IFA exhibits will focus on smart homewares

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IFA exhibits will focus on smart homewares

While Samsung may have been the prima donna of IFA, bombarding Europe’s largest electronic consumer show with its latest smart gadgets two nights ahead of the official opening date, other Korean tech companies big and small were making their last-minute preparations to awe the audience.

The major theme that large Korean tech companies are taking to IFA this year is smart home, where all electronic products interact with their owners as well as with one another through smart connectivity.

LG Electronics is showing its HomeChat messaging service, which allows home owners to communicate with appliances ranging from refrigerators to washing machines and ovens, using mobile messaging apps such as Line and KakaoTalk as a remote control.

The smart device system, which LG first introduced in May, has been extended to products including speakers, robot cleaners and even a lamp.

Another product that the tech company is showcasing at its 2,657-square-meter (3,100-square-yard) exhibit under the theme “Innovation for a Better Life,” is its lineup of next-generation TVs including the world’s first ultra OLED TV, for which the company started taking preorders last month in Korea.

The 4,000-pixel OLED TV has been referred to as the future of television, incorporating LG Display’s Four-Color Pixel WRGB technology with 33 million sub-pixels to create lifelike images.

The company said it is equipped with the operating system webOS, which connects it to the Internet and that experts have said could revolutionize the smart TV market.

The Korean tech company has also collaborated with jewelry maker Swarovski to create an OLED TV with crystals. It said the crystal-designed TV is even slimmer than its latest smartphone, at four millimeters. About 460 crystals were used on the TV.

One product expected to grab the attention tech-savvy visitors is the company’s first smartwatch with a circular frame, named G Watch R.

Its cordless cleaning appliances are also expected to raise interest and alerts among competitors. Last month in Korea, LG released a lineup of wireless cleaning supplies called CordZero including a vacuum cleaner, handy stick, bedding and robot cleaners. The company said it was the first to create a complete cordless appliance set.

Its main competition is major European companies, including the British company Dyson.

Other small but competitive Korean companies are also introducing new products at the fair in Berlin.

One such company is Moneual.

The Korean company was described as a promising consumer appliance company by Bill Gates in his keynote speech delivered at CES in Las Vegas in 2007.

Since then, the start-up founded in 2004 has seen its revenue, which was 24 billion won in 2007, surge to more than 1 trillion won last year. At IFA, it will exhibit its cleaning robots with Smart Vision Mapping technology, which allows the device to keep track of a room’s structure using a top-facing camera to know where it has been and where it needs to go.

The robotic cleaner is also equipped with a small water tank that dispenses liquid while cleaning. Other companies that will be at IFA are WiniaMando, known for its heating and cooling appliances, and Tongyang Magic, which is known for kitchen appliances.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]

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