IFA - Top 5 "Where are they now?" gadgets
With IFA 2010 fast approaching, and with it, Europe's largest annual tech binge, we thought it high time to begin the build up to the event with a closer look at the show over the last few years.
We've already explained what IFA is, just in case you weren't sure, but today we've delved right back into the Pocket-lint archives to find those products that we were all waiting for that somehow never materialised. So here are the top 5 "where are they now" gadgets of IFAs gone by.
Elac Microsub 2010
A speaker inspired by the Rubik's Cube is bound to be a hit at IFA but, despite the fact that it was on sale for a short time in the UK through Kent Home Cinema, neither hide nor hair has been seen of it for years. Not even the makers, Elac, seem to stock this £1000+ sub woofer any more.
Presumably, there was a seriously limited run of these things which promised "a deep and powerful bass sound that is completely vibration-free", and that they ran out rather sharpish never to be made again. It's a shame really given that most subs are stuffed in the corner of the room to be heard and not seen. Fingers crossed for something similar on the home cinema design side in 2010.
It might come as a bit of a surprise but the idea of a 900W microwave with a 10-inch TFT, 5.1 audio, SD card reader and digital TV tuner didn't take off. We know. Shocker, but that doesn't mean that it isn't the kind of consumer electronic crackpot invention that we appreciate.
On the microwave side, there was a 23 litre oven with nine cooking programs and browning option and on the AV a removable 640 x 480px display and built-in DVD player. It was supposed to be bringing TV diners to the UK for £350 within 5 months of launch. It never materialised from Hong Kong. Were it still around, we'd probably be expecting the 3D, Wi-Fi version with roasting oven and auto defrost option in 2010.
Not content with immersing movie watchers with light from the company's Ambilight televisions, Philips announced plans for its amBX gaming experience back in 2006. It was designed to involve your gaming or home entertainment experience further by enabled devices such as LED colour-controlled lights, active furniture, fans, heaters - all placed in the user's living space - to be controlled by the developer to match the content. It was the room of the future.
"The treacherous road to Saigon will turn your room jungle green, swimming with dolphins will splash it deep blue, 'Halo' jumps will turn your fans on full, lightning storms will strobe your white lighting, and attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion will blast on your heaters”, Philips said in a press release.
While the technology is still around, it split from Philips in 2008 and started a long road backed by venture capital money that has so far taken it to the realm of the home PC and professional lighting set ups only. It's by no means dead but the home of the future is certainly taking its time.
Krator Orpheus WG-07
This is the Krator Orpheus WG-07 and when we saw it in 2009 it was just so good looking that it makes us want to burn down churches in Norway and sacrifice a virgin. It's wireless, made of wood and aluminium and will work with Guitar Hero and Rock Band as well as "MTV Games". Nearly a year on and the statement from Krator is that "the launching date of the guitar is not confirmed yet". Don't hold your breath.
TDK 200GB Blu-ray disc
In 2006 and, with Blu-ray still wet behind the ears, TDK comes out with the development of a 200GB, single-side, blue laser BD disc. The company even went to make the thing an exceedingly short time later. So, do we have them at home? No. Any on the shelves? Not a sausage.
On the one hand, this kind of space has been surpassed since and is anyone still interested in optical storage anyway? But the fact remains that no one likes to be promised things only for them never to materialise. Speaking of which, 4.5 years and counting till the flying car and the hoverboard.
Stay tuned for our IFA 2010 coverage or have a dig in the archives to see what else came out in the years gone by.