13/09/2014 Click


13/09/2014

Click is in Berlin at Europe's largest technology show, IFA. The team tries out the latest smart home gadgets and new smartwatches.


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Transcript


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This wearable technology is a great idea but...

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they still have to bring it down in size - just a touch!

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Welcome to Click.

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I'm Spencer Kelly and welcome to Messe Berlin,

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a huge exhibition space in the heart of the German capital.

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This is Hall 23,

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if you're asking, and this place is where, every September,

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the technology world comes together for the massive

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techno-fest that is IFA.

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This week, we'll bring you the best-in-show.

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We'll find out if the latest wearable tech is making a big

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enough splash, yet is small enough to actually lift.

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We'll project...well, not very far forward at all,

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to see if the newest smartphones are set to clean up.

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We'll look at the cameras that could help your night go with a bang

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and, of course, we'll bring you that announcement that might make

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Apple the one to watch.

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This is it, then -

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the week the coolest city in Europe hosts the coolest new kit on the block.

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IFA is 28 halls, decorated

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and themed to within an inch of reality and stuffed with people,

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electronics and companies desperate to get their kit noticed any way

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they can - which reminds me, I must catch up on last week's Doctor Who.

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Some of the most eye-catching things happen behind the scenes

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for private guests only.

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Here's a great big 8K TV screen from LG.

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That's four times the resolution of 4K,

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which itself is still in its "Please love me, please -

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"I know you can't watch much on me yet but please buy me anyway" phase.

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Never has fruit and veg looked so beautiful.

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Sony launched its new Xperia Z3 smartphone and, with it,

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the ability to stream PlayStation games to it -

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rather like you can already with your PlayStation Vita

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and with a similar set-up to last year's project SHIELD

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for Android and PC games.

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It's basically an attachment for your existing PS4 controller -

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straps around here, it's got a big sucker on the back

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so you can stick your phone to it,

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and once you pair the controller to the phone using Bluetooth,

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your PlayStation will stream its video content

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through your home router and to the phone, which means you can carry on

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playing games while someone else watches something else on the TV.

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-HE COUGHS

-Just like SHIELD.

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Yeah, there was more than a little bandwagon-jumping

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at this year's show.

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Samsung is getting into virtual reality with its Gear VR headsets.

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Now, this is an interesting mix of specialised headgear -

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made by Oculus, incidentally - and the do-it-yourself method

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of strapping your smartphone to your face.

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Here, you clip your Galaxy Note 4 to the front,

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which provides the screen, and voila! Instant Cirque du Soleil.

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The resolution is still, I would say, not as sharp as I'd like it.

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That's because you've got two great big magnifiers

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you're looking at a phone screen through,

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but the thing that's really, really astonishing is there's no lag.

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For the first time, I'm seeing a VR headset where there is no lag.

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I turn my head like that and it really does feel like I'm here.

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There's absolutely no lag between me

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moving my head and the video moving to catch up.

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That's probably thanks to the fact that,

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unlike other DIY virtual reality kit,

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the motion detection isn't just left to the phone but

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supplemented and greatly improved by sensors inside the headset.

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And although the fitting is only for the Note 4,

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to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if third-party adapters

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were available to buy, or even 3-D prints in due course.

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And even with no device attached at all, it can make you look hilarious!

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But the biggest bandwagon of all at the moment is the one

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you strap on your wrist.

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Sony launched its SmartWatch 3

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and then someone dropped it in the fish tank.

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Last year's clunky camera-toting monstrosity

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with the hardly-ever-on display from Samsung

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was very poorly received,

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but the new Gear S with its curved OLED screen

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looks and feels like a vast improvement.

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It's lighter, the display doesn't keep switching off all the time

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and there's no stupid camera.

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Unlike most smart watches, this has its own SIM card,

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so you can send and receive calls

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and messages without needing to be tethered to a phone.

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It is, however, gigantic.

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Now, any horophile will tell you what watches really need is

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to be round.

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And while Motorola's Moto 360, now on sale in the US,

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has answered that call, it does have an annoying black bar at the bottom.

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Here at IFA, LG's first attempt at the classic look,

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the G Watch R, is a completely circular OLED display.

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But it will keep dimming to save power,

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something you just cannot stop.

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Well, you can't have everything, it seems, but then,

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maybe less is more, as they say.

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And when I met up with Sony's boss, Kaz Hirai,

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that's exactly what I requested.

