If you want all the hottest new tech gathered in one place, you want IFA.
CNET spent the week in Berlin for this year’s edition of the long-enduring tech trade show to find out what we’ll be talking about over the next 12 months.
featured companies coming up with a vast range of increasingly connected, increasingly smart and increasingly voice-controlled devices. Amazon’s Alexa dominated the show by appearing in a wealth of products that talk back to you, while products in the burgeoning smart home section ranged from the very useful to the increasingly wacky (like appliances with multiple doors and a mobile mini fridge that trundles round after you).
As with, Alexa has been the talk of the show, so to speak. We’ve counted 24 products (so far) introducing Alexa support here. Third-party device support for Alexa has flourished in the US, and the trend appears to be continuing in Germany. You can ask smart speakers, docks and TVs like the or to play music or movies, or you can order robots like the vacuum and to take care of your chores. Here’s a .
Amazon also announced this week that, a rival voice system. A few products also opted to integrate multiple voice systems: The and smartphones, for instance, offer Alexa as well as Google Assistant. Here’s a .
Then there’s audio brand Harman, which has elected to put Alexa into the high-endspeaker and Google Assistant into the cheaper JBL Link — make of that what you will.
If you’re an aspiring or full-time YouTuber or Instagrammer, the LG V30 may be the phone for you thanks to its nifty video and photo features.
For the rest of us, the feature-packed Moto X4 does a little bit of everything. It has two cameras (with flash for selfies), water-proofing, Amazon Alexa and Bluetooth that connects to four speakers or headphones to get the party started.
Moto’s X4 makes Bluetooth amazing again
The Moto X4 is more than just the first Motorola phone with Amazon’s Alexa app, it’s also the first phone to be able to wirelessly stream music to up to four devices simultaneously.
And while voice-controlled smartphones are hurtling into the next generation of interface, you’ll be pleased to hear BlackBerry is catching up with the last generation,for later this year.
Virtual, augmented, mixed reality
Let’s get real for a moment — but are we talking virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed reality? Various new headsets were launched at IFA to give you a range of VR, AR and MR.
Asus, Acer,and HP are all producing , but Lenovo’s sounds like the most fun. It has scored a deal to create a lightsaber controller for Star Wars Jedi swordfights in VR.
The appliance side of the show held a few surprises. Laundry care was a major highlight at almost every large-appliance booth. Samsung’sclaims to wash a standard load of clothes in half the time and with less energy than traditional washers. Electrolux says its will clean clothes you’d normally need to send out for dry cleaning.
In addition to its own “whisper quiet” washing machines, Bosch also demonstrated a concept device called. It’s a handheld scanner for both laundry and food items that determines what they’re made of and then sends cleaning or cooking instructions, respectively, to appliances around your home.
Bosch’s X-Spect scanner concept is like a tricorder for your clothes
This handheld scanner from Bosch has potential as a laundry assistant and even a nutrition aid.
For the kitchen,was one of the most impressive things we saw here. It uses a combination of electromagnetic waves, a convection fan and traditional radiant heating elements to cook food with impressive precision. One demo included putting a whole filet of salmon in the oven, but then only cooking one half of it (the other half was prepared ceviche-style). That’s a Europe-only design for now.
Haier also showed off a refrigerator with five —— doors.
Robot vacuums were everywhere. Theand stand out for their built-in cameras. Not only can they clean your house, they also work as security devices that transmit a live video feed from inside your home.
Special props go to Panasonic. Itslaundry and concepts might never become products you see at the store, but it’s hard not to love a fridge that will roll up to you and deliver cold sake.
Headphones, earbuds and AirPod competitors
Wires are so last century. Encouraged by Apple’s ditching of the traditional headphone jack in recent iPhones, audio manufacturers launched a range of wireless headphones and earbuds at IFA.
Many have features Apple’sdon’t have. Samsung led the way with new boasting improved battery life and a heart rate monitor, not to mention a striking hot-pink option.
The wirelessearpods also include active noise cancelling, another feature Apple can’t match.
If you don’t trust entirely wireless earbuds or just have funny shaped lugholes, we saw a few sets of neckband headphones like the, or with Siri and Google Assistant. Neckband headphones are perfect if you want to both enjoy wireless freedom and look like a massive dork.
Computers, laptops and tablets
One piece of big news is the arrival of a wave of laptops with eighth-generation Intel Core processors. Asus, Acer and Dell are all making devices containing the fateful eight.
Theis also big news — and that’s meant literally because it’s massive. It lights up, it’s super-powerful and it’s got wheels.
Acer went to the other extreme with theblack edition, a slender tablet that somehow finds room for discrete Nvidia MX150 graphics. Other thin devices include the and .
- swim-proof fitness watches
- OLED television with motorized stand and built-in soundbar
- 360-degree camera
- drone with redesigned propellers that reduce noise and increase flight time
- with a special dial for Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator
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