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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This wearable technology is a great idea but...
they still have to bring it down in size - just a touch!
Welcome to Click.
I'm Spencer Kelly and welcome to Messe Berlin,
a huge exhibition space in the heart of the German capital.
This is Hall 23,
if you're asking, and this place is where, every September,
the technology world comes together for the massive
techno-fest that is IFA.
This week, we'll bring you the best-in-show.
We'll find out if the latest wearable tech is making a big
enough splash, yet is small enough to actually lift.
We'll project...well, not very far forward at all,
to see if the newest smartphones are set to clean up.
We'll look at the cameras that could help your night go with a bang
and, of course, we'll bring you that announcement that might make
Apple the one to watch.
This is it, then -
the week the coolest city in Europe hosts the coolest new kit on the block.
IFA is 28 halls, decorated
and themed to within an inch of reality and stuffed with people,
electronics and companies desperate to get their kit noticed any way
they can - which reminds me, I must catch up on last week's Doctor Who.
Some of the most eye-catching things happen behind the scenes
for private guests only.
Here's a great big 8K TV screen from LG.
That's four times the resolution of 4K,
which itself is still in its "Please love me, please -
"I know you can't watch much on me yet but please buy me anyway" phase.
Never has fruit and veg looked so beautiful.
Sony launched its new Xperia Z3 smartphone and, with it,
the ability to stream PlayStation games to it -
rather like you can already with your PlayStation Vita
and with a similar set-up to last year's project SHIELD
for Android and PC games.
It's basically an attachment for your existing PS4 controller -
straps around here, it's got a big sucker on the back
so you can stick your phone to it,
and once you pair the controller to the phone using Bluetooth,
your PlayStation will stream its video content
through your home router and to the phone, which means you can carry on
playing games while someone else watches something else on the TV.
-Just like SHIELD.
Yeah, there was more than a little bandwagon-jumping
at this year's show.
Samsung is getting into virtual reality with its Gear VR headsets.
Now, this is an interesting mix of specialised headgear -
made by Oculus, incidentally - and the do-it-yourself method
of strapping your smartphone to your face.
Here, you clip your Galaxy Note 4 to the front,
which provides the screen, and voila! Instant Cirque du Soleil.
The resolution is still, I would say, not as sharp as I'd like it.
That's because you've got two great big magnifiers
you're looking at a phone screen through,
but the thing that's really, really astonishing is there's no lag.
For the first time, I'm seeing a VR headset where there is no lag.
I turn my head like that and it really does feel like I'm here.
There's absolutely no lag between me
moving my head and the video moving to catch up.
That's probably thanks to the fact that,
unlike other DIY virtual reality kit,
the motion detection isn't just left to the phone but
supplemented and greatly improved by sensors inside the headset.
And although the fitting is only for the Note 4,
to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if third-party adapters
were available to buy, or even 3-D prints in due course.
And even with no device attached at all, it can make you look hilarious!
But the biggest bandwagon of all at the moment is the one
you strap on your wrist.
Sony launched its SmartWatch 3
and then someone dropped it in the fish tank.
Last year's clunky camera-toting monstrosity
with the hardly-ever-on display from Samsung
was very poorly received,
but the new Gear S with its curved OLED screen
looks and feels like a vast improvement.
It's lighter, the display doesn't keep switching off all the time
and there's no stupid camera.
Unlike most smart watches, this has its own SIM card,
so you can send and receive calls
and messages without needing to be tethered to a phone.
It is, however, gigantic.
Now, any horophile will tell you what watches really need is
to be round.
And while Motorola's Moto 360, now on sale in the US,
has answered that call, it does have an annoying black bar at the bottom.
Here at IFA, LG's first attempt at the classic look,
the G Watch R, is a completely circular OLED display.
But it will keep dimming to save power,
something you just cannot stop.
Well, you can't have everything, it seems, but then,
maybe less is more, as they say.
And when I met up with Sony's boss, Kaz Hirai,
that's exactly what I requested.
Can you show me that smart watch again? Just hold it up.
Why are they such big, chunky masculine affairs at the moment?
It's really a matter of balance.
You want to be able to make sure that you can check e-mail, um,
and also read other messages, you know,
your to-do list, your calendar, what have you,
so in order for you to do that, you know, in a comfortable way,
we're obviously looking at a variety of different screen sizes,
but it can't be too small, number one.
And number two, again we also have to balance that with battery life,
which means that if you have a small form factor,
you don't have enough battery as well.
Oh, yes - battery life,
the elephant in the room for all of these smart watches - boasting,
as they do, anything up to two whole days of use before a recharge.
