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What to expect from IFA, Europe's biggest and most eccentric tech show

Huge launches are expected from Samsung, Sony and others as the German show sets the tech agenda for the rest of the year.

The red-wigged Miss IFA is the Berlin show's mascot. IFA

The eyes of the tech world will be on Berlin, Germany next week for IFA, the biggest European gadget show in existence. CNET will be there in force to cover all the cool new kit from Samsung, Sony, Nokia, Asus, Huawei, Acer and more.

This year, we'll be writing about all the latest smart-home developments too, with our crack CNET appliances team flying in from Kentucky to assist.

What is IFA?

IFA is an eclectic mix of the old and the new. The Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA) can trace its history all the way back to 1924, when it was started to showcase the latest developments in radio ("Funkausstellung" literally means "radio show").

Many important inventions have been demoed there over the years, from early cathode-ray-tube TVs to the very first cassette recorder from Philips in 1963. IFA's Wikipedia entry features this chilling image of Joseph Goebbels attending in 1933 to look at a radio sponsored by the Nazis.

One of the reasons the show has survived is because, unlike CES, it is first and foremost set up for the general public. 200,000 people are expected to visit, each paying about $20, £12 or AU$21 to look round 30 gargantuan halls filled with all kinds of products from every manufacturer that matters in Europe.

One of the show's many oddities is its mascot. Miss IFA is a lady in a red wig and every year the organisers love to release pictures of her forcing a smile next to phones, washing machines and other gadgets.

CNET's coverage

These days the major tech brands use the runup to the public days to announce their latest and greatest gizmos, and it's this that we'll be focusing on in our coverage. Here's an idea of what to expect and when.

Wednesday 3 September

Acer, Bosch, Panasonic and Amazon will have press conferences, so expect news stories, photo galleries and hands-on videos aplenty of the new gear. We'll be live blogging and live streaming Samsung's Unpacked event, where the company is expected to announce the Galaxy Note 4 , and talk more about wearables.

We'll also be live blogging and live streaming Sony's IFA press conference, with lots of new mobiles, tablets, smartwatches, TVs, cameras, headphones and more expected to make an appearance.

Thursday 4 September

Things really get going today, with Nokia, LG, HTC, Harman, Electrolux, Lenovo, Wacom, Huawei, Alcatel and Monster all expected to announce new products. We'll be covering each press conference as they happen with our trademark tonne of stories, galleries and videos.

Friday 5 September and beyond

The show opens to the public today, so we'll be running around finding all the cool gear that didn't have an official press conference. We'll also have coverage of the keynote speeches from Boo-Keun Yoon, President & CEO of Samsung Electronics, who will be talking about his vision of the home of the future, and Kirk Skaugen of Intel. On Saturday, Matt Rogers of Nest will make an appearance too.

Who to follow on Twitter at IFA

All our editors will be tweeting everything they see during the show: here's who to follow to keep up with the latest.

CNET - The best of everything at IFA.
Jason Jenkins, Director of Content
Rich Brown, Executive Editor
Seamus Byrne, Editor, Australia & Asia
Rich Trenholm, Senior Editor
Luke Westaway, Senior Editor
Andrew Hoyle, Senior Editor
Stephen Shankland, Senior Editor
Megan Wollerton, Associate Editor
Marc Ganley, Video Producer