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Can you show me that smart watch again? Just hold it up.

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Why are they such big, chunky masculine affairs at the moment?

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It's really a matter of balance.

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You want to be able to make sure that you can check e-mail, um,

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and also read other messages, you know,

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your to-do list, your calendar, what have you,

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so in order for you to do that, you know, in a comfortable way,

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we're obviously looking at a variety of different screen sizes,

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but it can't be too small, number one.

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And number two, again we also have to balance that with battery life,

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which means that if you have a small form factor,

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you don't have enough battery as well.

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Oh, yes - battery life,

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the elephant in the room for all of these smart watches - boasting,

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as they do, anything up to two whole days of use before a recharge.

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Which is approximately 300 times worse than

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the watch on my wrist right now.

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I think it's fair to say that smart watches

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and wearables have yet to really capture the public's imagination.

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But there is one company that's previously managed to take

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several old clunky technologies and make them cooler

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than the other side of the pillow.

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It's long been rumoured that Apple will one day announce some kind

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of wearable device and this week, finally, it did -

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and Richard Taylor was in Cupertino, California, to see it happen.

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A Steve Jobs-esque reception for his successor.

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On the very same stage,

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the Apple founder famously launched the Mac three decades ago.

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This was Tim Cook's big moment - his own stage to prove

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he can propel Apple into a new era.

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First came the new iPhones -

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most of the details have been widely leaked.

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They're thinner, faster, with better cameras

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but, most importantly of all, both the iPhone 6

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and its bigger brother the 6 Plus are larger than today's iPhones,

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finally catching up with big-screen Android rivals which have been

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eating away at Apple's market share.

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-So - a big leap forward.

-And we call it Apple Pay.

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But could this be a quantum leap?

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A payment revolution in the making, according to Tim Cook - Apple Pay,

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a new wireless payment system using near-field communication.

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Forget your plastic - keep your credit cards on your iPhone.

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Touch an iPhone 6 on a contactless reader

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and a couple of seconds later the transaction's complete.

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But NFC payments have been tried and they've died on Android.

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And after the recent iCloud celebrity photo hack,

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can Apple really be trusted with our payment details?

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What about confidence in Apple security after the recent security breach?

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We're being very smart. Nothing goes through the cloud.

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That is something that they said very clearly

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in the announcement today,

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is all about a secure element in the phone and nothing gets stored.

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They don't see anything in there. Nothing goes through the cloud.

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But Tim Cook wasn't done.

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One more thing.

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Time for the timepiece de resistance.

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An Apple wearable - the most keenly anticipated gadget of the year.

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So here it is, the Apple watch.

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Now, this is one of three versions that are going to be available

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in different finishes and they start at 349.

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Instead of just having a regular crown on a watch, this crown here,

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when you rotate it, will zoom in, for example, to the home screen,

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it will zoom in to maps and allow you to navigate around the watch.

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While on the face of it, it might look like other smart watches

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emphasising health and fitness, there are plenty of other differentiators,

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from highly customisable watch faces to the admittedly gimmicky

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digital taps, which let you ping your friends with emojis.

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Overall, it deeply integrates into the iPhone itself,

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using its sensors as well as processing power to deliver

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what looks like a comprehensive app experience on your wrist.

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It's an Apple platform as a watch.

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It's a little bit different than some of the things that we've

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been seeing from smart watch competitors which have focused

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on limited things in terms of functionality.

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Apple seem to believe it's hip to be square. Not everyone will agree -

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although celebrity fanboys in attendance do think it's a game changer.

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There'll be plenty of people saying,

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"I just want my watch to tell the time." Well, fine.

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Go back in your cave and your watch will continue to tell the time

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and shops will continue to sell watches that tell the time

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and I'm very happy for you. But this is something quite different.

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Different? Definitely. But compelling enough for a general public

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when it costs 30% more than other smart watches?

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We'll find out when it goes on sale early next year.

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Richard Taylor in California. So there you have it.

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Apple is finally wearable but do you think that is what it will take

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to convince the mainstream?

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Tweet us @BBCClick or e-mail us [email protected]

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and we will return to the technological sweet shop

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that is IFA after a look at this week's tech news.

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No, that's not real, is it?

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Sites including Twitter,

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Netflix and Reddit have taken part in an internet slowdown

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in the States, in a show of support for net neutrality,

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the principle that all traffic on the internet

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should be treated equally.

