Compiled by Patrick Avenell at IFA in Berlin

Welcome to a blog-style wrap of the first Media Day at IFA. My plan is to provide a short synopsis of everything has been up to, with links to more information and images, as they become available (ie, when I get the chance to upload them to the CMS!).

My first day at IFA started when I alighted at the Messe Sud train station in outer Berlin, walked through the desolate streets and arrived at the front entrance of the exhibition centres. The first thing you see are hundreds of LG flags. Outside the main entrance are fresh billboards for Samsung's new FoodShowcase, double door refrigerators — that should provide some interesting competition for LG's well-reviewed Door in Door French Door models.

The first press conference of IFA 2013 was held by German native Siemens. Its focus was clearly on introducing connectivity and networking to the kitchen through easy-to-use and intuitive appliances — a process it calls 'simplexity'. I am not sure that term will survive to be used in Australian marketing, though the idea behind it is very sound: Smart technology in appliances needs to conform to the user, not the other way around.

Miele was next up: co-owners Dr Markus Miele and Dr Reinhard Zinkann focused on new dishwashers, washing machines, tumble dryers and freestanding coffee machines. All save the laundry appliances are part of Miele's impressive Generation H 6000 range which brings more appliances to the same design aesthetic and offers great upsell opportunities.

When asked how the company was performing outside Germany, Dr Zinkann was full of praise for the Australian operation:

“We are particularly strong in Australia, which is our second strongest market after Germany," he said. "Australia is the strongest after Germany, then Switzerland, the United States and the Netherlands."

Keeping the German theme going, Bosch took to its enormous stand to host a round table discussion on the various themes affecting the market. It was hard to follow for several reasons, not least of all because it was in German, but this largely unscripted discussion vacillated between the importance of sustainability, the very interesting new myBosch smartphone app and a new stick vacuum cleaner.

Panasonic demurred from Siemens by announcing a Smart appliance vision that includes voice and gesture control of home appliances through the kitchen and laundry. The Japanese company also announced a strategic partnership with Slovenian appliance company Gorenje, owner of the ASKO brand.

There was also a slew of new small appliances and the unveilling of Panasonic's new Ultra HD TV, which is expected to be in European stores by Christmas.

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The highlight of Sony's presser was the unveiling of the Xperia Z1, a beautiful smartphone that is fully waterproof, according to Sony. It's got a much better camera, a single aluminium body and quite a few interesting Sony exclusive features. Where Apple has the simply-titled iCloud, Sony has PlayMemories Online for cloud storage of media from myriad Sony devices.

Another point of interest from Sony's launch was its focus on High Resolution Audio. Apparently the step from CD quality to high res audio quality is bigger than the jump from cassettes to CD. This feature will be included in selected models of Sony's new range of Walkmans, smartphones and headphones.

Samsung Unpacked closed a hectic day. As expected, the Korean company unveiled its first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear. I think it lives up to all the hype and works as a perfect companion device to other Samsung Galaxy smartphones and phablets. The only issue might be how restricted its connectivity is: it doesn't work with any other brands or OSes (remember, Samsung also markets Windows Phone 8 devices). One wonders if this will draw users to the Galaxy ecosystem or freeze them out of the Gear's potential?

Also revealed was the new Galaxy Note 3 — click on the Samsung Unpacked link above for all those details.

That brings to a close my blog for Day 1 of IFA's media schedule. Join me tomorrow for another instalment!