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October 2019 ertonline.co.uk


Bottom left: The LG Styler, a personal steam clothes refresher for the bedroom. Bottom middle: LG’s InstaView refrigerator. Bottom right: Samsung demonstrating its range of customisable refrigerators.


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Blending in Based on Samsung research, which found that 55 per cent of millennials want a TV that blends in with their home decor, the manufacturing giant has responded by bringing colour and camouflage to the forefront of its line-up of TVs with new colours such as Ivy Green and Burgundy to its Serif TV range. There’s also the Frame TV range, so when the TV is off you can make a statement with Art Mode, for a £3.99 monthly subscription. And when the TV is on, QLED technology delivers over a billion shades of colour.


The colour initiative also extends to innovations in home appliances with Samsung BESPOKE, which is a range of customisable refrigerators responding to the brand’s belief that the line between furniture and home appliances continues to blur and the need to create ever-more adaptable home living solutions to suit a range of consumers’ preferences is the goal. Samsung, celebrating its 50th anniversary at IFA 2019, shows no sign of abating in its quest to set the standard many follow in innovation, connectivity and the future.


Connected tech


Looking beyond the TV category, voice control or AI was prevalent with many more CE brands this year. Almost every brand and category had either one or both of the two leading voice assistants becoming inbuilt and connected. The connected market is on the increase, no question, and this extends to white goods with 11.4 per cent of all MDAs sold in Western Europe


being connected, up from 4.8 per cent in the same period back in 2016. When you consider that in Q4 2018 connected MDAs in Asia Pacific accounted for 26.5 per cent of all MDAs sold, there are still growth opportunities for brands and retailers in the European market.


Making a statement about connected MDAs was LG with innovations that focused on the need for simplicity beyond merely voice and developing Vision Intelligence, taking AI and the Smart Home to another level. Therefore, my standout product at IFA this year was the LG Styler, a personal steam clothes refresher. Essentially a wardrobe type cleaner you can have in your bedroom and not necessarily confined to utility room, that you hang your garments within.


The vision pack installed into the Styler, a form


of AI, can detect the fabric type by scanning the material to determine the garments and how to launder it at the correct temperature effectively. It’s an intelligent and stylish appliance with a nod to science fiction which you could well have in your home very soon.


Whatever next? Unsurprisingly, there was also a lot of hype around 5G and while autonomous vehicles will rely on


the technology in the future, more immediately 5G is a transformative technology for the home, spearheading a multi-dimensional world connecting appliances, brands and people in real time with its fast bandwidth and reduced latency. It will provide an alternative to fixed wireless


internet making


things connect quickly, nicely and simply. The consensus at SHIFT, the two-day convention


at IFA Berlin exploring the Future of Mobility, was clear: “Smart cities and autonomous vehicles will be key components of our ‘mobility-as-a-service’ future, where cars are just one component of a broad mix of transport modes that we are using.”


Blast from the past Whilst IFA is all about showcasing the future, my favourite throwback product came from Sony with the Walkman 40th Anniversary edition. A welcome reminder, as the innovator once changed how ‘we’ listened on the move and created a category in the process that everybody copied and developed. IFA is about defining how we as human beings could or will live better lives through the adoption and acceptance of innovation. Long may this huge show continue to enable and encourage the creativity of brands to define the technology of the future.


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