also the only TV in the world with truly 'flicker free' 3D as authenticated by two of the leading testing agencies in Europe. What this adds up to is a TV that not only performs but looks like it can realistically provide 3D in a family environment.
LG 55-inch OLED Display
OLED feels like it has fallen a little behind in the pecking order since consumer 3DTVs burst onto the scene, but LG could be set to break out a 55-inch OLED display to remind us that the visual innovation is not just for smartphones and tablets. LG debuted its 31-inch OLED display at IFA 2010 which was priced at £6,000, but the company's CEO confirmed a 55-inch display was in the works with rumours further speculating that Apple and LG would be producing the display together. Could we be seeing the debut of their 55-inch display this September?
OnLive, the cloud gaming service which is set to launch in the UK on September 22nd, has already been integrated into Vizio TVs in the US, so there is every reason to suggest that a similiar deal will be struck with one of the major TV manufacturers in Europe to bring OnLive to your telly. As we saw at CES this year, with the announcement that Panasonic were working with Gameloft to bring gaming to its range of HDTVs, OnLive-integrated televisions could be one of the announcements to look out for at IFA this year.
IFA 2011 Tablets
Sony S1 & S2 tablets
Most will have been suprised that Sony had waited as long as it did to to enter the tablet fray, and with the announcement of the Sony S1 and S2 tablets earlier this year, IFA could well be the place that we get some firm details. A series of trailers dedicated to the Android tablet duo have been doing the rounds, and while we have already had a first look at them, we are expecting to get news on an official launch date, hopefully before the end of the year.
Samsung Galaxy Q
Bridging the gap between smartphone and tablet the Samsung Galaxy Q is expected to follow in the footsteps of the Dell Streak 5 by offering a phone with a 5.3-inch touchscreen, making it considerably larger than their flagship Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone which boasts 4.3 inches display. What's most interesting however is the lack of specs that have been leaked, suggesting it could contain some pretty special hardware. There's already been rumours that the Galaxy Q may contain a Samsung PenTile 'retina display' which offers the same pixel density seen on the iPhone 4. This is of course just a rumour as the display has only just been debuted this year, but it would make sense to give the Galaxy Q something that sets it apart.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9
As yet only seen at a conference in the US, the smaller sibling of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been hiding pretty successfully, giving away no hint to its dual-core processor and identical form factor to the larger 10.1. Of course this may have had something to do with the ongoing spat between Apple and Samsung which saw Apple ban the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from Europe before having the injunction lifted.