Which is approximately 300 times worse than
the watch on my wrist right now.
I think it's fair to say that smart watches
and wearables have yet to really capture the public's imagination.
But there is one company that's previously managed to take
several old clunky technologies and make them cooler
than the other side of the pillow.
It's long been rumoured that Apple will one day announce some kind
of wearable device and this week, finally, it did -
and Richard Taylor was in Cupertino, California, to see it happen.
A Steve Jobs-esque reception for his successor.
On the very same stage,
the Apple founder famously launched the Mac three decades ago.
This was Tim Cook's big moment - his own stage to prove
he can propel Apple into a new era.
First came the new iPhones -
most of the details have been widely leaked.
They're thinner, faster, with better cameras
but, most importantly of all, both the iPhone 6
and its bigger brother the 6 Plus are larger than today's iPhones,
finally catching up with big-screen Android rivals which have been
eating away at Apple's market share.
-So - a big leap forward.
-And we call it Apple Pay.
But could this be a quantum leap?
A payment revolution in the making, according to Tim Cook - Apple Pay,
a new wireless payment system using near-field communication.
Forget your plastic - keep your credit cards on your iPhone.
Touch an iPhone 6 on a contactless reader
and a couple of seconds later the transaction's complete.
But NFC payments have been tried and they've died on Android.
And after the recent iCloud celebrity photo hack,
can Apple really be trusted with our payment details?
What about confidence in Apple security after the recent security breach?
We're being very smart. Nothing goes through the cloud.
That is something that they said very clearly
in the announcement today,
is all about a secure element in the phone and nothing gets stored.
They don't see anything in there. Nothing goes through the cloud.
But Tim Cook wasn't done.
One more thing.
Time for the timepiece de resistance.
An Apple wearable - the most keenly anticipated gadget of the year.
So here it is, the Apple watch.
Now, this is one of three versions that are going to be available
in different finishes and they start at 349.
Instead of just having a regular crown on a watch, this crown here,
when you rotate it, will zoom in, for example, to the home screen,
it will zoom in to maps and allow you to navigate around the watch.
While on the face of it, it might look like other smart watches
emphasising health and fitness, there are plenty of other differentiators,
from highly customisable watch faces to the admittedly gimmicky
digital taps, which let you ping your friends with emojis.
Overall, it deeply integrates into the iPhone itself,
using its sensors as well as processing power to deliver
what looks like a comprehensive app experience on your wrist.
It's an Apple platform as a watch.
It's a little bit different than some of the things that we've
been seeing from smart watch competitors which have focused
on limited things in terms of functionality.
Apple seem to believe it's hip to be square. Not everyone will agree -
although celebrity fanboys in attendance do think it's a game changer.
There'll be plenty of people saying,
"I just want my watch to tell the time." Well, fine.
Go back in your cave and your watch will continue to tell the time
and shops will continue to sell watches that tell the time
and I'm very happy for you. But this is something quite different.
Different? Definitely. But compelling enough for a general public
when it costs 30% more than other smart watches?
We'll find out when it goes on sale early next year.
Richard Taylor in California. So there you have it.
Apple is finally wearable but do you think that is what it will take
to convince the mainstream?
Tweet us @BBCClick or e-mail us [email protected]
and we will return to the technological sweet shop
that is IFA after a look at this week's tech news.
No, that's not real, is it?
Sites including Twitter,
Netflix and Reddit have taken part in an internet slowdown
in the States, in a show of support for net neutrality,
the principle that all traffic on the internet
should be treated equally.
The big-name firms are worried that proposed new regulations
could mean extra charges for companies like them to get
the data to homes quickly.
At the moment, the law is a grey area, with cable
companies on one side wanting big bandwidth businesses like Netflix
to pay up to use their network, and the other sites
saying that doing so would create an unfair two-tier Internet.
Microsoft is in talks to buy the video game studio
behind the hit world-building game Minecraft, according to reports.
It's been suggested that Swedish outfit Mojang might sell
for more than 2 billion.
It claimed in June that about 54 million copies of the game
had been sold, and since then it's also been
released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
And it was one of the biggest gambles in gaming history
but the risk looks to have played off for Activision
and its new title, Destiny.
The eagerly anticipated first-person shooter went on sale this week
and it's already made a whopping 500 million through retail
and digital shops.
The game cost more than 200 million to make, with 500 people working
for over five years to create the open world sci-fi environment.
Something tells me a sequel might be on the way.
Any tech conference worth its transistors has to have
at least one home of the future, and here at IFA there are a fair few.
