IFA 2018: Smart in every respect

In Industry Events, Industry News On

This year’s IFA is booked up and boasts two fully occupied exhibition areas: the entire Berlin Exhibition Grounds as well as IFA Global Markets (for trade visitors only) at STATION Berlin on Gleisdreieck are full up for 2018.

Boasting a wealth of innovative, smart new products, the world’s leading brands are once again showcasing their latest technology highlights: intelligent and interconnected home appliances, artificial intelligence and TVs featuring an even better picture quality are just some of the big trends at IFA 2018.

This year, IFA will continue to expand and build on its standing as an international platform and meeting place. Furthermore, IFA has long established itself as the world’s largest trade show for home appliances, and this year the industry is celebrating its tenth participation in the event. Since the launch of Home Appliances@IFA 2008 the number of companies exhibiting small and major domestic appliances has trebled.

IFA organisers gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH board chairman Hans-Joachim Kamp commented: “IFA’s success is impressive proof of the show’s long-term ability to make forward-looking decisions and target specific audiences. Home appliance and consumer electronics products and markets are converging all the time. IFA was unique in recognising this trend at an early stage. The resultant success shows it has become the world’s leading platform for both markets.

“IFA is perfectly positioned to write another chapter in this unique success story. IFA does not follow short-term trends. Its strength lies instead in a clearly defined role, in which it fully satisfies the demands of exhibitors, retailers, trade visitors, the media and the public.”

This year IFA NEXT, the innovation hub at IFA, is taking place for the second time and has almost doubled its floor space in Hall 26. It also features a second stage for presenting products, technology and innovations. In short, in 2018 IFA NEXT boasts an even wider range of topics and program of events, and with 125 startups from 21 countries will present more innovations than ever before.

This year, voice recognition and artificial intelligence are key topics at IFA NEXT. The House of Smart Living, an installation that sets the standard for connected living, will bring this topic closer to visitors: be it the coffee machine, digital media or energy management, everything reacts to voice commands, while a background learning process ensures machines automatically adapt every system to users’ needs. The House of Smart Living is part of a combined presentation organized by ZVEI, VDE and ZVEH (under the aegis of ZVEH – the German Association of Electrical and IT Professions).

IFA NEXT is also setting the tone with a wide range of topics. This is the first time the Shift AUTOMOTIVE convention will be taking place there, featuring keynotes, panel discussions and motivational speeches on the future of networked mobility. Shift AUTOMOTIVE puts consumers’ needs first and shows how new technology is changing people’s lives, thinking and the way they travel.

Messe Berlin chief executive Dr Christian Göke noted: “For us, co-innovation is the interplay of different industries, such as Shift AUTOMOTIVE, where car manufacturers and electronics companies jointly discuss the challenges of the future of mobility.”

As well as the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, which in 2018 are exclusively reserved for product brands, IFA is again occupying 20,000 square meters of additional exhibition space at STATION Berlin, near Potsdamer Platz. From September 2 to 5 at the marketplace that is IFA Global Markets, which is open exclusively to trade visitors, suppliers, component manufacturers and OEMs/ODMs will be meeting customers and business partners from the consumer and home electronics markets.

IFA director Jens Heithecker commented: “IFA Global Markets will present a selection of the most innovative components and software solutions. They represent a vital basis for globally successful product specifications in the consumer and home electronics markets and consequently for IFA as well. We are delighted to have established IFA Global Markets as the largest and most important European sourcing market and as a significant part of IFA.”

Industry trends

Visitors to this year’s IFA will be able to admire screens with a resolution of 8K, flexible displays that can be rolled up like a window blind, large video walls that use a combination of red, green and blue luminous diodes to produce each spot of colour, and new HDR technology. The ongoing development of voice commands is another exciting area, and virtual assistants utilising such systems will become an established feature of many more types of equipment: in a “traditional” form in televisions, sound systems, soundbars and headphones, as well as in an increasing number of small and major domestic appliances.

Developments taking place in the home appliance sector will include the ever-increasing interconnectedness of various electrical appliances, resulting in products that are even smarter and more multifaceted. This year such developments will bring further improvements to the already high level of functionality of interconnected appliances.

Interconnected devices can exchange information and register personal habits. Equipped with this information they can then suggest and implement improvements and optimisations. In this way the users of interconnected devices can save time as well as benefiting from increased capacities and resources. They can also receive a wealth of advice, for example, about saving energy or clothing care, as well as new recipes and new ways of preparing meals.

Consequently, in the fields of consumer electronics and home appliances, the two dominant trends of voice control and artificial intelligence (AI) in particular will have a far-reaching influence on IFA 2018.

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