Hi-tech world awaits Samsung's smartwatch in Berlin

4th September 2013, Comments 0 comments

Gadget geeks from all over the world are converging on Berlin this week for the IFA consumer electronics fair where Samsung will unveil its hotly anticipated smartwatch later on Wednesday.

The South Korean electronic giant believes its Galaxy Gear watch will "lead a new trend in smart mobile communications.

"We are confident that the Gear will add meaningful momentum to the mobile industry, the head of the group's mobile business, Lee Young-hee told the Korea Times in a recent interview.

So far, little has leaked out about the functions or characteristics of the new gadget, which is effectively a smartphone that you wear on your wrist.

Contrary to rumours, it seems that the watch will not have a flexible screen.

But just what innovations is it going to add to multi-media watches already on the market by the likes of Sony, Casio or Pebble, is not clear.

However, with Samsung's arch rival Apple still to roll out its much rumoured "iWatch", and the likes of Microsoft and Google not exhibiting at IFA, the South Korean giant has the field more or less to itself to wow the geeks.

The first two days, Wednesday and Thursday, are reserved for the press. After that IFA will open its doors to the general public from Friday through Wednesday to dazzle hi-tech freaks with the latest state-of-the-art gadgets on 145,000 square metres of exhibition space.

In addition to smartwatches, smartphones and tablet computers are certain to be a big draw for visitors, too, as the dividing line between the two becomes more and more blurred, as is demontrated by growth of so-called "phablets".

Electronic household goods, such as state-of-the-art kitchen devices -- from ceramic hot plates to refrigerators -- as well as the latest in flat-screen television sets will also be on display.

Sales of flat-screen TVs are beginning to fall off in Germany, so manufacturers are looking to ultra-HD devices to spur consumer demand.

Catering to the growing trend to inter-connect all gadgets, Sony will present a new camera lens that can be linked up to a smartphone to transform into a powerful camera.

In fact, organisers boast there will be more world premieres at this year's IFA than ever before.

And while many owners of Internet-enabled TV sets still do not use their devices to surf the web, there is also an information campaign on so-called "smart-TV".

If the rival fair, the CES in Las Vegas in January, grabs the headlines and consumers' attention more with a rush of new products, IFA is still able to attract more visitors -- a total 240,000 last year -- and is a better gauge at what will be in people's stockings for Christmas.

© 2013 AFP

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