IFA is now in its 91st year, and still growing. The 2015 show was fully booked, with more than 1,500 exhibitors – among them, 170 companies presenting themselves in Berlin for the first time. Several other brands moved around this year, with Toshiba relocating to Hall 12 from Hall 21 (its space taken by Deutsche Telekom), and LG to Hall 18. Noticeable absentees included Funai, which usually has a tent beneath the Funkturm Radio Tower, and German TV brand Loewe.
It’s often interesting to see what’s not at a show. We hardly saw any 3D on the show floor, except for VR. There was little AR and Google Glass is seen very negatively in Germany, where privacy is a big concern. Nobody was talking about high frame rates in any meaningful way and there was little or no sign of voice control or gesture control of TVs – a big topic at CES in 2014. There were lots of appliances with some measure of “intelligence” and the IoT is clearly engaging almost all CE companies as they look for new opportunities. Health and wellness will also be growth markets, as evidenced by the share of the Samsung press event devoted to its SleepSense product.