APPS & TECH

Tech Topics of Tomorrow | IFA 2016

As a geeky conscious consumer with a soft spot for scifi, after bringing you a glimpse on sustainability in electronics, today I look at key tech topics relevant for the future.

Booming:
IFA 2016 in numbers

ifa-2016-my-highlightsBecause some people like to crunch numbers!
1823 exhibitors
158,000 square meters of exhibition grounds with additional exhibition grounds added for the first time
64,000 international trade visitors

Innovation and
the world of tomorrow

Yes, there were gadgets you will read about for months to come, such as fancy Chinese drones that look like something Daenerys Stormborn would throw into fire to hatch; brand new action cams, the latest in selfie sticks, intelligent paper, lots of different wellness and health focussed products, and so much more. The expo was an Eldorado for food bloggers with cooking events, smart kitchen appliances and smoothie bars.

But let’s not be razzle-dazzled by the sheer amount of cool and fun gadgets and intelligent appliances (we’ll see them in stores in time for Christmas anyway), for there were some key topics of tech innovation that were present at the expo that we as consumers need to wrap our minds around before anything else:

Internet of things & Smart world

Virtual reality & Mixed reality

Artificial intelligence

Digitalisation

Data ownership

These are topics we mustn’t hand over to companies and politicians to exclusively deal with because of how deeply they affect our society’s future.

And finally:
Impressed / Not impressed

A few very personal thoughts!

I WAS QUITE IMPRESSED BY…

impressed-maggie1)…the OLED display tunnel by LG. It was a highlight and absolutely not easy to pass without getting knocked over by over-eager camera men! You can watch the tunnel in its starlit and whale-watching glory on YouTube.

2) Impressive: the new Philips HUE lamps. In the casa BEAUTYCALYPSE, we’ve been using the HUE bulbs and app to help us transform from owls into larks. There is a dimmed sunset light theme starting at sunset, that turns into a warm pinkish red one hour prior to bedtime: a soft and pleasant signal to switch off those blue light devices!ifa-2016-philips-hue

3) For the win: the super energy-efficient refrigerators suitable for vegans or vegetarians like the A+++ Bluperformance series by Liebherr. ifa-2016-lg-bluperformanceAnother “cool” highlight: LG have introduced a Windows 10 refrigerator with InstaView, a really useful digital replacement for ye olde fridge magnets – one that turns semi-transparent by one knock of your foot to show you the contents (no cam involved).

THINGS I WAS NOT IMPRESSED BY

1) Smart watch attempts looking too retro for 2016 and too modern for retro. Apple Watch season 2 FTW, buggers!thomas-newton-not-impressed

2) Where art thou, sustainability talks, workshops, presentations? I couldn’t find you, and I went searching. Maybe you hid all too well?

3) And then there was Amazon’s Dash button – the best example for a clash between the high standards of European consumer protection and the futuristic ideas of cultivating the perfect consumer.

And such were my personal IFA 2016 highlights and impressions. I hope you were entertained, inspired and found some food for thought.
So, what tech topic shall we look at next, gang?
Are you team Internet of things? Do you trust Stephen Hawking and Steve Wozniac when it comes to the dangers of AI? Or are you a glowing fan of total digitalisation? Tell me in the comments!

12 replies »

  1. Visiting 158,000 square meters is a workout, I can tell you. Even walking just through some corners was exhausting during the press day…

    I love the idea with the fridge and InstaView, however I will check out the A+++ Bluperformance series by Liebherr. Sound very promising.

    P.S.
    The last gif ♡

    • It’s not only a workout, it’s also somehow a 3D IQ test kind of maze 😀 sometimes super confusing (I NEVER can make my way from the corner on the entrance North to hall 7) and it was also full of freebie hunting “HaSiWe” folks.

    • Accessibility is an excellent point when it comes to tech! Again Apple is unbeatable – IMHO, my mother for example gets FaceTime much better than she gets Skype, and she’s definitely happier with an iPad than she ever was with a PC/ Windows laptop.
      Smart Living: I heard about this project earlier because they claim to be sustainable architects/ construction company/ developers but didn’t hear any news whether it’s actually evolving or not. Now with a big company on board… I think I’ll get in touch with the project management 🙂

      • One of my elderly relatives had a stroke recently and is now finding his laptop difficult to use. I have suggested he try an iPad or tablet. I didn’t know these smart living projects existed until I heard about the project in Berlin. It will be good to see what the outcomes are.

        • As our society gets older, I find there are not enough innovations to make aging with tech easier. And I sure don’t mean talking robot servants (that might as well kill us all), I mean simple, clever alterations.
          I will keep you posted 😉

  2. So there are two things to worry about in terms of ethics in electronics and technology: how is it made? What does it do to us? Good to have this topic here.