Let's face it, it wouldn't be a proper IFA if we didn't take some time out of our busy schedules to pop by Haier's booth for a little alternative TV action. In past years, we've seen gesture and mind control, transparent sets and, of course eye-control. The company's tweaked the latter a bit, hitting this year's show with the latest prototype. Asked if we'd actually see the set in our lifetimes, the Haier rep we spoke with assured us that the company would have something "soon," so take that as you will. So, what are the changes from last year? For starters, the set is slimmer. More importantly, it's got a new sensor from Tobii, which promises sharper eye detection.
We've got to say though, as ever, it takes some getting used to. After calibrating, you move you eyes to different parts of the screen to engage different functions -- like, say, top for menu and bottom for volume. When your eyes drift up there, a menu will pop up. In the case of volume, you move your gaze (and the cursor in turn) to volume up and blink to select. Why this is better than a good old fashioned remote, we're still not sure -- particularly when moving your head can throw the whole thing off. But we've lost our remotes enough times to seriously consider giving it a shot.