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The big-name firms are worried that proposed new regulations

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could mean extra charges for companies like them to get

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the data to homes quickly.

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At the moment, the law is a grey area, with cable

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companies on one side wanting big bandwidth businesses like Netflix

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to pay up to use their network, and the other sites

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saying that doing so would create an unfair two-tier Internet.

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Microsoft is in talks to buy the video game studio

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behind the hit world-building game Minecraft, according to reports.

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It's been suggested that Swedish outfit Mojang might sell

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for more than 2 billion.

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It claimed in June that about 54 million copies of the game

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had been sold, and since then it's also been

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released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

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And it was one of the biggest gambles in gaming history

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but the risk looks to have played off for Activision

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and its new title, Destiny.

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The eagerly anticipated first-person shooter went on sale this week

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and it's already made a whopping 500 million through retail

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and digital shops.

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The game cost more than 200 million to make, with 500 people working

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for over five years to create the open world sci-fi environment.

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Something tells me a sequel might be on the way.

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Any tech conference worth its transistors has to have

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at least one home of the future, and here at IFA there are a fair few.

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This one by Sony is showing off a few random ideas.

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There's a screen in the bedroom for that all-important cheery morning greeting...

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Over the bath, a musical light bulb.

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..and a projector over the bed.

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Cheeky.

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Projectors give you the opportunity to create really massive images on your wall.

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But you can't normally stand anywhere near this close

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to the image without casting a shadow on them.

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That's because the projector is right down here,

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throwing this video up at the wall at a really crazy angle.

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These short-throw projectors do exactly as the name suggests,

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throwing a large image at a surface from not very far away at all,

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meaning you don't need an enormous living room

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to enjoy an enormous picture.

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There's a lot of talk these days about turning every surface into a display.

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Now, of course, that can turn out to be really expensive.

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Short-throw projectors like this do solve that problem

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and give you the ability to see anything anywhere.

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This couple seemed very happy dining on their fake food

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in the kitchen of the future, flicking photos to each other...

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That's nice. Where did you go?

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..and engaging in scripted dialogue,

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which means we can all have a bit of ham.

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And honey, they really serve nice food.

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We should go there this weekend.

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Time now for some more home tech with Jen Copestake -

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who appears to be on my fridge.

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The focus on smart-home tech here at IFA has seen a vast

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range of gadgets integrated with the internet of things.

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They are designed to fit seamlessly into your life.

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This make-up mirror prototype from Panasonic diagnoses skin problems,

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evaluates your wrinkles and recommends treatments for you

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based on food you currently have in your fridge.

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And if you're out of ingredients needed for the treatment,

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there are ways for you to buy what you need by pressing on the mirror.

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And when you're ready to leave your connected home

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and face the real world, it gives you tips for how to do your make-up

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in any situation and links to online tutorials and, again, will

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connect you to an online retailer where you can purchase the products.

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This kind of connectivity where you're interacting with your home

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is getting more advanced.

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LG's smart-house system uses an app to let you talk with your building.

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So if you're leaving it will turn the lights off for you, and if you

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say you're coming home it will turn them back on as you approach.

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It will even pick out music for you to listen to, based on your mood.

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Feel in the mood for happy music?

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Your house will recommend music for you

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and have it playing by the time you get home.

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Samsung takes this a step further

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and is working on a connected audio system where your music would

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wirelessly follow you from room to room as you move around the house.

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And in its connected home,

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we had a chance to try out its latest robotic vacuum.

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This is Samsung's Cyclone Force robotic vacuum.

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It's 60 times more powerful than other ones that we've seen

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from them and the key thing about it is, it's got this new laser pointer

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feature so you can actually control where the vacuum can go by pointing.

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While the laser is a nice touch, it does feel a bit gimmicky.

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The vacuum doesn't yet connect to an app but will be able to

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in the future.

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Unlike the show's most anticipated robot vacuum from Dyson,

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the company has spent 16 years

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developing this robot vacuum, the 360 Eye.

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It's taken a long time because actually it's quite a difficult proposition.

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Developing something that actually cleans carpets really well

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and does it in a logical and intelligent way

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is not an easy task and there are lots of machines out there,

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but a lot of them don't really fulfil that function

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and it's taken us a long time

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because we wanted to make sure that we got that absolutely right.

