As Europe’s largest electronics trade show, the IFA is a key date on the calendars on the world’s biggest consumer electrical brands. From the latest in TV technology to Smart washing machines and fridge freezers, the IFA’s umbrella spreads far and wide, and if you want to keep abreast of what’s what in the tech world, there is no better place to be.
This year’s event took place from the 4th to the 9th of September in its permanent residence, the ExpoCenter City in Berlin, Germany. Packed to the rafters with the newest gadgets and gizmos from the world’s top tech companies, we’re going to take a look at five of the brightest new stars set to hit the market in the next year or so.
Samsung’s ‘Ultra HD’ 4K Blu-ray player
Somewhat taking the wind out of Panasonic’s sails, Samsung showed off their first ever 4K Blu-ray player at IFA. Expected to launch any time between now and next spring – when Panasonic originally looked set to launch their machine – the format is expected to be a huge plus for those joining the ranks of Ultra HD TV owners. With 4K streaming still in its infancy (not to mention substandard broadband still plaguing large areas of the country), a disc based format will still be the best way to enjoy all the latest blockbusters at home on your big screen. Even better, these newer machines are still compatible with any older Blu-ray discs, too!
LG’s 4K HDR OLED Televisions
Combining all the advantages of an OLED with the highest available TV resolution currently available was an inevitability, but now that they’re set to launch with High Dynamic Range (HDR) compatibility, it looks like the contest for ‘world’s best TV’ might be a foregone conclusion. Designed to reproduce a much wider range of luminosity than standard TV, HDR is a visual attempt to recreate colours and brightness that are as close to ‘real life’ as possible. With OLED’s lack of a backlight to get in the way, the results should be truly exceptional.
The Sony Xperia Z5 4K Smartphone
The Japanese giants Sony are having a storming year on the TV front, with some of their nicest sets to hit shelves in a long time. With the PS4 also doing a roaring trade with gamers in the know, they’re hoping to give their flagging mobile industry a jump start with the release of their latest in the Xperia range, the Z5. Whilst all the usual Android platform perks are included, the key feature this time is the inclusion of a 4K display capable display. Sure, it isn’t 100% 4K compliant, with the screen usually displaying content in 1080p to save battery life, but any photos and films can be shown in glorious native 4K – a big step on the way to a true 4K phone hopefully following soon after!
Latest-Gen Smart Watches
With initial offerings from Motorola and of course Apple offering less than inspiring levels of performance, it’s encouraging to see manufacturers continuing to push on with this most modern of time-telling devices. Models from Huawei (China’s largest, and the world’s third largest mobile phone manufacturer), Samsung and LG all managed to get much closer to the svelte dimensions of more traditional watch designs, whilst improving performance and battery life along the way. TV control and other apps in the ‘Internet of Things’ eco-system should see big benefits from these upgrades.
The ‘Internet of Things’
As far as new buzz words and phrases go, you can expect to hear this one a great deal in the near future. A neat way of describing connectivity between standard household devices, the Internet of Things is what tech companies hope will infiltrate our lives both at home and elsewhere. From light switches to thermostats, fridge freezers to health equipment, all manner of products will link together to offer control from anywhere you might be in the world at the time. It’s only one step away from the out-of-control, homicidal robot house out of ’The Simpsons’ (voiced by Pierce Brosnan!), but hey, at least you’ll never accidentally leave your iron or lights on or flood everywhere with the bath left running!
Author – Chris, Liverpool store