This one by Sony is showing off a few random ideas.
There's a screen in the bedroom for that all-important cheery morning greeting...
Over the bath, a musical light bulb.
..and a projector over the bed.
Projectors give you the opportunity to create really massive images on your wall.
But you can't normally stand anywhere near this close
to the image without casting a shadow on them.
That's because the projector is right down here,
throwing this video up at the wall at a really crazy angle.
These short-throw projectors do exactly as the name suggests,
throwing a large image at a surface from not very far away at all,
meaning you don't need an enormous living room
to enjoy an enormous picture.
There's a lot of talk these days about turning every surface into a display.
Now, of course, that can turn out to be really expensive.
Short-throw projectors like this do solve that problem
and give you the ability to see anything anywhere.
This couple seemed very happy dining on their fake food
in the kitchen of the future, flicking photos to each other...
That's nice. Where did you go?
..and engaging in scripted dialogue,
which means we can all have a bit of ham.
And honey, they really serve nice food.
We should go there this weekend.
Time now for some more home tech with Jen Copestake -
who appears to be on my fridge.
The focus on smart-home tech here at IFA has seen a vast
range of gadgets integrated with the internet of things.
They are designed to fit seamlessly into your life.
This make-up mirror prototype from Panasonic diagnoses skin problems,
evaluates your wrinkles and recommends treatments for you
based on food you currently have in your fridge.
And if you're out of ingredients needed for the treatment,
there are ways for you to buy what you need by pressing on the mirror.
And when you're ready to leave your connected home
and face the real world, it gives you tips for how to do your make-up
in any situation and links to online tutorials and, again, will
connect you to an online retailer where you can purchase the products.
This kind of connectivity where you're interacting with your home
is getting more advanced.
LG's smart-house system uses an app to let you talk with your building.
So if you're leaving it will turn the lights off for you, and if you
say you're coming home it will turn them back on as you approach.
It will even pick out music for you to listen to, based on your mood.
Feel in the mood for happy music?
Your house will recommend music for you
and have it playing by the time you get home.
Samsung takes this a step further
and is working on a connected audio system where your music would
wirelessly follow you from room to room as you move around the house.
And in its connected home,
we had a chance to try out its latest robotic vacuum.
This is Samsung's Cyclone Force robotic vacuum.
It's 60 times more powerful than other ones that we've seen
from them and the key thing about it is, it's got this new laser pointer
feature so you can actually control where the vacuum can go by pointing.
While the laser is a nice touch, it does feel a bit gimmicky.
The vacuum doesn't yet connect to an app but will be able to
in the future.
Unlike the show's most anticipated robot vacuum from Dyson,
the company has spent 16 years
developing this robot vacuum, the 360 Eye.
It's taken a long time because actually it's quite a difficult proposition.
Developing something that actually cleans carpets really well
and does it in a logical and intelligent way
is not an easy task and there are lots of machines out there,
but a lot of them don't really fulfil that function
and it's taken us a long time
because we wanted to make sure that we got that absolutely right.
This robot uses a unique vision system
which takes 30 images a second.
The robot works out reference points around the room,
so it knows exactly where it is.
The Dyson 360 Eye is connected with a wireless app
that's available for Android and IOS devices.
You can schedule cleanings remotely when you're at the office
and you can make weekly cleans.
You can also monitor live the activity of your robot,
so you can check which areas of your house it's cleaning.
You can have other robots, so that one can be cleaning your upstairs
and one cleaning your downstairs. And when it's finished cleaning,
you can return the robot to base and it will recharge itself.
We've seen innovation in the kitchen, too,
including Panasonic's ideas for the smart home.
In the future, you will be able to use all your home appliances
whenever you need to, but keep them neatly stowed away and out of sight.
This is how you keep your kitchen counter clutter-free and clean.
And all of these appliances, they're wireless?
Absolutely, so you can use them however and wherever you want to.
You can put any pot on top and the coil will automatically
-detect its size and place, so it can heat efficiently.
Or for example, we can use the stirrer, here -
and then push the button
and it stirs automatically.
-We also have a microwave oven with a built-in camera.
For example, we have roasted duck in here.
So usually, when you open it up, open the oven,
the glass fogs up and you can't see anything any more, so this is really
perfect because the built-in camera shows you the duck from inside.
-And it's something you can do as well with dishwashers, I guess?
The dishwasher has also a built-in camera so it's really, really convenient.
Hmm. Well, while I don't really want to watch my dishes from the couch,
compared to some of the connected tech we've seen before,
there are ideas here I could actually see in my own home.
Now, IFA wasn't the only big spectacle to happen in Berlin
the weekend we were there.
