IFA 2019: Momentum through #Co-innovation

IFA is once again a growth-engine for innovation – Fully-booked exhibition space – Japan, the first global partner of IFA NEXT – IFA Keynotes by global CEOs – SHIFT Automotive highlights the future of mobility – IFA Global Markets are firmly established

Berlin, 29 August 2019 – The world’s leading manufacturers and brands are coming to Berlin with a veritable flood of innovations to present their groundbreaking new products: Voice-controlled, networked devices for the smart home, artificial intelligence in increasingly more devices, televisions with amazing picture quality, foldable and flexible displays, and new forms of mobility are just some of the trends to see at IFA 2019.

IFA’s success continues impressively this year. Both the exhibition areas under the Radio Tower and the IFA Global Markets for suppliers and component manufacturers in the STATION Berlin space, exclusively available to trade visitors, are fully occupied. CEOs from Huawei, Qualcomm, Roku, and Arçelik will provide their answers to current challenges in technology and politics. Once again, IFA shows its exceptional appeal on the world stage as a leading global marketplace and meeting place for industries.

“IFA 2019 will again expose the major trends for products and devices for home appliances and consumer electronics and related industries. It will provide a overview of products and technologies that will influence our lifestyle in the future. At the same time, it’s also a meeting place for everyone involved in the market: industry and retail, trade visitors and the media, and of course, the general public – those for whom all products are ultimately developed and manufactured,” says Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of the supervisory board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, which organizes the IFA. Kamp continued: “By bringing everyone together at one trade show, the IFA is the most important platform of its kind in the world.”

“Today, more than ever, innovation is a collaborative effort. Countless individuals and many different companies contribute to new products and technologies. This is not surprising, as a wider range of industries and perspectives expands the potential for new ideas. In short, the wider the diversity, the greater the room for inspiration,” says Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin.

IFA NEXT features Japan at the forefront driving #co-innovation

IFA NEXT invites you to discover the broad diversity and strength of the Japanese culture of innovation. Japan is the first partner country for IFA NEXT and thus is dubbed an official “IFA Global Innovation Partner”.

Artificial intelligence, IoT – the Internet of Things – and the new 5G mobile network are just some of the topics in focus on the IFA NEXT global innovation stage in Hall 26. In the middle of the hall, the two presentation areas – the “Innovation Engines” – allow speakers to highlight and communicate more clearly the benefits of the exhibited product solutions, technologies and services. IFA NEXT will feature an exciting mix of start-ups, tech companies and research institutes.

IFA Next – A global stage for top industry topics

Ambitious and influential CEOs will present open, critical and perhaps controversial strategies for our digital future in their IFA keynotes.

Against a background of political and economic discussions, it will be particularly interesting to experience live presentations by both Chinese and American global players.

How and why 5G could be the technology that significantly changes IoT, autonomous cars and smart devices will be explained by Chengdon (Richard) Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group will explain why 5G could be the technology that significantly changes IoT, autonomous cars and smart devices (IFA Opening Keynote, September 6, 10:30 am). The president of the U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm, Christian Amon, also believes that 5G will fundamentally advance technology progress, ushering in the next “age of great invention” (IFA Keynote, September 6, 2 pm).

Anthony Wood, founder, chairman and CEO of Roku, Inc., the most successful challenger to Netflix and traditional TV, will speak about the visionary innovations that will further transform television (IFA Keynote, September 7 10:30 am).

With twelve global brands, Arçelik is the market leader in many countries, with two of the largest European household appliance brands, Beko and Grundig. Hakan Bulgurlu, CEO of Arçelik, will talk about his company’s strategies and its significant global position (IFA Keynote, 7 September, 2 pm)

The power of data is a major topic at the IFA+ Summit – the IFA’s congress about the future. Numerous international speakers will look at the development of disruptive technologies and analyze their impact on our digital future on 8-9 September.

Shalev Lifshitz, the 16-year-old “AI prodigy”, is a researcher in the field of artificial intelligence and one of the youngest entrepreneurs in the world. He develops artificial neural networks that aim to behave exactly like the human brain. Shalev also works at the SickKids Hospital in Toronto to help develop a computer-aided imaging system to accelerate diagnostics and the drug-discovery process.

Dr. Shermin Voshmgir is the founder of the BlockchainHub, an information hub and think tank based in Berlin, which promotes, analyzes and discusses the development of blockchain technology on an interdisciplinary basis worldwide. According to Voshmgir, blockchain has the potential to solve our data protection problems.

