Tablets, glasses-free 3D TVs and smart products: top trends at IFA

Next generation smartphones, smart and glasses-free 3D TVs, connected appliances, Ultrabooks and tablets galore will feature prominently at the world's largest consumer electronics and electrical home appliances fair, IFA.

IFA is a technology lover's paradise. Alongside CES, CeBIT and Computex it is the place to see the next big consumer electronics product trends.

In the spotlight this year will be a large line up of "smart products" - internet connectivity in everything from the latest range of 3DTVs to 4G smartphones and fridges that will go online to shop for your groceries.

The latest products arriving on the market suggest that TVs and the internet have already become synonymous with one another, but the trend will be taken one step further as smartphones and tablets gain the ability to control our largest screens and as cloud-based solutions enable users to store and stream their media in the cloud.

LG will for the first time show its "crown jewel of TVs," the LW980S, a 3D TV it proclaims sets "a new benchmark in connectivity, picture quality and sheer viewing enjoyment."

TVs are not the only thing our smartphones and tablets will be controlling as we move into 2012. Refrigerators, vacuum cleaners and lighting systems will connect to the internet, allowing users to remotely switch on the lights or to send their vacuum on a collision-free course around their house.

Oh, and while the vacuum is sucking up dust, it will also keep an eye on your house via a built-in camera that can be linked to your smartphone.

Computers - especially laptops - will be faster, more portable and above all, more stylish.

The first big wave of Ultrabooks is expected to be unveiled during IFA. These thin, light, fast and (relatively) inexpensive laptops will be the industry's answer to Apple's MacBook Air.

The onslaught of Android phones and tablets will continue. Expect to see both high-end devices with 4G connectivity and the latest high-tech features plus entry-level products at affordable prices line IFA's stands.

Samsung is reportedly creating a tablet/smartphone hybrid called the Samsung Galaxy Q for the event and Archos is working on a series of high-end tablets. Acer, Samsung and HP are also rumored to be putting the final touches on their newest tablets, which should be ready just in time for the event.

Last year's notable IFA announcements included Samsung's first tablet the Galaxy tab, the world's slimmest LED 3D TV, and the ViewSonic ViewPad 100, the world's first dual-boot tablet.

IFA attracted 1,423 exhibitors and 235,000 visitors in 2010, generating 3.5 billion euros worth of orders.

The 51st edition of IFA will take place from September 2 to 7 at the Messe Berlin GmbH exhibition center in Berlin, Germany.