Without a doubt, the tech trade show IFA from Berlin is one of the biggest in the world. While it’s said to be focused on the European consumers, big tech companies come to Berlin and launch different products, hoping to get the most of journalists’ attention. We at Technology Personalized, attended IFA this year and saw quite a lot of interesting gadgets.
In this list, we will be focusing on some gadgets that we found interesting and which deserve to get more promotion. We will not be talking about already “famous” products like the Galaxy Note 3, the Sony Xperia Z1 or the Galaxy Gear. Instead, we will do the scouting and find some hidden gems for your tech pleasure!
The gadgets that we liked at IFA 2013
The 3Doodler 3D printing pen is one of the most awesome gadgets we have seen not only at IFA, but in recent times. Basically, what the 3Doodler does is this: it uses plastic thread that is melted and then cooled while moving through the pen. This is actually a patented process that you can use to make 3D objects with your hand. Imagine the amount of shapes you will be able to create with this 3D printing pen. You can pre-order the 3Doodler for $99 and you will also get 50 strands of plastic with your order.
Now this is something really ingenious and definitely something that I’d like to use to trim my beard. Along with the Stlye Xpert Beard Trimmer 9000, Philips is also introducing a men’s grooming guide. So, if you want to try a new facial hair style, the smartphone/tablet app will help you visualize different facial hair styles and guide you on how to create them.
But this is not all, Philips’ Beard Trimmer 9000 also comes with a laser that projects a sharp red line on your face, cheek or neck showing you where to cut the hairs. If my wife is reading this, please buy this for me.
Head-up displays are one of the latest gizmos to appear on the market. Connected car gadgets also represent a growing niche. Garmin has decided to make the most of these two categories and has come up with Heads-up display. Currently available only for German customers for €149, Garmin’s smartphone HUD brings heads-up directions, speed limit and other important stats. This is basically a Bluetooth peripheral that connects to your smartphone and proves you with navigation guidance so you won’t have to look away from the windshield.
Philips is one of the companies present at IFA that has released quite a few interesting gadgets. First in our list is the Smart Baby Monitor which is the latest product in the Baby Monitor devices from Philips. What’s really great about this one is that it let’s you monitor your kid’s activity via 3G, as well, not only Wi-Fi. The device also has a futuristic design which has always been one of the characteristics of the Dutch brand.
The Intelligent Headset is yet at its beginning, but it promises to be something really revolutionary. Imagine this, you are roaming through a city you’re visiting, say, London, and you are in front of Buckingam Palace. The Intelligent Headset is location aware and is paired to your smartphone. So, a special tourism app design for the Intelligent Headset will be able to start describing the building in front of you as you walk or stop to have a look. Also, it brings True 3D audio as you play. Imagine that you play a game with zombies and the Intelligent Headset will make it so real that you’ll have to turn around to see if there aren’t any zombies behind you.
We’ve got so many devices around us and we have to charge them all. Suddenly, our work places or our home becomes filled with wires and charging docks. Griffin, the company reputed for making smartphone cases has come up with a brilliant charging station, called the MultiDock. At $699, this is definitely not cheap, but it comes with a lot of unique features, letting you store, charge and sync 10 devices in the same time. But if you ask me, Griffin’s MultiDock is the most versatile and good-looking charging dock I’ve seen so far.
At IFA, Lenovo has released quite a few products: the Yoga 2 Pro laptop, the ThinkVision monitor, the new ThinkPad series, the S5000 Android Tablet, the Lenovo Vibe X and much more. But what many might have skipped is the Lenovo Flex 15, an affordable 15.6″ dual-mode notebook that starts at $649. The Lenovo Flex 15 is a dual-mode laptop that flips 300 degrees from laptop to stand mode, becoming perfectly suited for watching movies or touchscreen applications. Lenovo Flex 15 comes with a 10-point multitouch display optimized for Windows 8 and its battery is said to last for up to 9 hours. Flex 15 is pretty thin and light, at only 0.87″ and 5.1 lbs. The basic configuration comes with a 4th Gen Intel Core i3 at 1.70GHz, 500GB HDD and 128GB SSD, 4 GB of RAM and Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400. A great move to bring multi-touch laptops to the mainstream market.
