Every year IFA, the great Berlin trade fair dedicated to consumer technology, leaves us with a series of new tech accessories to assess, understand, and, potentially, buy. For this article, we went beyond the latest laptops, TVs and smartphones, and explored this year’s most interesting and unusual products.
Say hi to AI Cube, the intelligent speaker
We already knew Huawei made more than just smartphones, but this year they drove the point home with the launch of AI Cube, the Chinese giant’s first intelligent speaker. AI Cube is in fact a multi-functional cylinder that functions primarily as a loudspeaker, but can also easily turn into a 4G modem with dedicated sim-card slot. But its winning feature, giving the speaker its name, is the integrated Alexa voice assistant, the result of a close collaboration with Amazon. AI Cube will be released in Italy in 2019, and the price is still unknown.
Music and design join forces in Beosound Edge
Danish company Bang&Olufsen launched Beosound Edge, a speaker with innovative form and functions. This accessory, one of the most original products presented at IFA 2018, is suspended between the worlds of design and music. Its wheel shape is perfect to diffuse sound on both sides and can be placed on the ground or attached to a wall. But its peculiarity is its volume control feature: the speaker itself works as a large volume control knob, and you can turn the volume up or down by simply twisting Beosound Edge left or right. At a hefty €3,500, this interesting design tech accessory isn’t exactly for everyone’s pocket.
Somnox, the robot that sleeps by your side
Somnox is without doubt one of the most bizarre tech accessories presented at this year’s IFA. This pillow-shaped robot simulates human breathing, and tunes into the breathing pattern of the user. Designed to improve sleep and fight insomnia, Somnox can also recreate relaxing sounds and provide guided meditations. The price, €549, is perhaps a bit too high considering its functionality.
With Drift W1 Skates, even skating becomes hi-tech
Segway, l’azienda americana produttrice dell’omonimo veicolo da trasporto a due ruote, lancia quest’anno i primi pattini tecnologici. I Drift W1 Skates, presentano la stessa funzionalità di un hoverboard, con la sola differenza che in questo caso le ruote sono staccate e funzionano separatamente. Questi particolari pattini garantiscono di certo una maggiore libertà e agilità nel movimento, anche se allo stesso momento l’equilibrio diviene ancora più precario. Si tratta certamente di un prodotto non adatto a chi si approccia per la prima volta a questo particolare tipo di mobilità.
Flexible displays are the future
Royole, a Chinese company based in California, presented at IFA what many consider the next big thing: a flexible display. This type of display, which we expect to be used extensively in smartphones from 2019 onwards, can be bent and manipulated without distorting the image. One of the first smartphones to use this revolutionary technology could be the Samsung Galaxy X.
Tribe’s fifth year at IFA Berlin
It was a IFA that Tribe presented to those in the know the new Bluetooth speakers, expanding the collection inspired by pop-culture characters with the new Batman and Darth Vader models. The newcomers haven’t abandoned the 3-D format and attention to detail that made the Tribe USB flash drives famous: shapes and colours replicate closely the key features of both characters, reinterpreting ironically their iconic style.
Compact, light and easy to carry, the Bluetooth speakers amplify and diffuse music from your smartphone or tablet and turn every moment into an opportunity to have fun or relax. Tribe Speakers are perfect for travelling: the package includes a wrist band that can be used to attach the speakers to bags, backpacks and bikes.
They use 4.2 Bluetooth technology with a 10m-radius signal and approximately 4 hours of battery life. In addition to music reproduction, these Bluetooth Speakers allow you to answer phone calls thanks to a multi-function button and integrated microphone.