Hannover Fairs to debut intelligent home show in Melbourne

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CeBIT organiser Hannover Fairs has launched Australia's first exhibition focusing on the digital home phenomenon, and local resellers have been promised a piece of the pie.

CeBIT organiser Hannover Fairs has launched Australia's first exhibition focusing on the digital home phenomenon, and local resellers have been promised a piece of the pie.

Hannover Fairs said in a statement that Melbourne would play host to the Intelligent Home Show scheduled to open 15 October. The show would be Australia's first event to focus entirely on digital technology in the home.

The event would showcase “the best” in audio, digital imaging, emerging technology, gaming, home automation, networking, home theatre, mobile automotive electronics, smart sustainable products and wireless communications for consumers at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention centre 15 to 17 October, it said.

Jackie Taranto, managing director at Hannover Fairs Australia, said consumers had an “intense desire” to learn about such technologies, which she claimed could improve their lives.

“A whole new world of home entertainment, home automation, broadband Internet, digital imaging, smart sustainable solutions and more has opened up for all consumers," she said.

A spokesman for Hannover Fairs Australia added that the organisers were keenly seeking resellers, wholesalers, distributors and other channel companies to exhibit and participate in various displays.

"There'll be opportunities outside exhibiting. A Microsoft theatre will hold 20 minute sessions on how to get the most out of digital technologies, such as cameras, printing and other things," he said.

The theatre would have promotions for Microsoft's Media Centre PC and other products targeting the digital home and using convergence technologies, such as broadband and wireless. Interested resellers should contact Hannover Fairs directly, he said.

Hannover Fairs also promised the show would feature an “intelligent home” with five rooms and three home theatres created by architect Cassandra Fahey and designer Lou Weis. The display would feature audio and visual products, “intelligent” appliances, environments and building materials.

Classrooms seating 30 to 32 would also be set up to demonstrate various technologies, how to set up home networking and so on. Channel players would also participate in those.

However, only exhibitors were permitted to participate in the demonstrations, a stipulation enforced by the German headquarters, he added.

"This makes sure that the face to face is there," he said. "It's a little bit pointless having the latest gadgets on stage if you don't have that."

Local box-builder Optima had already put its name down to show off some new digital home-focused offerings that are currently being kept tightly under wraps. Acer would show off its new home media box, he said.

Space was available for about 160 exhibitors, he said.

Some 30,000 visitors were expected to an event that would demonstrate convergent technology's coming of age, Hannover Fairs said.

“The Intelligent Home Show is the perfect place for consumers to learn how today's technology can improve their lives, see how easy it is to install in their homes and to be inspired to live the digital lifestyle today,” Taranto claimed.

Displays around gaming, digital photography, mobile phones and how to make homes more energy-efficient were also expected.

A total $100,000 in prizes is expected to be given out during the show -- $20,000 for an Australia-wide online gaming event and $80,000 in other prizes, including a Volkswagen PW Golf V.

Show sponsors would include the State Government of Victoria, AEEMA, NECA, SPAN, NEC, Volkswagen, Microsoft and Blue International. More details would be made available on http://www.ihshow.com.au.

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