IFA 2007: Philips launch Aurea

Gadget Shows, Home cinema, IFA 2007, TVs

I love Philips press conferences. Already, we’ve been treated to women dancing in red dresses which have swirled up round their heads. There’s been chiffon, seduction music and lots of atmospheric lighting.

We already know a fair amount about Aurea. It’s based on Ambilight, but takes it further with colour emitting from all four sides and round the frame. It’s 1080p, featuring Philips Perfect Pixel technology, and also has class leading sound.

What they’re keen to emphasise is their fashion credentials – they’re name dropping more than Charley from Big Brother. Lanvin, Vogue, Wun Kai Wai… all names I’d be more familiar with if I was a fashion journalist rather than technology.

Their point of sale movie, to be used to demonstrate the TV in your local Curry’s is not traditional advertising apparently, but a work of art. Ooh err. We’re about to get a world premiere.

Right, there were guns, kissing and a girl who looks a bit like Audrey Tatou (but that may have been because she was speaking French…). All in all, not your average ‘dolphins frolicking in the sea’ type HD promo movie. I’ll admit, that it does look fab on the Aurea, but I still wonder how useful it will be sitting in your living room, in the middle of the day.

Philips was voted 31st in Biz Week Most Innovative company this year, from somewhere in the 6-s last year. Rudy Provoost, CEO, believes Aurea is an equivalent evolution from black and white to colour TV. We’ll see.

There are other products out there is Aurea doesn’t float your boat. There are the Ambilight TV range, as well as the Ambisound soundbar. The AbiFX is the gaming “immersive experience” and apparently more games will be announced for this platform shortly.

Power for life enables you to power all your gadgets from one source. One million digital photo frames have been sold.

Bluray: There’ll still behind it, and there will be a press conference on this in a few hours time.
The message is they’re about the end result and the end consumer, rather than a company throwing specs at you. They’re heavy on design, and want to be known as a lifestyle company. They hire not just designers but psychologists and anthropologists.

Rudy has introduced the head designer at Philips. They’re making fun of him about the fact that he’s Italian – ahh, it’s a joke that works across Europe. He reckons that the key to design is making it obvious what it does, and make sure it fits with the situation it’s going to be used in. Sounds like a lot of words not meaning much, to be honest… Function to emotion? What does that even mean???

They’re now talking about partnerships. And Oops, the designer has encroached on Rudy’s speech and started to talking about Swarovski crystal partnerships. He’s been sent off the stage! The partnership involves jewellery designed by Philips and Swarovski, and we’re about to get a catwalk show.

There are lockets with USB sticks in, heart shaped, and “no girls it’s not all about fashion”. There are MP3 player headphones, which apparently you could comfortably wear to an evening event (although people might think you impolite if you’re listening to music at a dinner party, presumably).

Susi Weaser
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