[Trendpaper] IFA Highlights 2017

As every year, various innovations, trends and products were presented at IFA the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances in Berlin. According to David B. Hofmann, mm1 Managing Partner and IoT Expert, voice assistants and smart home were this year’s focus topics.

Key trends from mm1’s perspective:

Voice Assistants: The most prominent trend of this year’s IFA is the integration of voice assistants, such as Amazon‘s „Alexa“, featuring a growing number of speakers and household devices. Whereas other providers such as Google, Microsoft and Samsung position themselves claiming their share of the market, Amazon presented a dedicated booth in IFA’s start-up area eager to further develop its dominance in this Segment. 

Smart Home: The control of devices via voice assistants, especially white goods, as well as linking devices from various brands to enable cross-application scenarios is becoming a central area of innovation. “The cooperation between Netatmo and Velux – world’s largest producer of roof windows – shows exemplary how we are getting closer to the vision of a real ‘smart home’“ says David B. Hofmann. “At the same time, the benefits of such solutions are still unclear to most consumers. For this reason, simple products with clear user benefit at fairly low retail price are among the winners in the current market phase“.

Virtual Reality & Smart TVs: Manufacturers of VR glasses target the mass market with a variety of new products for specific customer segments and use cases. The market for Smart TVs is dominated by incremental innovations, for instance, frame-less TV sets or 8K resolution.

Smartphones, Wearables & Connected Devices: Both Smartphones and Smart Watches showed limited revolutionary innovations, whereas other connected devices turned up for new use cases. In addition, increasing maturity of technologies such as eSIM enable the proliferation of stand-alone devices. 

Drones & Robots: Vacuum cleaning robots are equipped with voice control too, and additional sensors improve their intelligence. In the near future, robots will enter family homes. Drones have become mass market products and offer improved specs. 

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