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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 March, 2005, 14:16 GMT
Cebit closes door on gadget fest
Mood Cube, developed by Deutsche Telekom and Siemens
A mood cube allows people to alter video, music and lighting
The booths that have been home to tech firms for the last week are being dismantled and the gadgets carefully packed away as Cebit 2005, one of the world's largest technology show, draws to a close.

Organisers have hailed the show as a great success although critics suggest there have been fewer product launches and innovations than in previous years.

Telephony has dominated the fair, from a plethora of newly launched mobiles offering higher resolution cameras and integrated MP3 players to home phones that allow users to make cheap internet calls.

The digital home, created especially for the show, proved a hit with visitors.

Big and small

Not all were convinced that the home truly represented the future for technology.

But it was digital - with wallpaper that transformed into a video screen, lighting and music that could be changed depending on mood, and smart appliances - such as a washing machine that adjusted its settings in accordance with radio chips attached to clothing.

Samsung's 7-megapixel mobile phone
Samsung launched a 7-megapixel camera phone
It has been a show in which size has been very important, from Samsung's 7-megapixel camera phone to NEC's floating video plasma display wall, measuring more than 5m.

In-between, Sharp showed off its 165cm LCD television and Panasonic offered a same sized plasma screen - begging the question of how telly addicts would find space in their already gadget-filled houses for such whoppers.

For those whose craving for moving pictures goes beyond the living room there was also a multitude of portable media players on offer.

Intel showed off what it says is the world's smallest PC - trebling up as an entertainment, communications and navigation device.

Doing things in threes was another theme of the show as the triple-play element of fast net access - telephony, video and internet - occupied the minds of the broadband industry.

Of these perhaps the most trumpeted was broadband telephony. Skype, the firm that offers free software to make cheap net calls, was finding itself lots of new friends.

Motorola, Greatwall Infotech and Good Way Technologies all showed off Skype phones.

Copycat designs

Cebit is often home to the more way-out-there gadgetry and this year was no exception.

A prototype eye-controlled video camera, a new type of monitor allowing people to see 3D images from a variety of angles, and a biometric scanner from Fujitsu that can "read" vein patterns in the hand, were all on show.

If the focus on this year's show has been music, then most attribute this to the phenomenal success of Apple's iPod.

Man shows off prototype eye controlled camera
Prototype eye controlled camera was among more cutting edge products
Apple captured the headlines with its anger over a copy-cat iPod Shuffle from Taiwanese firm Luxpro, and it looks like it could end in a legal challenge.

Rumours were also circulating about why Motorola had not launched its much-anticipated iTunes compatible mobile phone.

But the firm that changed the way the computer industry looked could also draw pride from its much-copied style.

White could be the new black as a glut of handsets with white, i-Pod inspired casings were shown off.

And there was a reminder that technology also draws inspiration from real-life crises.

One Asian firm, Pantech, showed off a phone which came with a temperature sensor.

"We think this has been fuelled by the Sars outbreak," said Gartner analyst Ben Wood.




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