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April 27, 2019

Consumer electronics trends at IFA 2019

Artificial intelligence, mobile devices for tomorrow’s 5G networks, flexible screens, 360-degree sound and wireless music streamed from vinyl grooves

As the world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics, IFA will present the trends that inspire millions of customers’ Christmas shopping – as well as innovations that go far beyond today’s horizons – from 06 to 11 September 2019.

This year artificial intelligence (AI) will be setting the tone for exciting trends: many types of devices make use of self-teaching digital systems and are able to improve their performance over time. Voice-controlled systems for example can continually upgrade their performance. AI is built into the latest generation of 8k screens so that they can perfectly adapt today’s image resolutions to the new, ultra-sharp pixel grid. It also helps make the sound as good as the images: intelligent software can recognize whether the sound comes from a football stadium, a newsroom or a concert hall and make corresponding adjustments.

5G, the technology for tomorrow’s superfast communication networks, is the dominant feature of other innovative trends. The first market-ready 5G smartphones will be on show at IFA 2019, with other mobile devices to follow soon.

Innovative screen technology continues to set the tone in spectacular fashion at IFA -flexible OLED screens for instance: visitors to IFA can look forward to large TVs that can be rolled up and stowed away in a neat cabinet as well as tablets that can be folded in half to make a handy smartphone. Prototypes will offer a foretaste of the mobile phone of the future, looking like a large bracelet adorning one’s wrist. Other prototype screens are able to switch to ‘transparent mode’, if desired, and resemble a clear window pane until the device software puts colorful images onto the screen again.

Micro LEDs, also known as Crystal LEDs, represent another type of screen technology with good prospects. These displays create images using color crystal LEDs – and are already spawning an entire new range of products: IFA will be showing Micro LED displays which can be transformed into tiles of varying shapes and sizes.

A new generation of projectors is now capable of screening mega-sized images. The ones made for convenient home use can project images from a very short distance close to the screen. Other fascinating models that can be easily installed in any location come in slim, high-sided, portable cabinets. They project light upwards onto folding mirrors, so that images can be positioned precisely onto a screen without complicated adjustments. New projectors that make use of separate red, green and blue laser beams as their light source promise spectacularly colorful images.

The wide range of soundbars that can create a home movie atmosphere with 3D sound formats are a perfect match for these large images. But that is not all: the latest trend is 360-degree sound. Loudspeakers that acoustically cover the farthest corner of the room give the term surround sound a whole new meaning.

Wireless speakers continue to be among the most popular consumer electronics items. Many of them can be connected up in multi-room systems, and they are all competing for the consumer’s attention with a growing range of streaming services – including those offering hi-fi quality music over the internet.

Turntables continue to be popular too. IFA will be reflecting this trend with new models that combine yesterday’s recording media with modern hi-fi concepts. The latest devices feature not only precision mechanics. Equipped with built-in pre-amplifiers and even Bluetooth music data transfer they also span a bridge to the modern world.