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This robot uses a unique vision system

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which takes 30 images a second.

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The robot works out reference points around the room,

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so it knows exactly where it is.

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The Dyson 360 Eye is connected with a wireless app

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that's available for Android and IOS devices.

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You can schedule cleanings remotely when you're at the office

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and you can make weekly cleans.

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You can also monitor live the activity of your robot,

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so you can check which areas of your house it's cleaning.

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You can have other robots, so that one can be cleaning your upstairs

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and one cleaning your downstairs. And when it's finished cleaning,

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you can return the robot to base and it will recharge itself.

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We've seen innovation in the kitchen, too,

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including Panasonic's ideas for the smart home.

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In the future, you will be able to use all your home appliances

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whenever you need to, but keep them neatly stowed away and out of sight.

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This is how you keep your kitchen counter clutter-free and clean.

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And all of these appliances, they're wireless?

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Absolutely, so you can use them however and wherever you want to.

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You can put any pot on top and the coil will automatically

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-detect its size and place, so it can heat efficiently.

-Yeah.

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Or for example, we can use the stirrer, here -

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and then push the button

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and it stirs automatically.

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-We also have a microwave oven with a built-in camera.

-OK.

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For example, we have roasted duck in here.

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So usually, when you open it up, open the oven,

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the glass fogs up and you can't see anything any more, so this is really

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perfect because the built-in camera shows you the duck from inside.

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-And it's something you can do as well with dishwashers, I guess?

-Exactly.

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The dishwasher has also a built-in camera so it's really, really convenient.

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Hmm. Well, while I don't really want to watch my dishes from the couch,

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compared to some of the connected tech we've seen before,

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there are ideas here I could actually see in my own home.

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Now, IFA wasn't the only big spectacle to happen in Berlin

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the weekend we were there.

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Jen and I popped out to take some shots of the international fireworks festival.

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See, we wanted to look at some of the kit you could use in low light

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which avoid the problems of trying to take a shot in the dark.

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Using a camera in low light gives you a load of problems.

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The camera will probably add a load of dots to the picture

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as it tries to boost the levels to brighten everything up.

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The shutter speed will slow right down

0:18:160:18:18

so the picture is likely to get smeary,

0:18:180:18:20

and you're likely to have really bright

0:18:200:18:22

and really dim objects in the same shot,

0:18:220:18:25

at which point the camera will expose for the bright objects

0:18:250:18:28

and you won't be able to see the dim objects at all.

0:18:280:18:31

You may be tempted to use a traditional DSLR with that lovely

0:18:320:18:36

big lens and a big sensor, both of which are helpful in low light.

0:18:360:18:40

They certainly do have a lot going for them.

0:18:400:18:42

The Panasonic GH4 films 4K ultra-high-def video,

0:18:420:18:46

has a fast autofocus and a vari-angle touch-sensitive screen.

0:18:460:18:51

But you could achieve DSLR quality without most of that

0:18:520:18:56

bulk with Sony's new 20-megapixel QX1, a lens and camera which uses

0:18:560:19:02

any Android or Apple smartphone as a wireless viewfinder and controller.

0:19:020:19:07

We saw the first of these cameras last year

0:19:070:19:09

but the new version allows you to change lenses,

0:19:090:19:12

allowing for even more beautiful DSLR style shots.

0:19:120:19:16

And that means you can adjust all of the settings to

0:19:160:19:19

suit for a night-time shoot,

0:19:190:19:21

especially with the QX1's super-duper top ISO rating of 16,000.

0:19:210:19:28

Admittedly, though, some things do look better in the dark - like me.

0:19:280:19:32

Ah, Spencer - no need to be too hard on yourself.

0:19:320:19:35

You can capture the perfect selfie at night on your mobile phone

0:19:350:19:38

with the help of the Lenovo X2.

0:19:380:19:39

With a five-megapixel front-facing camera,

0:19:390:19:42

it includes several features to beautify yourself before you snap.

0:19:420:19:47

There is a sensor to aid your selfie-taking.

0:19:470:19:49

Blinking, gesturing, or speaking to the camera brings up

0:19:490:19:52

a three-second countdown before the photo is automatically taken.

0:19:520:19:56

So no worries about camera shake as you reach to push the button.

0:19:560:20:00

There's a beautification bar to improve your complexion

0:20:000:20:02

and you can even add pink light to the shot to improve your looks.

