Top picks at IFA 2019
Published on: 19th September 2019
Panasonic – Balance of Being
Panasonic stood out to the team by creating the only true immersive experience at the show. By presenting ‘Balance of Being’, they captivated personalised experiences showcasing a range of concepts to enhance your wellbeing, with well thought out human-centred solutions that combine design and technology. Products ranged from creating the ideal morning routine to monitoring and helping to improve skin health. Two anti-ageing products were in the line-up with “Grow”, which aids the reproduction of hair and “Tone” that rejuvenates skin condition. Concept “Shot” uses camera sensing and advanced AI, combined with a selection of fresh frozen fruit and vegetables to provide perfectly tailored nutrition.
Bosch - SmartGrow
Another example of the culture of health and wellbeing could be seen with companies launching new products, such as Bosch's SmartGrow, a comprehensive “Indoor Growing System”. Other brands, such as LG and Electrolux, were focusing on incremental developments to help produce freshness and reduce food waste.
Among the vast array of new products trying to get noticed; the quiet relaunch of Braun Audio was a welcome sight. Although not directly designed by Braun themselves, it’s an excellent example of in-keeping with their classic design principles. The simple and iconic design brought the speaker back to modern times, which was easy to see whilst displayed next to their original LE from 1969.
Samsung – Technology Innovations
Samsung's position as a technology innovator was clear to see this year, with a relaunch of the Galaxy Fold smartphone demonstrating Samsung’s determination to develop flexible screen technology. Although we are sceptical of the user benefit, it does, however, have the potential negate the need for a separate tablet.
Another notable example was a modular fridge system that is as much about design as it is about keeping things cool. This was showcased through artist collaborations, demonstrating the potential for individuality.
Finally, Samsung developed a well-executed 'Air Dresser' exploring how we may take better care of our most precious garments. Other companies such as LG and Haier had developed similar products, however, in our eyes Samsung won our vote with the ability to choose between two different sizes (3 or 5 garment versions), with the 5 garment version providing extra length for dresses and trousers. Whilst demanding space and likely to be out of budget for the average homeowner, we do see the potential and benefits for implementation in premium hotels.
A prevalent rise in the appearance of scooters provided an opportunity for many established and start-up brands to enter the crowded space of e-mobility.
Notably, Segway-Ninebot came across as the market leader, particularly for their refined designs and newly unveiled self-drive T60 e-scooter, with a range of 65km (40miles), which also returns to its charging station. The stand also stood out amongst the crowd for their carefully branded display, with a test track, which allowed the public to experience a range of their scooters and karts.
Despite a surge in e-mobility, it appeared companies are trying to compete on cost, rather than investing in new developments to differentiate themselves dramatically from each other.
Based on our trip in Berlin however, it is still yet to be seen whether the public will invest in their own personal e-scooters, or if they will continue to use rental schemes.
IoT - Connected Intelligence
The connected home continued to dominate the show with all major manufacturers appearing to offer their connected ecosystems - some enhancing these offerings with added AI this year. The presence of Google Assistant and Alexa at the show was comprehensive and highlighted their influence on the rest of the appliance market.
Rather than simply presenting revised products with connected capabilities, the focus this year was on increased intelligence. Brand ecosystems are aiming to build connected intelligence with data to deliver these new product experiences.