Beyond all else, IFA is well-known for pointing to the direction that the consumer technology industry is taking. As the show draws to a close, these are our five key takeaways.
Owning the headlines
This year’s IFA was characterised by a few attention grabbing releases. With 8K set to be the next evolution in the TV space, the show kicked off with Samsung presenting the 8K Q900R QLED, and LG showing off the LG 8K 88-ich OLED. With these offerings, both companies have made clear that the dawn of 8K is rising, and they want a good, ultra-high definition, view.
In gaming, one name really looked to grab headlines at IFA, with Acer presenting the Predator Thronos gaming chair. While potentially pointing to the future of gaming, the immersive throne ensured that IFA press coverage was full of mentions to Acer’s slightly more standard Predator offerings.
Across these super-size innovations, Samsung, LG and Acer have shown that if you want to grab headlines, go big.
Spending hours on end playing games was once the domain of a small minority. Nowadays, thanks to the astounding success of games like Fortnite, gaming has become a fully-fledged aspect of contemporary culture.
At this year’s IFA, hats were doffed to acknowledge this major shift in tech-discourse. Big players showcased new products which were designed either to attract, or apply explicitly to gamers. Whether it was a projector, display or phone, the big players were all keen to express how their latest products embraced the gaming community.
It will be interesting to see how the relationship between IFA – a Berlin-based technology show aimed at all – and Gamescom – which took place just the week before in Hamburg, and is aimed at gamers – evolves, as brands seek to benefit from gaming’s position in the mainstream.
With a clear focus on connectivity driving convenience, household brands such as Bosch and AEG have shown us that smart homes are truly on the technology agenda, by transforming the everyday kitchen.
But it’s not just in the kitchen, smart accessories for the home can now be heard around the house, with smart speakers in all shapes and sizes integrating virtual assistants.
And Sony didn’t let the smart technology train stop there. By updating their famous Aibo robotic dog, they’ve demonstrated that if can be smart-ified, it will be.
While companies have extolled the virtues of fitness trackers and smart watches in getting us to move more, adding ever more features that offer deep health insights. But the likes of Fitbit, Garmin and Samsung also want us to sleep better, be less stressed and get healthier – actionable data is the key.
Yet as we’ve seen the “health-tech” realm is not limited to our wrists; ‘breathing’ pillows and wearable sleep headbands were all on display.
It’s clear that we can expect the pace of development in this on-trend sector to continue picking-up speed.
What do consumers want from a gadget? The eternal question for tech brands and the answer seems to change by the month let alone by the year.
Have their tech prophets read the consumer signs right? There’s one thing for certain, if it’s made for “on the go” then it needs to go where they do, go as long as they do and add value to what they do.
In short, more than ever before, we want our gadgets to be life-proof – that means swim-proof, long-lasting, rugged, red-carpet worthy design and smart features.
If a gadget ticks all of these boxes, you may just have found the secret to the meaning of life… well IFA at least.
Until next year.
This concludes our IFA Insider series. We hope you’ve found it informative and helpful.