Edge of Innovation

IFA 2016 round-up: 7th-gen Core, OLED tellies and Sony in your ear

Dean Evans Technology Writer Twitter

Every tech show is a glimpse into the future, some of it imminent, some of it slightly far-fetched. Before IFA 2016 started, we expected new desktops, laptops and smartwatches and the likes of HP, Acer, Asus and Sony didn’t disappoint. But there were also some surprises along the way.

The new 7th generation Intel Core processors were announced just before the show kicked off and this saw the introduction of some amazing devices. The Acer Swift 7 is the thinnest laptop in the world. While the Acer Predator 21X is the first to incorporate a curved display. We round up the best laptop, tablet and PC launches here.

IFA 2016: Best smartwatches

Despite reports that smartwatch interest might have peaked, Asus unveiled the good-looking ZenWatch 3. Built with jewelry-grade 316L stainless steel, the upgraded Android Wear timepiece is faster, lasts longer, and has a round, 1.39-inch AMOLED display with a 400 x 400 pixel resolution.

asus zenwatch 3 ifa 2016 round-up
The Asus ZenWatch 3 is one of the best-looking Android Wear smartwatches around.

It wasn’t the only wearable launched at IFA 2016 either. Withings showcased the Steel HR, its first smartwatch with heart rate monitoring built in, while Garmin impressed with the Fenix Chronos sports watch. Samsung let visitors have a play with the Gear S3 and sat-nav makers TomTom launched the Adventurer — a watch that can track you whether you’re running, cycling, hiking or snowboarding.

The Sony FES Watch U is nowhere near as smart as some of the wearables we’ve mentioned here. But thanks to a smart e-paper display and three-week battery life, it has the potential to offer something stylishly different.

IFA 2016: Best gadgets

There was a distinct ‘in-ear’ theme at this year’s IFA. Gadgets ranged from the Sony Xperia Ear (an earpiece for Sony’s ‘Agent’ AI assistant) to the wireless Jabra Elite Sport (a set of earbuds with a built-in heart rate monitor). Want to keep the world out, then Sony’s MDR-1000X noise-canceling headphones will be just the thing.

Sony Experia Ear ifa 2016 round-up
The Xperia Ear puts Sony’s Agent personal voice assistant right in your lughole.

Need to upgrade a display? The Philips OLED 901F (pictured top) is Philips’ first 4K OLED telly, equipped with HDR. It also features Ambilight technology, which bleeds the colours you see onscreen onto the walls behind the set, boosting immersion and cranking up the ambience.

For living room PCs, like the newly announced HP Pavilion Wave, the LG 38UC99 is surely the ultimate in luxury viewing. It’s 38 inches-worth of big, gloriously wide (with a 21:9 aspect ratio), high resolution (3,480 x 1,600 pixels) and deliciously curved. It also features a USB-C port for fast connectivity and integrated 10-watt speakers.

IFA 2016: The oddball stuff

Behind the big IFA launches, there are usually a collection of gadgets that don’t seem to fit into a neat category. Like the LG Smart Instaview Door-in-Door fridge, a giant kitchen cooler that features a 29-inch translucent touchscreen and a built in PC, powered by an Intel Atom processor and running Windows 10.

Acer Pawbo+ ifa 2016 round-up
The Pawbo+ is an interactive pet camera so you can tell your cat to get off your furniture.

Then there’s the Acer Pawbo+ interactive pet camera, which features a built-in speaker and microphone so that you can interact with your pets over the Internet. Other planned Pawbo+ accessories include a treat dispenser (Pawbo Munch) and a ‘whack-a-mole’-type game (Pawbo Punch), so you can play from afar.

Or how about XYZprinting’s 3D Scanner, which could allow you to print yourself out in 3D plastic? Move this handheld device around a suitable object (or your head) and the integrated Intel RealSense camera will digitise what it sees and turn it into a 3D model.

If all this what we can do now, just imagine the wonders that IFA 2017 could hold.

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