At Cairo 360, we do love our technology. That’s why we were delighted when Samsung Egypt invited us to attend the IFA show in Berlin, Germany. For those not in the know, IFA stands for Internationale Funkausstellung, and, according to their website, is the world’s largest consumer electronics show.
After receiving our itinerary for the week, it was evident that Samsung Egypt were determined to take excellent care of us during our stay. Apart from the press conferences, discussion panels, and pre-show access to their exhibition hall (more on that later), they filled the rest of the visit with a show, a tour of the city, a trip to the world-famous Berlin Zoo, and (of course) plenty of amazing meals at some excellent restaurants.
After a few short hours of travelling and checking in to our centrally-located 5* hotel, we were whisked off to the theatre for a performance of ViViD Grand Show; a visually stunning revue show, filled with fabulous costumes (especially the hats!), spectacular performance art and breath-taking acrobatics.
Our first full day started with a tour of Berlin’s most historic sites that tell the story of this often troubled, yet symbolic city of hope and unity. The sites included the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the Holocaust Memorial, an intact section of the Berlin Wall, and more. After lunch, there was some time allocated for us to do some exploring of our own (AKA shopping!).
Day two, and we were on to the main event: the IFA show. As guests of Samsung (probably the largest presence at the show), we first attended the press conference. Here we were treated to the first on-screen glimpses of Samsung’s new product lines. Encompassing everything from the customisable, modular BESPOKE line of fridges to the latest range of QLED 8K TVs, the Dual Cook Steam oven to their latest 5G enabled mobiles (included the much-anticipated Galaxy Fold 5G), Samsung Europe’s Chief Marketing Officer, Benjamin Braun took us through the highlights of the products on show.
With our appetites whetted, we were then able to get up close and personal with all the products in the vast exhibition hall. After a thorough examination of what was on offer, it was nearly impossible to pick a favourite from hundreds of products displayed. However, apart from the new editions to the Serif and Frame TV ranges, and the obvious interest in the new array of phones, we think the AirDresser, a wardrobe cupboard that uses jets of air to remove dust particles, steam to remove creases, then dries with warm air before a final deodorising cycle, could well be a winner for the Cairo climate and hope it gets released in the MENA region soon. But, as we said, impossible to pick an overall favourite.
Later in the afternoon, we got to sit down with Gyoo Sang Choi, part of Samsung’s Visual Design team responsible for lifestyle products, to talk about the Serif and Frame TVs. He told us that the focus was to design a product that would “blend into [the] home”, and that they “want the TV to blend into a well-organised space and bring meaning to the user”. He went on to talk about “open innovation”; a concept that brought about a collaboration with the famed French designers, the Bouroullec brothers to design a TV that was also aesthetically pleasing when turned off. With the addition of the Ambient Mode, a television is no longer just a black rectangle when switched off. With the mode, the Serif and Frame TVs can display a multitude of famous artworks, professional photos, or even your favourite family photographs.
As that concluded the business events for the day, we were taken back to the hotel for a little break before heading out to dinner.
After breakfast on day three, we had a trip to the zoo before spending another afternoon exploring the Samsung hall once again. As this was the first day for the general public, there were much larger crowds, and it was clear to see how the demonstrations of the 2019 line-up of all Samsung’s new products were a major hit with the public.
The next day, it was time to return to Cairo. All that remains to be said is a massive “thank you” to Samsung Egypt for a truly memorable trip and looking after us so well. We hope to see many of the new product line available in Egypt in the near future.