Jen and I popped out to take some shots of the international fireworks festival.
See, we wanted to look at some of the kit you could use in low light
which avoid the problems of trying to take a shot in the dark.
Using a camera in low light gives you a load of problems.
The camera will probably add a load of dots to the picture
as it tries to boost the levels to brighten everything up.
The shutter speed will slow right down
so the picture is likely to get smeary,
and you're likely to have really bright
and really dim objects in the same shot,
at which point the camera will expose for the bright objects
and you won't be able to see the dim objects at all.
You may be tempted to use a traditional DSLR with that lovely
big lens and a big sensor, both of which are helpful in low light.
They certainly do have a lot going for them.
The Panasonic GH4 films 4K ultra-high-def video,
has a fast autofocus and a vari-angle touch-sensitive screen.
But you could achieve DSLR quality without most of that
bulk with Sony's new 20-megapixel QX1, a lens and camera which uses
any Android or Apple smartphone as a wireless viewfinder and controller.
We saw the first of these cameras last year
but the new version allows you to change lenses,
allowing for even more beautiful DSLR style shots.
And that means you can adjust all of the settings to
suit for a night-time shoot,
especially with the QX1's super-duper top ISO rating of 16,000.
Admittedly, though, some things do look better in the dark - like me.
Ah, Spencer - no need to be too hard on yourself.
You can capture the perfect selfie at night on your mobile phone
with the help of the Lenovo X2.
With a five-megapixel front-facing camera,
it includes several features to beautify yourself before you snap.
There is a sensor to aid your selfie-taking.
Blinking, gesturing, or speaking to the camera brings up
a three-second countdown before the photo is automatically taken.
So no worries about camera shake as you reach to push the button.
There's a beautification bar to improve your complexion
and you can even add pink light to the shot to improve your looks.
If you want, the camera will even give you a happiness rating
out of a hundred and tell you how old it thinks you look,
so you can try and get your age down by adjusting your pout.
All pretty impressive stuff.
I hope Kate Russell has something that flash back in the Webscape HQ!
Well, I think this keyboard is pretty flash.
Smartphones have come a long way over the last decade
but they're still being shipped with a default QWERTY-style keyboard,
crammed onto the limited screen space.
There are several different styles of input you can download as an add-on
and 5-TILES is the latest re-imagination giving you just five
large pads to tap and swipe across to create the English alphabet.
The QWERTY keyboard we're familiar with today was actually
designed 150 years ago to stop the keys on a mechanical
typewriter getting jammed up by speedy typists.
And modern letter ordering systems
have since been conceived such as Dvorak and KALQ,
but we're still kind of tied to our old-school keyboards.
The app is packed with smart features
like intelligent predictive dictionaries
and the ability to work across
eight major European languages simultaneously.
There will be a steep learning curve -
switching over at first will feel a lot slower - but persevere,
and you could enjoy average speeds of 30-40 words a minute,
with the top speed recorded by 5-TILES users of 109 words per minute.
Since Twitter launched in 2006,
over 300 billion tweets have been sent from around the globe,
but have you ever wondered how many people have seen your tweets?
TweetReach can answer that.
Just enter a term you want to check and the app will report on who
interacted with your tweets and how many potential accounts it reached.
# I will follow you, will you follow me... #
Once you know who is sharing particular types of content,
you can make a note to send them an @message
when you have something similar they might like.
This ensures your posts don't go unnoticed in their timeline
and also makes them feel appreciated for supporting you.
Another good tool for managing your Twitter and Instagram accounts
is JustUnfollow. It lets you see things like who's followed
and unfollowed you recently and which accounts are inactive or
not following you back, so could possibly be unfollowed if you like.
# Cos breaking up is hard to do... #
There are apps for IOS and Android and you can unfollow from within
the dashboard, so breaking up isn't that hard after all.
# Cos breaking up is hard to do. #
Reddit is a discussion forum where pretty much anything goes.
It's definitely not for the faint-hearted
and in the Ask Me Anything section the bravest of netizens -
everyone from air traffic controllers to astronauts -
put themselves forward to be interrogated by the community.
# I ask you a question and you give me a lie... #
If you want to follow the Ask Me Anything interviews,
there is now an official app for IOS and Android.
What a great end to a pretty spectacular show,
if I don't mind saying so myself.
Hope you've enjoyed Click in Berlin too,
and for more from us throughout the week
it's bbc.co.uk/click and on Twitter of course we are @BBCClick.
I'll leave you with the fireworks in Berlin.
Thanks for watching and we'll see you next time.