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NEWS

INDUSTRY TRENDS

MARKET

INSIGHTS

5G, AI and innovative

screen technologies

take great strides

forward

This year at IFA, yet again major trends will

be announced in several fields, all working

together in “coinnovation”.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will see the onset of exciting

trends: many types of devices make use of selfteaching

digital systems and are able to improve their

performance over time. Voice-controlled systems for

example can continually upgrade their performance. AI

is built into the latest generation of 8k screens so that

they can perfectly adapt today’s image resolutions to

the new, ultra-sharp pixel grid. It also helps make the

sound as good as the images: intelligent software can

recognize whether the sound comes from a football

stadium, a newsroom or a concert hall and make

corresponding adjustments.

5G, the technology for tomorrow’s superfast

communication networks, is the dominant feature of

other innovative trends. The first market-ready 5G

smartphones will be on show at IFA 2019, with other

mobile devices to follow soon.

Innovative screen technology continues to set the tone

in spectacular fashion at IFA - flexible OLED screens for

instance: visitors to IFA can look forward to large TVs

that can be rolled up and stowed away in a neat cabinet

as well as tablets that can be folded in half to make a

handy smartphone. Prototypes will offer a foretaste

of the mobile phone of the future, looking like a large

bracelet adorning one’s wrist. Other prototype screens

are able to switch to ‘transparent mode’, if desired, and

resemble a clear window pane until the device software

puts colourful images onto the screen again.

The IFA Global Press Conference 2019 had an

entire section dedicated to market insights, with

five presentations – four from GfK and one from IHS

Markit / Technology

THE HELICOPTER VIEW

ON INNOVATIONS IN

TECHNICAL CONSUMER

GOODS

Friedemann Stoeckle, Vice

President, Global POS Support

at GfK, gave a “helicopter

view on innovations in

technical consumer goods”,

looking at smart home,

consumer electronics and

home appliances.

GfK estimates that consumers will

spend €1,052bn in 2019. This equates

to a rise of around 1% on 2018.

“The consumer is the centre of

everything,’’ says Stoeckle. “If the

consumer doesn’t like the features,

the innovation is not picked up in the

market. The consumer right now feels

in total control. And this is true; today,

consumers are more in control than

ever before.”

According to the GfK analyst, the

consumer is very much like a diva, and

the catch-phrase this year is: “I. Want.

It. Now.”

Five themes are driving the market:

performance, simplification, premium,

borderless shopping and developing

economies, with rich experiences

being delivered through the first four

elements.

Stoeckle spoke about GfK’s “Global

Price Index”, which indicates that

Europe has a 12% premium above the

global average, but new products are

13% to 24% higher still. In the China

market, new models are at a par, says

Stoeckle, with the rest of the world.

China has smarter products, bigger

products, and highly aspirational

smartphones

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