SHIFT Automotive mobility convention on 10-11 September

Start-ups, technology giants, car manufacturers and urban planners will come together to discuss how the latest technologies and future mobility concepts will change the way we live, work and drive.

Sarah-Jayne Williams, Head of Smart Mobility at Ford Europe, will present Ford’s latest research results in her presentation “Reimagining Urban Transport: Smart Vehicles in a Smart World”. She will explain how data will help transform urban transport.

Jay Ward, Creative Director of the Pixar animation franchise “CARS”, self-proclaimed car nerd and consultant for companies such as Audi, BMW, Mini and Renault, will be one of the keynote speakers at this year’s SHIFT Automotive. Ward looks at how the trend towards autonomous driving is changing the storytelling around cars, as well as both the driving experience and entertainment for passengers.

“We see #co-innovation – where innovators from various industries come together – as one of the core goals of IFA. It’s not about presenting the latest cars or technological developments – the focus here is on the concrete benefits for consumers. SHIFT Automotive is entering its second year and shows that we not only want to report on developments, but also to guide future trends in a targeted manner, “ says Jens Heithecker, IFA Executive Director.

Europe’s largest sourcing fair – IFA Global Markets

“Running in parallel to the exhibition for major brands under the Berlin Radio Tower, IFA Global Markets has established itself as Europe’s largest sourcing platform. With 20,000 square meters, this B2B marketplace is once again fully occupied,” says IFA director Dirk Koslowski.

IFA Global Markets is exclusively open to trade visitors, and is located in the STATION Berlin on 8-11 September, close to Potsdamer Platz. Suppliers, component manufacturers and OEMs/ODMs will meet with customers and partners from the consumer and home electronics industries.

Industry trends

Artificial intelligence, or AI for short, is setting the stage this year: many devices are making use of this technology to learn on their own, become increasingly powerful and offer consumers additional benefits. For example, AI is driving development in image scaling to 8K resolutions, voice control and audio optimization. IFA will also showcase the first 5G devices, powered by the technology for super-fast next-generation communication networks. 5G suppliers will present their expansion plans, outline use cases and show what can be expected from 5G in the medium term: very high bandwidths and delay-free communication.

Another clear trend is flexible displays for TVs, smartphones and tablets. In addition to numerous prototypes, there are already production models on display: a large-screen TV that can roll up, tablets that can be folded to half of their size and then function as a smartphone, are just two examples.

Surround sound formats and 360-degree sound from speakers that deliver an amazing listening experience, no matter where you are in a room, even up high, gives the term surround sound a new meaning. This includes surround sound formats for playback via headphones.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is also increasingly finding its way into household appliances – for example, when selecting the appropriate washing program on your washing machine. Combined with the general trend towards networked devices, this is resulting in ever-smarter, more versatile and more powerful products.

Sustainability, energy efficiency and resource conservation continue to be of great importance to consumers. Household appliances are once again setting new standards for the lowest possible consumption of electricity, water and detergent.

Health is another important factor driving innovation. Devices that help you with healthy food preparation, nutrition, fitness, well-being and clean ambient air are in high demand, as are those for targeted physical training, such as the fitness trackers worn somewhere on the body.

Market performance in Germany in the first half of 2019 slightly below 2018

The market in the first half of 2019 for home electronics (HE), represented by HEMIX, the Home Electronics Market Index, is slightly below the same time last year, with a minus of 1.4%. The months from January to June 2019, saw total of 19.2 billion euros in sales, under the 19.5 billion euros taken in the first six months of 2018.

With sales of around 12.3 billion euros, the consumer electronics segment recorded a 4.1% drop in the first six months of 2019, compared with the same period in the previous year. Entertainment (-4.1%, about 3.9 billion euros) and private telecommunications (-4.1%, almost 5.4 billion euros) both recorded weaker sales. Only private IT products (+0.3%, around 3 billion euros) were able to stop a decline in sales from the first quarter of 2019.

Both household appliance segments showed a positive trend in the first half of 2019: Large electrical appliances recorded a 1.7% increase in revenue to 4.3 billion euros, while sales of small electrical appliances grew by 7.1% to 2.6 billion euros.

The IFA will once again provide positive impetus for the international and national markets this year. For 2019 as a whole, the market for home electronic products is expected to match last year’s level and remain stable.

Hans-Joachim Kamp says, “There is no doubt that ongoing discussions about global trade conflicts, political disputes, and Brexit have all had an influence on consumer behavior, as they consider purchasing new products. The low interest rates continue to ensure that consumers are reluctant to leave money in their bank, so we are optimistic for the second half of the year, also because of the positive influence of the IFA.”