IFA 2020 – Trading the show for online

Known for its sprawling halls, 2,000 + exhibitors and over a quarter of a million visitors passing through its doors each year, IFA, like most of us, needed to reduce the amount of people it had meeting under one roof.

While a hardy 200 exhibitors and 4,000 invited retailers, journalists, analysts and comms people still made sure IFA existed in physical form, the majority of announcements were moved online. While it’s a necessity given the current times, it’ll be interesting to see how this affects the future of trade shows. While you always think you will never miss dashing from booth-to-booth, feeling perpetually lost and always regretting that last drink at Harry’s – to be honest, we did!

Regardless, IFA, as always, provided us with an insight into trends and products which will be changing the lives of consumers in the coming months and years. We’ve picked out our five favourites below.

Smart masks

Masks are now part of the ‘phone, keys and wallet’ essential checklist before you leave the house. But as most will agree, the single use ones that litter the streets are becoming a problem. This is where LG’s PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier solution comes in.

Released towards the end of the year, the smart mask is connected to a companion app which alerts users when the detachable filters need changing. The battery life ranges between 2-8 hours, depending on air intake, and the storage case contains a UV-LED light to kill any germs on the exterior.

Tech for new Tech Owls

‘Tech Owls’ – early adopters from older age brackets – is a trend we picked out in our Silver Streamers blog earlier this year. Coupled with older technophobes becoming Zoom experts since the pandemic, it seems only natural that these generations will start diving into other tech territories.

Created with seniors in mind, the TCL MoveTime Family Watch carries all the expected smartwatch features, including simple navigation, activity tracking, support for text and voice messages, and sleep tracking.

Although we can’t imagine the Tech Owls will think they need such features, the watch also provides automatic fall detection, emergency alerts and location tracking which can alert family members to any problems.

Ambiance at home

With live music venues, theatres and cinemas either closed or severely restricted experiences, it is no surprise tech companies are looking to replicate the experience for consumers.

One of the best received gadgets this IFA, the Philips Hue Play gradient lightstrip looks to bring immersive experiences to front rooms like never before. While the concept has been growing in adoption recently, the Hue Play features individually changing full-colour LEDs, which allows each to be tuned to a different colour and match different parts of the display it’s attached to – something previous Hue lightstrips were unable to do. Perfect for movie nights and Glastonbury 2008 reruns.

Ready, Steady, Cookit

IFA was awash with smart home goods – but it was the food appliances which stood out to us. Think you became a master chef during lockdown? Well it’s likely the Bosch Cookit can do everything you can – with half the stress and none of the mess.

The connected food processor/cooker hybrid is all your kitchen appliances in one. With a three-litre capacity, it can cook, steam, sauté, crisp, fry and caramelise a whole range of food. Connected through the Bosch app, it has three settings – manual, guided and automatic – meaning you can be involved or hands-off as you like. And of course, it’s Alexa compatible.

So, till next year, IFA.

For once we’ll actually look forward to flying into Berlin Tegel.