The IFA, the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, took place in Berlin at the beginning of September. From robots for animals to connected fridges and even 5G, the 2019 trade fair showcased a wealth of innovations. Here are some of the most original.
The Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA) is one of the world’s most eagerly-awaited technology trade shows every year. This is where the newest, most cutting-edge technologies are presented, whether they are built for a specific use or just as a gadget. The 2019 edition of this international trade show, which was held from 6th to 11th September, certainly delivered in terms of surprises. From robots for animals to voice-activated ovens, here are this year’s star products.
A robot to look after your pet
If you don’t have time to play with your cat or walk your dog, Californian start-up Varram has just the thing you need. This year, they presented their “Pet Fitness” robot, which will take care of your pet for you.
Using a smartphone app, you can give the device instructions. You can even programme exercises to stimulate your pet, who will be spurred on by the promise of treats that fall from the oval-shaped robot.
AI in the home
Artificial intelligence is everywhere, even in our homes. All modern connected objects – from ovens to fridges to washing machines – use it. Siemens’ Home Connect system offers a whole range of intelligent furniture items that interact with one another. The brand have developed an intelligent fridge which, thanks to cameras fitted inside, suggests recipes and writes your shopping list for you.
Once you have prepared your meal, you can activate the oven with a voice command, and it will already have heated up to cooking temperature. In the neighbouring room, your washing machine will record the amount of humidity in your clothes and transmit the information straight to the neighbouring tumble drier, tailoring the drying time accordingly.
The hotly-anticipated arrival of 5G
Despite the problems they have encountered, Huawei are determined to carry on developing 5G (fifth-generation cellular network technology). The Chinese company caused quite a stir at the 2019 IFA by presenting their new ultra-high-performance, energy-saving processor “Kirin 990” at the trade show opening.
Installed on a tiny chip (SoC) and introduced as “the most powerful processor on the market”, it will be installed on the brand’s very latest smartphone, the Mate 30. The phone will go on sale worldwide in late September. This was a world first: until now, manufacturers had to put together several components in order to connect to the network of tomorrow.
But the Chinese firm is currently under great strain. The United States are putting pressure on their trade allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks. Washington fears that this new technology will be used by China to spy on foreign countries. For their part, Samsung presented their famous "5G Fold" foldable smartphone.
Don’t forget to pee
Yes, some people need reminding! D-Free have designed an application that reminds you to go to the toilet. In reality, the innovation is primarily designed to help young children and the elderly, who often suffer from incontinence.
Using a sensor fitted onto the abdomen, the digital app can detect changes in the size of the bladder and how full it is. This enables the system to predict, using calculations, when the wearer will need to relieve themselves. Already available in France, the United States and Japan, this alert system could also be used to inform retirement home staff about their residents’ needs.
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