1 year ago

PREVIEW Edition - IFA International 2017

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  • Technologies
  • Lifestyle
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  • Appliances
  • Global
  • Electronics
  • Berlin
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NEWS RETAILERS SHOULD FOCUS ON THEIR CORE CAPABILITIES, ADVICE AND SERVICE Hans-Joachim Kamp Chairman of the Supervisory Board, gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH gfu Predicts Key Trends Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, tracks the highs and lows As always, the big questions at the start of IFA are always “what are the key groundswell trends this year?” and what are the sweet-spot in terms of products and which areas are in decline. We asked this and more to Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, the organisation at the heart of iFA. Looking at the TV category, exciting trends are the once again improved picture quality, forced by the competition of OLED with LED, UHD and HDR and the attractive designs and new solutions for the living room like ultra-flat screens, which can be hung up like wallpapers. The ongoing increase of energy-efficiency and connectivity (driven by alliances like EEBus or Mosaiq) are key trends of home appliances. Furthermore, there are the trends of voice recognition, artificial intelligence and robots. What new developments are you seeing in the fields of smart products, smart home and smart cars? The new generation of smart products is getting to know its user very closely. Those products are able to adopt to their customers habits and to make their life easier. For example, a coffee machine notices how and when its user wants his hot beverage. Another fascinating topic is voice recognition. Recognition rates are increasing, the longer they are getting used. Concerning smart cars, media groups are already developing concepts for entertainment in smart cars. What are the main factors driving the following markets at the moment? In TV, the main areas concern UHD, HDR, bigger screens, attractive designs, very thin displays; in smartphones the main factor is around more processing power. Streaming services and multiroom are the key areas in home audio and personal audio. In major domestic appliances, the main factors are connectivity and energy efficiency; in small appliances, there are lots of new products for food preparing and processing and new product categories for fresh and healthy cooking. Other new products include drones, which are becoming more powerful with longer flight time, higher camera resolutions and 360° cameras. How is the electronic retail sector progressing on a global level in terms of the re-thinking of distribution, promotion and after sales service? Even in times of big onlineaffinity it remains very important that products can be tried in the retail sector, because otherwise the added value might not be clear. The key word is emotion. Without emotion there will be no success. Therefore retailers should focus on their core capabilities, advice and service. Besides that the retail sector needs to be ready for multichannel retailing. It is important that the customers’ needs are in the centre of attention as well as reliable service. Health and medical products are taking on added importance. Where do you see this going? We expect a growing demand for health and fitness products. They are helping people to make their lives healthier. This kind of support is in demand like the increasing sales of wearables prove. New appliances could also help to decrease costs in the health system or to deliver better and faster help for patients. The other buzz is of course about VR and AR. What are your thoughts about these topics? Experts keep saying that Virtual Reality will create drastic changes quite similar to the smartphone in the last years. It is clear that VR is able to change our daily life, because its range is wider than just games and fun: Broadcasting news, education, cooperation in and of companies, shopping and even architecture are possible applications now and in the future. Do you think there are any new developments we will see in the coming months and years that we never would have dreamed of? First I would already mention the new ultra-flat screens here. In the near future they will be flexible as well. Furthermore I am sure that VR, AR and artificial intelligence will continue to surprise us with new possibilities and products 4

NEWS Jürgen Boyny Global Director Consumer Electronics, GfK Retail and Technology GfK Technical Consumer Goods Update Connectivity, technical improvements and energy efficiency continue to be the key growth drivers We asked Jürgen Boyny, Global Director Consumer Electronics, GfK Retail and Technology, about the current trends around smart technology. The development of internet bandwidth enables more and more consumers to enjoy the broad offerings there. Further enhanced picture quality and improved sound give the immersive experience that catches the consumer. Other exciting new products such as devices with artificial intelligence and voice-control, are developed at a fast pace. Through the emergence of omnipresent voice assistants, the control of our smart home appliances will be moved to a new level of convenience. This also affects sales of smart appliances such as security cams, light bulbs or robot vacuum cleaners, with positive growth rates over all segments. Driven by consumers’ curiosity and excitement, this will further enrich the daily routines of the connected consumer and will considerably change consumer habits. How is smart technology making an impact in the appliance sector? Connectivity is also swapping over to Small Household Appliances as well as to Major Domestic Appliances (especially in Asia). This will impact consumers' device interaction and create new value chains and service offerings. For Small Household Appliances, the positive and dynamic trend continues, especially in Europe and Asia. The market is driven by ongoing innovations that make the everyday life of consumers easier and make kitchens a more attractive area in the home. Energy efficiency is more and more in focus; the second step for the energy label, for vacuum cleaners, will appear in 2017 in the EU. What are the key areas in mobile and wearables? Mobile communication remains another important growth driver for technical consumer goods. Wearables are constantly gaining popularity and virtual reality further pushes sales. Smartphone again hit a new record in sales and besides that over time there is always a trend for improved value for money, consumers are excited about premium features such as iris-scanners, maximised screen-to-body-ratio or real fast charging which even results in higher average prices SMART HOME DEVICES ARE DRIVING THE MARKET Smart device owners are enjoying smart benefits around the home and they want more The smart home is poised to emerge by stealth as consumers who install their first device will be keen on automating further, according to the latest Futuresource Consulting consumer research, which revealed that almost 1 in 3 consumers live in homes where at least one smart home device has been installed. Over 4,000 consumers in France, Germany, UK and USA were surveyed on smart home devices, appliance ownership, perceptions and purchase intent. Voice Personal Assistant (VPA) speakers were included, looking at both current and future adoption. The report provides a snapshot of the smart home market by segmenting the respondents into different levels of smart home adoption: non-adopters, the beginners, intermediate and advanced users. This is based on the number of smart home devices installed in their homes. It also digs deeper by drawing out behavioural traits for each segment in respect to their own use of smart home technologies. Filipe Oliveira, Analyst at Futuresource Consulting, said: “Smart lighting and smart thermostats are among the most popular smart home devices and are common first steps into the smart home.” According to this latest report for the entertainment driven consumers, audio and video content is often the first step into automation in the home IFA International • Monday 28 th August 2017 5

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