What to expect at IFA 2018

We’re bound to see a whole buffet of new smartwatches and fitness trackers debut at IFA. Fossil, for example, usually brings hundreds of the things from the many brands that sit under its umbrella. That said, it’s shaping up to be a pretty fallow year for important, big-name launches.

Wearables isn’t the hot product category it was a few years ago, but it’s certainly not dead. Google has just redesigned its Fit app for Wear OS, and Fitbit announced the Charge 3 only a few days ago. Samsung also unveiled its new Galaxy Watch a couple of weeks back, but that’s all happened before IFA. And Google’s rumored Pixel smartwatches are thought to be holding tight for fall.

LG is said to be working on a new smartwatch and we’ve seen some interesting patents from Huawei recently, but rumors that wearables from these companies will break cover at IFA are too sketchy to be relied upon.

TV and audio

The acronyms 4K and HDR are soooo last year, though there will no doubt be walls of TVs at IFA labeled as such. Alongside some perhaps more-mundane launches, there’s fairly concrete evidence that Samsung will introduce an 8K QLED TV at this year’s show, even if we only get to see it looping an 8K clip shot specifically to wow passersby. Samsung will almost certainly bring its 146-inch 4K MicroLED The Wall TV to Berlin, too, since consumers will be able to buy it soon enough.

Rumor has it LG might show off an even bigger, 175-inch MicroLED TV at IFA, but it’s not guaranteed. Hopefully we’ll see some quirky stuff regardless — something along the lines of the ridiculous $16,000 moving TV from B&O or the neat and stylish Samsung Frame, both of which made an appearance last year.

You couldn’t walk the halls of IFA last year without running into a new pair of wireless earbuds, and it’ll be interesting to see whether that form factor is omnipresent in 2018. High-end headphones are a pretty common sight at IFA, though, so we’re confident on there being at least a few new sets of ear-pleasing cans debuting at this year’s show. We already know that RHA will be bringing along the world’s first planar magnetic wireless earphones, for example.

New speakers are also standard fare at IFA, but of course you daren’t release a home audio product without an AI assistant built in these days. We expect more of the same this year, though we’re keen to see whether Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant will be the most popular prisoner of choice.

Everything else

With the likes of Acer, Lenovo and ASUS showing up in Berlin, at least a few new laptops and hybrids are bound to be announced at the show. This isn’t a category renowned for innovation — not lately, anyway — but we’ll still get to see the latest hardware due out in the coming months. And you never know, something might surprise us.

NVIDIA’s just announced its latest round of graphics cards, but it’s probably a bit too early to see them showing up in laptops. The latest desktop models, however, feature VirtualLink, which is like an umbilical cord for VR headsets. It means a lone tether can feed facehuggers with all the power and data they need, and we’d be surprised if demos of the fresh tech weren’t available on the show floor.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: