The five tech & gadget trends at IFA 2017
Whereas last year we found VR glasses at every brand, and smartwatches everywhere the year before, it was actually relatively calm at IFA this year. Innovation was there with existing categories such as smart homes, headphones and washing machines. In which five trends can be distinguished. The first trend that immediately struck the IFA was that of the speech assistant
Whereas last year we found VR glasses at every brand, and smartwatches everywhere the year before, it was actually relatively calm at IFA this year. Innovation was there with existing categories such as smart homes, headphones and washing machines. In which five trends can be distinguished.
The first trend that immediately struck the IFA was that of the speech assistant. At almost every stand you heard a demonstration lady calling 'OK Google' or 'Alexa', after which unfortunately there was often a reaction and nervous what staff went back and forth to restart something or to cancel a demo. Of course there is more environmental noise at a fair than you have in a home situation, but added up I was not really impressed. Partly because none of the speech assistants could only be addressed in English, and therefore not in their own language (in this case German).
The same at the Samsung booth, where the refrigerator, the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine could only be addressed in English via our own Bixby. It was mainly the laptops such as the Lenovo Yoga 920 that Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana had implemented and the number of times I heard 'Hey Siri' pass by was limited to the new Philips Hue lamp and Elgato smarthomeproducts. This will soon change as soon as Apple's Home Pod becomes available and you will also be able to ask questions in Dutch, something that was not yet the case with all voice-controlled loudspeakers from Panasonic, Sony, Libratone and Harman.
(photo: Panasonic SC-GA10 with Google Assistant)
Trend 2 - Wireless earphones
The Apple Airpods are perhaps the best-known example of a new product group among inear headphones: wireless earphones that connect to each other and a smartphone via bluetooth. The internal batteries deliver an average of 4 hours of listening time and a supplied case with internal battery recharges them after storage. Prices start around 99 euros for the Minim of Avanca, 130 euros for the SHB4385 from Philips, 220 euros for the WF-1000X from Sony to the Samsung Gear IconX with a price tag of 230 euros.
Trend 3 - Smart
What stood out with this IFA is that all devices have now been given a smart function. If we only look at the 1000X range of headphones from Sony, which registers through the corresponding app what kind of activity you do and automatically adjusts the setting of the sound and the noise canceling . There is even a sensor that measures the air pressure and makes adjustments accordingly.
Smart refrigerators and washing machines seemed to be standard for every brand, with Sharp washing machines even autonomously determining how much washing powder needs washing. In another category, that of air cleaners, Philips introduced copies that measure the air quality, adapt to it and then inform you about the measurement results via an app.
There was also a smart bicycle helmet (from Livall), with a brake light on the back that reacts when you brake or stall. A lot of attention was also paid to the smart vibrator Crescendo from Mysteryvibe, which can be supplied with 159 different kinds of patterns in combination with an app. And in terms of the number of new smartwatches, it was surprisingly low. Watch manufacturer Fossil was actually the only one who could show a few new copies.
(photo: inner work Mysteryvibe Crescendo)
Trend 4 - Integration
Most brands now seem to realize that open source or the integration of different standards is the only way to convince the consumer of smarthome applications. For example, Philips Hue offers support for Google Home, Applexs Homekit and Amazon Alexa. In that context, Samsung demonstrated a smart home situation where their participation in the Open Connectivity Foundation was once again emphasized, an organization that includes companies such as Intel, Microsoft, LG and Cisco. For 4K televisions Samsung, LG and 20thCenturyFox came with a new open standard: the HDR10 +.
(photo: Segway miniPLUS)
Trend 5 - e-Mobility
Although the number of manufacturers with e-mobility solutions could be counted on one hand, they all received full attention. And surprisingly, almost all of them had the same line-up. For example, Segway introduced two new self-balancing vehicles, the miniLite and mini Plus, as well as two electric scooters, the KickScooter ES-1 and ES-2. The same with Nilox who also presented electric skateboards and a foldable electric bike. And the Swiss company SoFlow with another addition of an electric folding scooter. Where all these manufacturers are particularly difficult, the rules for this category of transport means, or rather, the lack of it, as a result of which the majority are still not allowed to enter the public highway.
Below is a video where I present all trends and a few products for best product: