New products and trends in consumer electronics and home appliances are at show this time every year in Berlin. Zenit Design went to the IFA 2016 fair to get inspiration, and here are some of our findings:
Lots of companies had some kind of VR technology in their booths. Either they develop these kind of products, or have them just to attract booth visitors. The VR technology ranged from simple 15 EUR goggles that you attach to your phone to complete battery driven gaming systems that implements augmented reality to enhance the gaming experience. In a few cases we saw VR combined with physical exercise in order to make workout more fun.
In terms of hifi-products a lot of them look and offer what you expect when you walk into any regular hifi store today, however we saw a tendency to allow the hifi products to act more as pieces of furniture and to take up space in the home environment instead of for example hanging flat on the wall and be a slim as possible, which has been the TV trend for several years.
We saw two major categories of wearables. The first one is the kind of wearable that looks high tech and offers loads of functions and solutions. The second category in general has less functionality and strives to resemble more of an accessory. In the watch category you can now see lots of high tech smartwatches developed by companies such as Samsung, while the second ”accessory” category is developed by traditional watch brands such as Skagen.
Another topic at the IFA fair we like to call the ”intelligent home”. Lots of kitchen appliances such as ovens and fridges had interactive displays, cameras that monitor the quality of your food and so on, all connected via bluetooth, wifi or both. In order to simplify the interaction between the user and the ”intelligent home” there were also some examples of helping robots. These robots can tell the coffee machine to make you a cup or show you images of what’s inside your fridge so you know what you need to purchase for dinner.
Air purifiers and other devices related to air quality was a common sight at this years fair, mostly developed by asian companies. Perhaps because this problem is larger in Asia than in Europe at the moment but we believe the trend is that these products will be more common in Europe in the future.
A lot of startup companies also exhibited. In general, since they produce in small scale in the beginning, they focus perhaps even more than the larger ones, on sustainable, high quality materials. A common topic this year was mobile solar powered induction charging. Something that we hope and think we will see more of further on.