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IFA: 3D Everywhere

BERLIN--Panasonic unveiled two new 3D TVs with 42- and 46-inch diagonals at the IFA electronics show, and this opening slide at the press conference was emblematic of the entire conference. 3D TVs, projectors, glasses, and video cameras pervaded the show as electronics companies sought to encourage a new round of upgrades beyond the flat-panel TV era. Importantly, 3D often looks better on larger screens.

Panasonic also touted its consumer-oriented 3D camcorder that lets people record and play back 3D video.

Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

IFA headliner: Samsung Galaxy Tab

Probably the biggest splash at the IFA electronics show came from the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, an Android-based device the company positioned as a strong Apple iPad competitor. It comes with a 7-inch touch screen and will be available starting in September through mobile phone carriers only. Curious people might also want to check out CNET's hands-on trial of the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Samsung unveils Galaxy Tab

Thomas Richter, head of Samsung's telecommunication product portfolio for Europe, unveils the Galaxy Tab at the IFA electronics show. The product, smaller than an iPad, fit in his coat pocket. Toshiba and ViewSonic also announced Android-based tablets.
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Miss IFA

The likeness of "Miss IFA" is emblazoned on countless IFA brochures, posters, and Web sites, and she put in a personal appearance with IFA organizers at the opening press conference.
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Panasonic Wall of 3D TVs

Panasonic presented this array of 3D TVs in its hall, where dozens of visitors could don 3D glasses and watch demonstration video.
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Panasonic's 3D demo

To demonstrate its 3D displays at the IFA electronics show, Panasonic hired jugglers and dancers to cavort before the cameras. Visitors could look through the required 3D glasses mounted on stands.
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Sharp's tiny 3D camera prototype

A lot of 3D cameras are bulky affairs, but Sharp showed off this smartphone-sized model at the IFA electronics show. This device connected to a 3D TV with an HDMI cable.
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Retro mobile phone headsets at IFA

Native Union launched its Moshi Moshi POP handset for mobile phones at the IFA electronics show. It looks like an old-style phone, but it connects to a mobile phone's 3.5mm audio jack. "The handset is ideal for younger audiences," Native Union said, presumably referring to those who don't remember the joys of tangled phone cords.
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Sony shows Google TVs

Sony showed off prototypes of its Google TV devices at IFA. The Net-connected TVs will run Google's Android operating system and its Chrome Web browser. For more views, check the Sony Google TV gallery.

Also at the show, Yahoo announced that Europe-based TV and set-top box maker Vestel Group signed up for its Connected TV initiative, which like Google TV aims to put Internet-enabled applications on TVs.

Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Sony's streaming music service

Sony announced Music Unlimited, a streaming music service that competes with Apple's iTunes, at the IFA electronics show. For more views of the service, which is paired with another Qriocity option for video on demand, check the Sony Music Unlimited gallery.
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Sir Howard Stringer and Lang Lang

Sony CEO Howard Stringer joined pianist Lang Lang to tout Sony's 3D technology at the IFA electronics show. After playing a 3D clip of Lang Lang performing and then offering a live concert shown in 3D on a screen above the pianist's head, Lang Lang said of 3D, "the musical experience becomes even more intense and emotional."
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Sony's Lang Lang piano concert at IFA

Sony's press conference featured a short concert by pianist Lang Lang, who sells music on Sony's label and who also is the company's "global brand ambassador." Those ambassadorial duties at the IFA electronics show included touting Sony's 3D technology: the concert was shown live in 3D on a large screen, captured by a Sony 3D camera (lurking in the foreground to the left of this photo) and shown with a Sony 3D projector.
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Faster flash cards

The SD Card Association revealed plans to triple SD card data transfer speeds at the IFA electronics show. The new specification should arrive in 2011, with products supporting it in 2012.
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LG Electronics' very slim TV

Flatter flat-panel TVs were common at the IFA electronics show. This model, barely visible against a background of swimming fish, is from LG Electronics.
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Toshiba's Android tablets

Toshiba debuted its Android-based Folio 100 tablet at the IFA electronics show. For more views of the tablet and Toshiba's AC100 Android-powered Netbook, check the Toshiba Android device gallery.
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Toshiba's AC100 Android Netbook

Toshiba demonstrated the small and super-light AC100 Netbook at the IFA electronics show. For more views, check the Toshiba Android device gallery.
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Behind the scenes of a TV--literally

Panasonic showed what's behind the scenes of its LCD TVs--specifically, the source of illumination that shines through the LCD element that provides the color. On the right is the earliest technology, cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL). In the center are edge-mounted LEDs. At left is the array of LEDs that can be locally dimmed, providing blacks in dark regions.
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

More 3D products: a shaver?

Philips didn't just demonstrate a 3D TV--it also showed its SensoTouch 3D electric shaver.
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Neglected not-so-smartphones

Vodafone displayed dozens of phone models at the IFA electronics show, but there was a conspicuous absence of curiosity for the more ordinary models. Smartphones, in contrast, drew a lot of attention.
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Etymotic custom-fit earbuds

For the discriminating audiophile, Etymotic offers custom-fit earbuds. An audiologist makes a mold of the ear interior, and a laboratory called ACS Custom creates the soft silicon molds.
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Big Booths

The IFA electronics show has vast halls for larger companies, and Vodafone filled up a lot of its volume with this continuous circular screen. The imagery was displayed with 16 large projectors.
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Dry-box maker Otterbox showed a variety of waterproof containers at IFA, including these geared for small mobile phones, keys, and wallet items for immersion down to 100 feet below the surface. Although the company specializes in waterproof containers, it's also got a business with more conventional rubber and plastic protectors for smartphones.
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Philips Stretch headphones

Fittingly, Philips showed off its Stretch headphones by stretching them to extremes over and over.
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Samsung's swoopy PC

The IFA electronics show is dominated by consumer electronics, but PCs made appearances too. Samsung showed off this swoopy new laptop resembling a humpback whale's curved mouth.
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Toshiba Libretto Snafu

Not all goes to plan at a big trade show. Here, a Windows-powered Toshiba Libretto tries to recover from bad shutdown. "Windows koennte nicht erfolgreich heruntergefahren nehmen" in English means "Windows did not shut down properly."

The dual-screen Libretto can be used to show pages in either portrait or landscape orientation.

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31-inch OLED TVs

These LG Electronics 31-inch TVs at the IFA electronics show used AMOLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diode) displays. They were just 2.9mm thick and had 1920x1080 resolution.
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3D with no glasses

Amid all the 3D TVs at the IFA electronics show were a few models that required no special 3D glasses. However, as with this model from European TV maker Vestel Group, the resolution, color, 3D view, and steadiness of the image doesn't match that available with TVs that require 3D glasses.
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET

Sharp's solar electric vehicle

Sharp showed this solar-powered vehicle at the IFA electronics show. The car led about 4,000 runners at the Sotokoto Marathon in Nairobi, Kenya, in May.
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