Trends of The IFA 2014 – all a Bit Crooked

Like every year in late summer, the international radio exhibition takes place in Berlin. All reputable manufacturers present their latest equipment and prototypes. Unlike rent as the stands of small manufacturers, the big companies like Samsung, LG, and Panasonic all halls, to present their latest technology.

Who thinks on the IFA there is only smart phones and tablet, is quite wrong. The trends include other product categories this year. On the one hand, the focus is on the portable technology, so the wearables and the intelligent home.

Every second product description has the name “Smart”. New smartphones still gave it to marvel at.


Activity tracker pabulum

A trend which has been slightly longer pauses, refers to the technology, the human body to bear. Last year, the activity tracker have made the race. Almost every major manufacturer has a product portfolio now that the steps count, watching the sleeping and sometimes even more.

We have had up to now two machines in a fatigue test and were not exactly impressed by both. When the jawbone Up24, we lacked the notification function. The Sony?smart band, the associated app was not so clear. We also would have liked a display. We have imported the smart Vidonn X 5 band from China. It could but I don’t like cut in the test.

At the IFA, we found a few devices that are only interesting additional functions. The TalkBand from Huawei can be rebuilt with two handles on a Bluetooth headset. After the phone call, the small device will disappear in the bracelet and serves as a clock and activity tracker with OLED display. How good is the quality of the conversation, we could not test unfortunately.

The Withings Activite is a smart band of a different kind. Although you would have to say watch this device. In a classic design a watch a full-fledged activity tracker is hidden, which on the one hand reflects the degree of movement a day through a pointer on the clock and on the other hand in an app on yourSmartphone. The watch but not noticeable, that the technology is installed. Also the battery can not remember that. Is a battery that must be replaced after half a year.

In the first model of the Sony smart bands, only 3 small white LEDs were used to display the status. In the new model, a relatively large E-Ink display is installed which consumes little power and can be read perfectly in the blazing sun.

All the other activity tracker simply lost in the mass of devices on the market. Replaced the smart wristbands could soon by Smartwatches that work with Android wear or he iWatch from the House of Apple.

Smartwatches with Android wear

After Google has unveiled the operating system for small computers on the wrist at the beginning of the year, it was for several months to buy only two models. The G watch from LG and the gear live from Samsung. The selection and functions were severely limited. With the IFA a few changes that days before the fair?LG?has a round Smartwatch announced on the first press day round Smartwatch was finally officially presented by Motorola.

And also smart watches with square displays were presented. ASUS brings a clock made of noble materials with curved display glass and leather strap on the market. Sony has unveiled the Smartwatch 3 that should appeal to the customers with their sleek, sporty exterior.

Curved display

Hard to miss: find everywhere on the fair curved displays. Whether on TV, in the Smartwatch or your Smartphone. Crooked displays are in.

Right at the entrance to the LG Hall, you are welcomed by a front of several TVs in the series. And no normal TVs. Screens with more than one metre diagonal, resolutions of 4 K and concave displays. This should create an even better perspective the user and further draw the viewer into the picture. Viewed from the front that works out quite well, this effect but quickly goes back and complicates the view on the screen from the side.

Samsung goes a step further and shows a device in the 21:9 cinema format, which turns upon request by a straight into a curved screen. That’s fascinated, uninteresting for household use for juicier prices.

A number less than it’s bent. We have discovered several models of curved computer screens at the IFA in Berlin. Especially in 21:9 format, it is definitely great to play. And even when the text editing such screens can score. All 4 DIN-A4 pages fit on such screens side by side.

Only a small part of the screen is curved at the touch of edge. Samsung’s offshoot of the latest note 4 has an extra screen that is towards curved outwards to the right edge of the display. On the additional area information, notifications, and useful tools can show even with closed case.

A number is smaller the curved display of the gear S from Samsung. The latest Smartwatch by Samsung has a relatively large, curved screen. But vice versa, this is bent as the monitors, so that the clock can snuggle up better on the wrist. That worked quite well in the short test. For my taste the clock looks but just too futuristic to have them all the time on your wrist.

Virtual reality

There are currently two large manufacturers which are competing for the favor of the buyer. The manufacturer of the oculus rift and Samsung with the new gear VR (virtual reality) represented already on the market.

Both units are oversized sunglasses, which the user sets up and takes him over two displays in a virtual reality. So the producers imagine. In practice, both models can not really convincing. The images are too pixelated, which limits opportunities. But the idea is good, lacking only a few years of development work.

4 K

Also last year on everyone’s lips. Video recording and playback of content with a 4 k resolution. But this year, the technology has progressed further and the first products for the Otto Normalverbaucher are affordable. Many new smartphones can record videos in the ultra-sharp resolution. 4 K is a standard, which is probably very quickly spreading in the future. It is also believed that the American video stream service Netflix also in Germany series and movies in 4 K stream wants.

Smart Home

Already for over a year in the trend: the Internet and the network of things. Manufacturers want all appliances, lights and security hardware in house app can be operated and controlled remotely.

Meanwhile, a variety of systems on the market have established themselves. The light can be adjusted with Philips hue color, comes the music wirelessly from Sonos speakers and turn the heating and washing machine on the way home. The problem is that manufacturers not yet on a common interface have agreed. So, the user must use another app for each function. The whole system is impractical and uncomfortable.

Bright light at the end of the tunnel is not far. The manufacturer of Apple and Google have announced this year both on their developer conferences interfaces that can use other manufacturers to be able to operate all devices from a single location. We must not wait until the smart House can be also easily operated.