Smart Devices, Artificial Intelligence and 8K TV – IFA NEXT

Smart and connected devices for the home, AI applications that are deeply integrated in consumer electronics and wellness products, and TVs with ever better screen quality are among the big trendsetters that will dominate IFA 2018, the world’s most important trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances. At IFA’s Global Press Conference in Rome, journalists had a chance to get an early sneak peek of some of the products that will wow trade visitors and consumers alike when the show opens its gates to the public from the 31st of August to the 5th of September, 2018.

Interest in what IFA has to offer was unprecedented, with a record number of more than 360 journalists and industry partners attending the two-day media event, packed with power briefings from top brands in consumer electronics and home appliances, and an in-depth look at key industry trends from IFA, industry association gfu and research and analytics partner gfk.

The Global Press Conference was also an opportunity to celebrate the success of IFA NEXT, the innovation platform for startups, research institutes and companies, which premiered at IFA 2017. This year, IFA NEXT will grow significantly, with even more dedicated space in Hall 26.

IFA Global Markets is also set for further growth. The event brings together suppliers, component manufacturers, OEMs and ODMs with a broad range of potential customers, all at a dedicated space at STATION Berlin near Potsdamer Platz. IFA Global Markets has quickly evolved to become Europe’s largest sourcing show for the consumer electronics sector.

A new topic at IFA 2018 will be Shift AUTOMOTIVE, the new biannual convention on the future of mobility, which explores how new automotive technologies are changing the way we think, live, and drive. Shift AUTOMOTIVE is a joint venture of the Geneva International Motor Show, Palexpo, IFA, and Messe Berlin. The first Shift AUTOMOTIVE will take place on the 4th and 5th of September 2018, alongside IFA in Berlin, followed by the Shift AUTOMOTIVE in Geneva in March 2019.

Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin, said: “Technology mega-trends are driving innovation, with components that are ever smaller and ever more powerful, which in turn power emerging technologies like voice control and artificial intelligence. IFA is the convener for all this innovation, it’s the connecting tissue for the global technology ecosystem. That’s because it’s not just one sector innovating, but seven, eight or nine different industries that all try to solve the same problems and push the edge of innovation. Each industry brings its own knowledge, insights and skills to the table. All these industries learn from each other, they inspire each other. That’s co-innovation at its best.”

Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman of the supervisory board of the IFA organiser, gfu Consumer and Home Electronics, said: “Products and product categories are ever more connected. In our everyday lives, we can see the immediate impact in Consumer Electronics and Home Appliances, and that’s why IFA is the best place and platform to explore and showcase these big technology trends. No other trade show meets the needs of leading brands, retailers, consumers and media so comprehensively as IFA does. The tenth anniversary of Home Appliances@IFA and the fact that IFA set a new record with an order volume of 4.7 billion euro demonstrate last year demonstrate why IFA is at the heart of innovation.”

Jürgen Boyny, Global Director Consumer Electronics, GfK Retail and Technology, commented on overall market developments: “It is the consumer who matters: Industry innovates to meet consumers’ needs; after all they are supposed to buy new products. Now that people are digitally connected, they are keen to make the most from this experience. Customers want to use the technology to the full, as quickly as possible. They want entertainment and communication, lifestyle and convenience. As soon as consumers can see and understand the use of an innovation, they are willing to pay for it.”

Georg Walkenbach, Member of ZVEI Managing Board of Directors, said: “We expect an ongoing positive market development for both segments of home appliances. Growth will continue in almost every country around the world, because the middle classes around the world keep increasing their spending. At the same time, new technologies and design trends are driving the growth potential in many product groups. A great example is the kitchen, where we see innovation in nearly every product category.”

IFA Executive Director, Jens Heithecker said: “From our IFA vantage point, we see the key trends across brands, start-ups, inventors, retailers and consumers. And what’s obvious to us is that we are at the tipping point for a dramatic acceleration of innovation, driven by technology megatrends and ever closer co-operation across the whole industry ecosystem. This will kickstart growth, transform our lives and will soon give the term “consumer electronics” a completely new meaning.”

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