IFA NEXT Area Displays Achievable Future of Technology
As cool and exciting as it is to walk the halls of the major consumer electronics companies here in Berlin, one of the best areas to truly put your finger on the pulse of this industry is IFA NEXT. Hall 26 of the Messe Berlin campus was packed this year with a collection of startups, research universities, and even some established powerhouse companies who are pushing this space in innovative and new directions.
What separates IFA NEXT from other startup-type convention setups is that the products that you see at this show are well on their way to retail. You'll find some very early-stage innovations mixed in, but for the most part the companies showing off technology here have a path forward and are ready to make real business happen. There's little to no vaporware at this show. The ideas and gadgets you see here still push the limits of technology and seem like gadgets that are years away from availability, but then you find out that retailers are here talking to them and asking how they can get these products in their stores now.
That's the promise of IFA, and that's why the IFA NEXT area is one that kept calling me back. Each day in Berlin I found myself wandering around the beautifully and thoughtfully designed hall, stumbling upon some new gadget or hearing another innovative product pitch. There was a ton to do and see, which means we have plenty of follow up work to do. But for now, here are some of the best sights and products that were on display at IFA NEXT this year.