The IFA Global Press Conference: Road to IFA Berlin 2017

We were one of the 300 journalists from all across the globe to attend the IFA Global Press Conference in Lisbon, a precursor to the main IFA show in Berlin later in September this year. We had the chance of previewing the trends that would be discussed more in-depth in the coming IFA, and here are some note-worthy ones.

Chinese rules
The Chinese love their innovation, if we were to judge by the seven million smart washing machines sold in China in 2016. The Chinese also have a hunger for wearable tech and mobile pay use, with demands projected to be as big as North America – both countries own 23% of the tech pie, followed by western Europe with 16%.

Reel deal
Despite the popularity of Netflix (though to be fair, we can also watch Netflix on the telly), consumers still love their televisions. However, clunky TV sets are a thing of the past; even though bigger is better in terms of screen size, it is getting slimmer and blending more into their environment. Samsung shared a sneak preview of their Frame TV and it looked exactly like its namesake – a picture frame. Plus, it doesn’t even come with meddlesome cabling and wires, which is a good thing, since we also learned that more are opting to wall-mount their television sets.

Talk to the… gadget
Move aside Siri, for you’re no longer the star of the show. Here, we experienced how the future is like, with voice control functionality playing a big part. From your electric toothbrush to your oven, everything can be summoned at the sound of your voice. We won’t be surprised if humans no longer have to physically clean themselves – all it takes is a waterproof room, voice-controlled showerheads and five minutes.

Virtual world
If you’re a serious gamer with all the full gaming works at home, you’ll know the importance of VR. Suddenly, Counter Strike isn’t quite the same once you’ve had the chance to experience an immersive gaming experience. According to a research carried out on 1,268 respondents in the UK, VR owners (basically those with headsets) are mostly avid gamers who bought their VR gear to elevate their gaming experience.

Voice on, voice off
Smart homes systems are on the rise, and is increasingly sought after by the millennial demographic. Owing to advanced voice recognition technologies and user intention and context-algorithms, voice automated home entertainment systems allow for verbal commands to control automation functions and applications. These systems help users achieve greater convenience and utilities savings.

Interpersonal communication may soon become a distant memory with the replacement of humans with bots. Pepper is the first humanoid robot capable of recognising principal human emotions and adapting his behaviour to the mood of his interlocutor. More than 140 SoftBank Mobile stores in Japan are using Pepper as a new method of communicating with and welcoming their customers.

The IFA is the world’s meeting place for quality technology and product advances and more consumer electronics and home appliances innovations can be expected during the upcoming trade show in Berlin from Sep 1-6.

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