Tech Shows and conventions happen all around the world in different continents and countries and for one such show that took place in September, we flew down to the dynamic city of Berlin. I say that because, on one hand, Berlin is a historical treasure of a long history attached to itself that dates back to centuries attracting visitors for its rich, rustic World War background and monuments. On the other hand, it is this buzzing hotspot that projects technological innovations of the future. On reaching Berlin, Team Exhibit beelined straight to the Berlin Exhibition Grounds in this German city for Europe’s biggest Tech Show IFA 2017. The entire show was powered by and brought to you in association with Croma.
What is IFA?
IFA or Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin is one of Europe’s biggest tech shows that presents the latest products and innovations in the heart of Europe‘s most important regional market. It offers a comprehensive overview of the international market and attracts 1,805 exhibitors and trade visitors from more than 100 countries, over 159,000 square meters of the sold-out show floor. Held from 1 – 6 September, IFA 2017 became the main meeting place for key retailers, buyers, and experts from the industry and the media. Each year, IFA reinforces its role as the leading showcase for the global technology industry only to keep getting bigger and making additions to the show plan.
IFA 2017 was noteworthy for hosting not only more innovation and product launches than any previous event but also for presenting more digital lifestyle products in one place than any other show worldwide. In addition to the exhibit, other IFA branches like IFA Next, IFA Keynotes, the IFA+ Summit, conferences, and the IFA Hosted Conferences all aim to bring together innovations and information on the latest trends and topics together under one roof.
Keynotes by Phillips, Microsoft, Fitbit, and Huawei were held over the course of 1st and 2nd September.
Our top picks-
Spanning across the 12 massive halls that we went around, IFA was home to a lot of brands and products across categories like home appliances, lifestyle, Audio, IT hardware and Software, Communications, Robotics, Photo/Video, Wearables, Fitness, etc. Here are some of our favourite finds-
It’s kind of hard to believe Ionic is the first smartwatch by the brand because Ionic is truly iconic in a number of ways. Launched at IFA by James Parker, CEO and founder of Fitbit, the new Fitbit comes with a number of features like a private lock to keep the data secure, 2.5GB memory to store songs, built in GPS, very accurate heart rate tracker, live coaching for workouts and mechanism that lets you make payments through the watch.
The LG V30 was on each listicle of the most-awaited products at IFA and it sure was worth all the buzz. The device looks great with its 6-inch Oled display and is equipped with an 18:9-format. It is competitive with its great audio quality and features thanks to Bang & Olufsen earbuds. The camera also becomes a highlight with its exceptional photo-video performance, a dual rear camera equipped with a wide-angle glass lens which is a first for a smartphone.
Galaxy edge has been making noise in the tech circuits ever since its launch and it continued to do so at IFA. The phone is super sleek, bezel-less, comes with a dual camera and great storage. The phone also comes with an Espen that’s super sensitive to touch thus making navigation easier.
Introducing a futuristic prototype TV with a transparent OLED screen, Panasonic displayed its new 77-inch, 4K variant from the EZ1000 OLED series. The TV comes with mind-boggling features- the TV displays 2 prisms when off and super realistic image quality when working.
Acer was a favourite amongst gamers with its gaming model Predator Orion 9000. The new desktop is equipped with an Intel i9 Extreme Edition processor with up to 18 cores. It also comes with a RAM of 128 GB, 44TB of storage and two NVidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti cards in SLI. In order to keep the desktop cool, the beast is equipped with a special liquid cooling system and five fans.
The Huawei LTE caught our attention which is equipped with many impressive features. The watch becomes your replacement for phones as it allows you to insert your SIMcard and do everything you do on your phone- make calls, use WhatsApp, send messages, navigate maps, etc. It also allows you to make card payments. It is installed with the latest 2.0 Android OS and is also dust and water resistant.
Garmin’s latest Vivoactive 4 keeps true to its focus on fitness with activity tracking features. It helps you measure heart rate, comes with built in sports apps and downloadable workouts, an all day stress monitoring mechanism and suggests relaxation breathing methods. You can also sync the watch to your phone and bank accounts to make payments through your watch. Following a more traditional watch-like design this time around, it allows you to personalize watch faces or also choose between a plastic body or a more premium metal design.
We spotted laptops from the popular Surface series of Microsoft. These laptops are available in four colors and come with the locked-down Windows 10 S.
Following along its strategy of launching new phones every 6 months, Sony unveiled the Xperia XZ1 Compact that comes with a bunch of interesting specs like 4.6-inches screen, 19MP back camera and 8MP selfie camera, slo-mo recording and 3D scanning capabilities.
The new B&O Play E8 from the Bang & Olufsen Play series caught our attention with their super stylish and convenient design. These are comfortable, wireless, come in a hardcase and provide great battery life with a runtime of 4 hours in one go on being fully charged. They are sweat and dust resistance. B&O also collaborated for a TV that has a display by LG and sound by B&O.
Pixpro with its new 4KVR360 adopts a minimalist approach to the 360˚ VR camera. The 4KVR360 has two fixed focus lenses; two powerful 20 megapixel CMOS sensors that make capturing detailed images easier within a full 360-degree shot.
Lenovo launched more than one new devices at IFA 2017. The New Miix 520 2-in-1 laptop and the Yoga 920 were two of them that are both powered by the latest 8th-generation Intel Core processors. In addition to these, Lenovo also launched its new Mixed Reality headset called Lenovo Explorer.
IFA was home to many innovations and one such was the robust and high-performance speaker. The catch here is that the speakers are waterproof and lets the user take them up to 2 meters inside water. It also allows you to place your phone inside a compartment in the speaker and play your own songs and charge your phone.
The CAT S41 is as unique as any phone can get. The phone is waterproof and can be taken underwater up to 2 meters. It also allows the user to take photos and videos underwater, like a GoPro. However, the most striking feature of the phone is that it can double up as a power bank with its 5000mAh battery. Thermal imaging in the camera is also another interesting feature of the brand.
Speaking about innovation, we also stumbled across a very cool gadget by Kelvin for wine lovers around the world. The device when put onto a wine bottle denotes the exact temp of the wine bottle through an app and also states the ideal temperature the wine needs to have in order to be perfect to savour it.
This is one find we are very excited about. The super power bank charges with the help of solar energy and thus rids you of the hassle of charging it. The solar panel also enables you to use a flashlight.
Some other interesting finds included Wraps earphones that double up as cool wearable around the wrist, Helmet headphones that play music, make phone calls, protect the head and also light up in the dark, Epson projector, Nokia watch and the Kodak Pixpro.
IFA 2017 was an enlightening experience as we came back with a headful of new innovation and bagful of gadgets. Berlin truly stands tall be it for its historical richness or a promising tech future and we await the next installment of IFA 2018 to savour the show and the city even more!
Watch the exclusive Day 1 coverage here-
And Day 2 coverage here-