0:20:020:20:06

If you want, the camera will even give you a happiness rating

0:20:060:20:09

out of a hundred and tell you how old it thinks you look,

0:20:090:20:12

so you can try and get your age down by adjusting your pout.

0:20:120:20:16

All pretty impressive stuff.

0:20:180:20:20

I hope Kate Russell has something that flash back in the Webscape HQ!

0:20:200:20:24

Kate?

0:20:240:20:25

Well, I think this keyboard is pretty flash.

0:20:270:20:30

Smartphones have come a long way over the last decade

0:20:300:20:33

but they're still being shipped with a default QWERTY-style keyboard,

0:20:330:20:37

crammed onto the limited screen space.

0:20:370:20:40

There are several different styles of input you can download as an add-on

0:20:400:20:44

and 5-TILES is the latest re-imagination giving you just five

0:20:440:20:48

large pads to tap and swipe across to create the English alphabet.

0:20:480:20:53

The QWERTY keyboard we're familiar with today was actually

0:20:570:21:00

designed 150 years ago to stop the keys on a mechanical

0:21:000:21:04

typewriter getting jammed up by speedy typists.

0:21:040:21:09

And modern letter ordering systems

0:21:090:21:10

have since been conceived such as Dvorak and KALQ,

0:21:100:21:15

but we're still kind of tied to our old-school keyboards.

0:21:150:21:19

The app is packed with smart features

0:21:190:21:21

like intelligent predictive dictionaries

0:21:210:21:24

and the ability to work across

0:21:240:21:26

eight major European languages simultaneously.

0:21:260:21:29

There will be a steep learning curve -

0:21:290:21:32

switching over at first will feel a lot slower - but persevere,

0:21:320:21:36

and you could enjoy average speeds of 30-40 words a minute,

0:21:360:21:40

with the top speed recorded by 5-TILES users of 109 words per minute.

0:21:400:21:45

Since Twitter launched in 2006,

0:21:530:21:56

over 300 billion tweets have been sent from around the globe,

0:21:560:22:00

but have you ever wondered how many people have seen your tweets?

0:22:000:22:04

TweetReach can answer that.

0:22:040:22:06

Just enter a term you want to check and the app will report on who

0:22:060:22:10

interacted with your tweets and how many potential accounts it reached.

0:22:100:22:15

# I will follow you, will you follow me... #

0:22:150:22:19

Once you know who is sharing particular types of content,

0:22:210:22:25

you can make a note to send them an @message

0:22:250:22:28

when you have something similar they might like.

0:22:280:22:30

This ensures your posts don't go unnoticed in their timeline

0:22:300:22:34

and also makes them feel appreciated for supporting you.

0:22:340:22:37

Another good tool for managing your Twitter and Instagram accounts

0:22:420:22:46

is JustUnfollow. It lets you see things like who's followed

0:22:460:22:49

and unfollowed you recently and which accounts are inactive or

0:22:490:22:53

not following you back, so could possibly be unfollowed if you like.

0:22:530:22:58

# Cos breaking up is hard to do... #

0:22:580:23:01

There are apps for IOS and Android and you can unfollow from within

0:23:010:23:05

the dashboard, so breaking up isn't that hard after all.

0:23:050:23:08

# Cos breaking up is hard to do. #

0:23:080:23:12

Reddit is a discussion forum where pretty much anything goes.

0:23:140:23:18

It's definitely not for the faint-hearted

0:23:180:23:21

and in the Ask Me Anything section the bravest of netizens -

0:23:210:23:26

everyone from air traffic controllers to astronauts -

0:23:260:23:30

put themselves forward to be interrogated by the community.

0:23:300:23:33

# I ask you a question and you give me a lie... #

0:23:330:23:36

If you want to follow the Ask Me Anything interviews,

0:23:360:23:39

there is now an official app for IOS and Android.

0:23:390:23:42

What a great end to a pretty spectacular show,

0:23:480:23:51

if I don't mind saying so myself.

0:23:510:23:52

Hope you've enjoyed Click in Berlin too,

0:23:520:23:54

and for more from us throughout the week

0:23:540:23:56

it's bbc.co.uk/click and on Twitter of course we are @BBCClick.

0:23:560:24:00

I'll leave you with the fireworks in Berlin.

0:24:000:24:03

Thanks for watching and we'll see you next time.

0:24:030:24:05

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