As Europe’s biggest tech expo nears, many are waiting in anticipation for the end of August, when IFA 2018 finally arrives. Having played host to over 1,800 exhibitors in 2017, this year’s event promises to be even more impressive, and over the course of a week, the world’s biggest technology brands, and lesser known manufacturers, will gather to flex their innovative muscles - all determined to leave having stolen the show with their latest product announcements.
However, with over 150,000 square metres of floor to cover, it can all become very overwhelming very quickly. Amongst the conferences, conventions, events and concerts - indeed, James Blunt is performing on September 2 - there are a handful of huge brands expected to announce some of 2018’s most exciting products.
It doesn’t stop there, though. Yes, the global powerhouses will pick up the most coverage, but some of the most impressive innovation often comes from those that aren’t often in the limelight.
So where does that leave you? What can’t you afford to miss in the capital of Germany? It’s a lot of pressure, but here’s a few companies whose conferences you don’t want to be absent from...
Samsung Driving Forward with IoT
In previous years Samsung has used IFA as a platform to launch its latest tablet or smartphone, but considering that the Galaxy Note 9 was released earlier in August - along with the Galaxy Tab S4 and Galaxy Tab A 10.5, and the new Galaxy Smart Watch - it’s heavily expected that the Korean firm will focus on home appliances in Germany.
Now, you may think little of a fancy new fridge or washing machine, but having recently expressed interest in the Internet of Things (IoT), it wouldn’t be surprising if its new appliances utilised IoT in a move that could see the technology springboard further into the conscious of mainstream consumers. .
If that’s not enough, many are predicting that the previously mentioned (and already announced) handheld devices will be shown off in Germany, and the new Galaxy Smart Watch is expected to get a lot of attention; the wearable goes on sale on September 6.
Sony won’t Fix what isn’t Broken
Sony loves to steal the spotlight at IFA. In recent years it showcased its 4K technology, PSVR and even has its own dedicated hall to showcase its range of tech.
This year will be no different as rumours continue to grow of their intent to announce the Xperia XZ3. Expected to continue the new trend of Sony’s loop design, leaks from Japan make it seem as though Sony will keep the flagship phone’s predecessor’s footprint the same, but will make the XZ3 1mm thinner (at 10.1mm) and lighter.
It’s looking likely that the new Xperia will be brought to us at IFA, and you can expect many more new features to arrive with it.
Alongside the XZ3, Sony are expected to announce a set of new noise-cancelling headphones, the WH-1000x MH3. Finally, accompanying the phone and the headphones, we could well see the company’s new Master Series flagship OLED and LCD TV, that was only recently announced.
LG’s Artificially Intelligent Bedroom
LG’s two new Styler clothes steamers,the LG Styler ThinQ and the Styler Mirrored Glass Door, are upon us, and you can expect to see both models unveiled in Berlin.
While the Styler Mirrored Glass Door places more emphasis on design, the LG Styler ThinQ will be respondent to voice commands - being able to turn the steamer on and off, and select cycles (the steamer also suggests cycles) all with the ease of your vocal chords.
In other news, many believe the company will be releasing some smart, connected, artificially intelligent bedroom furniture, and while there has been no word on mobiles as of yet, the LFV40 could well be announced following the success of the LFV30 at last year’s IFA event.
Honor Could Steal Focus from the Big Players
IFA will present Honor with a brilliant opportunity to take some much deserved spotlight on such a big stage for the company. As a result of this, the Huawei sub-brand are rumoured to be preparing to release a new phone.
However, with the Honor Note 10 already out in the market (the model most were expecting to be saved for IFA), it could well be that they bring the HonorPlay to Europe. Already available in China, the 6.3 inch phone will be perfect for gamers, and is likely to be the pinnacle of Honor’s conference.
ASUS Teasing Innovative Genius
On the subject of gaming phones, one surprise candidate that could very well steal the show at the start of September is ASUS. Having already been teased about a ‘crazy fast’ and ‘crazy smart’ phone set to be released at IFA, speculation is mounting of the release of the ROG phone.
Short for Republic of Gaming, the ROG phone boasts some incredible specifications: an overclocked 845 chipset, AMOLED screen, Andreno 640GPV and 8gb RAM, with internal storage of 128gb or 512gb.
The product has already been announced, and IFA is where we all expect this revolutionary gaming phone to be released. Make sure not to miss it.
Amongst the TV’s phones and appliances, we may also see some brilliant innovation from the likes of DJI - having announced its latest drone, the Mavic 2, on August 23, the expectation is that the Chinese brand will showcase in Berlin.
Finally, with Insta360 having released its latest camera - the Insta360 Pro 2 - could the brand be waiting for Berlin to demonstrate its capabilities in person? The 360-degree camera specialist company makes an appearance at IFA every year, and the end of August presents the perfect opportunity for them to show off their latest product.
With so many announcements expecting at the end of August, excitement is high. No matter what kind of consumer technology takes your fancy, IFA will undoubtedly produce some incredible products, perfect for us all to sink our teeth into.
David Feakins is founder and CEO of Modus Brands.