IFA Insider 2018 #3

Following a weekend spent digesting the wave of big launches IFA 2018 has delivered, we’ve now had time to look back and appreciate a few of the alternative IFA gems.

We kick this week off with an IFA Insider dedicated to the “best of the rest”, giving light to some of the gadgets that didn’t get as much appreciation as they deserved.


Polaroid Mint 2-in-1 and OneStep+

(Photo source: PetaPixel)

Some technologies and their brand names are simply so iconic, we can’t resist another dose when offered it. After 81 years in the limelight, Polaroid is a prime example. This year at IFA, the Polaroid Mint 2-in-1 has continued the brand’s legacy, staying true to the classic models while incorporating new features like an automatic LED flash and self-timer. An integrated selfie mirror, an ink-free Zink printer and a 16MP sensor are some of the bells and whistles, in addition to five colour options.

(Photo source: Mashable)

Polaroid made another striking announcement in the form of the OneStep+. This device is another example of the company infusing the timeless Polaroid style with aspects of more up-to-date technology. The device’s synergy with the Polaroid Originals app is what unlocks a number of other new features, including double exposure, a new option called Light Painting, and, perhaps best of all, a noise trigger. With this setting activated a user could capture an action shot with a clap of their hands.

FHF Insight: Not all brands are lucky enough to have nostalgia attached to their name. But, as we’ve seen with Nokia, if you’ve got it flaunt it. A nod to a technology’s position in history can be invaluable in a busy modern market.


Sony FES Watch U

(Photo source: Sony)

Sony’s new FES Watch U is a wholly unusual development in the wearables market, in terms of its origin, its use and, most of all, its design. With Kindle-eque ‘e-ink’ displays, you can change the entire display and design with the mere touch of a button, enabling you to ensure that your watch matches your outfit or even your mood.

FHF Insight: The FES Watch can be traced back to a crowdfunding project – this method of fundraising is proving to be increasingly common in the tech industry, not just for whacky independent boutiques but also for tech giants eager to gauge whether there is consumer appetite for a new product.


Somnox’s ‘breathing pillow’

(Photo source: WIRED)

In an attempt to reduce the need for sedatives to get a good night’s sleep, Somnox has showcased its ‘breathing’ pillow. The pillow’s technology is based on slow yogic breathing techniques paired with calming sounds, which should stimulate the user’s ‘rest and digest functions’.

FHF Insight: There is huge interest in this technology, with many experts stating we’re facing a sleeplessness epidemic. Alongside innovations like Smart Sleep from Philips, sleep-tech continues to gain ground with practical, consumer-oriented solutions.


Sony Cyber-shots

(Source: Engadget)

With flagship phones like the P20 and S9 now possessing an ever increasing number of megapixels and the capacity for both RAW shooting and even 4K video, the role played by once-cutting edge compact cameras can look to be an increasingly small one.

However, with the two latest additions to its Cybershot range, Sony appears to have produced a couple of impressive cameras that breathe new life into the classic compact. The HX99 and HX95 both give you a 30x zoom lens, image-stabilisation and are just 1.5 inches deep, all of which are interesting, impressive and, above all, useful.

FHF Insight: Sony continues to make the most of a market that could otherwise be said to be disappearing. Their compact cameras remain popular with vloggers, families and those who need that middle ground between a smart phone and a DSLR.


LG’s CLOi SuitBot 

(Photo source: TechRadar)

Forget forklifts, factory workers will now be able to ‘lift like superman’ with LG’s CLOi SuitBot. Essentially a connected exoskeleton, the SuitBot is designed to boost the leg movement of its wearer for more mobility and lower limb strength. The new tech is part of LG’s growing CLOi AI robot range and has the ability to communicate with other service robots, built by LG, to become part of a ‘smart working network’.

FHF Insight: There’s been a number of robotics developments at IFA this year but the LG SuitBot is arguably the most practical and looks set to transform a key part of the manufacturing industry. The SuitBot certainly gives wearable a whole new meaning.


With the show winding down, we’ll be back tomorrow with our overall insights and trends from IFA, in the final IFA Insider.