CSR has come with one of the thinnest Bluetooth keyboard in the world, with only 0.5mm. The keyboard is made of flexible material and printed circuitry along with an Atmel touchscreen sensor. Thanks to the Bluetooth Smart technology that it uses, it will let you connect to your device on iOS 7, Windows 8 ot Android 4.3 (which is yet to receive support for Bluetooth Smart). CSR’s superthin Bluetooth keyboard is also flexible, but this is still a prototype. Nonetheless, CSR aims to release it on the market as soon as possible.
A smart coffemaker – well, I didn’t see this one coming. Saeco GranBaristo Avanti is another innovative product from Philips that lets you create the perfect espresso, latte macchiato or any coffee drink with your smartphone or tablet through a dedicated app. You can make a truly unique type of coffee by choosing how much water, coffee or sugar you put in. At the moment, there is only an iPad app, but more should follow as the product will see its commercial release.
The Ricoh Theta is one awesome WiFi camera and we actually managed to spend some time with it and inform you of our impressions. The Ricoh Theta is a cool WiFi camera which can shoot 360-degree panorama shots thanks to its ultra-small twin-lens optical system. The camera has an internal memory of 4GB where you can store 1200 shots. Theta is currently compatible with iOS devices with Android support coming soon. As expected, this is not a cheap gizmo, as you can get in from October 2013 in the US, UK and the rest of Europe for USD 399/Euros 399.
After releasing the 5.7-inch Liquid S1 phablet, Acer has decided that it can go a little up in the size sector and has launched the 6-inch Liquid S2 with 4K recording capability, said to be a first in the world. The smartphone comes with a full HD IPS display, 2.2 Ghz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED ring flash and a 2MP front shooter capable of 1080p video. The battery seems to be on par with its display size and processor, at 3,300 mAh. The Liquid S2 also has 4G LTE connectivity and Gorilla Glass 3.0, which should make it very resistant.
Alcatel One Touch Hero
Alcatel is one of the struggling companies in the mobile space, the French company even trying alternatives such as Firefox OS to power its devices. The Alcatel One Touch Hero comes with a 6-inch Full HD IPS touchscreen display, 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 8GB / 16GB of internal memory, microSD memory card slot, 13-megapixel camera on the back. The smartphone comes with Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB 2.0, GPS receiver. A drawback is the fact tha the Li-Ion 3400 mAh battery is not removable. A “goodie” is the fact that it comes with wireless charging capabilities. The smartphone comes with quite a few accessories: the stylus, the Magic Flip case, TV Link and a pico projector.
Yet another gadget from Philips, that’s right. This time, we’re talking about a smart air purifier. The main job of an air purifier is to remove contaminants from the air that can affect allergy sufferers and asthmatics. Also, it can reduce or eliminate the second-hand tobacco smoke. By controlling the smart air purifier remotely using the dedicated app, one can access the indoor and outdoor air quality information, the history of the previous week’s air quality. You can also set a turbo-mode to make sure the air is kept as clean as possible.
Show your kid a tablet for the first time and he will fall in love with it. Samsung is aware of that and has launched a product that is aimed at the younger kids. With toyish looks, the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids comes with the following specs, for those parents that are tech savvy: 7 inch WSVGA (1024 x 600, 170ppi) TFT display, 1.2GHz dual processor, 1GB RAM, 3 megapixel front-facing camera and 1.3 megapixel rear-facing camera and 8GB Internal Memory ＋ 1GB (RAM) microSD slot (up to 32GB). There is also a Kids Case that has a child-friendly grip and multiple stand options along with a C Pen to help you kids draw.
There have been a lot of headphones and speakers launched at IFA, as always, but we somehow liked the most the WoodTones over-the-ear headphones and earbuds from Griffin. Being made out of wood, this makes the WoodTones “quite possibly the most comfortable headphones on the market”, as the maker likes to say. The WoodTones In-Ear phones and Over-The-Ear Phones are shaped to sit comfortably in the ear canal. The earbuds will set you back fro thirty dollars and the headphones will cost $100.