IFA 2019 Takes Visitors to the Edge of Innovation, with Voice, Artificial Intelligence and 5G
Record number of exhibitors, new products and international trade visitors – Huge media interest from journalists covering 160 countries – IFA Keynotes outline the future of 5G, streaming media and sustainability – Packed IFA NEXT with Japan as first Global Innovation Partner – SHIFT explores the Future of Mobility with AXA, BMW, Daimler, Ford, Fujitsu, VW – IFA Global Markets strengthens its position as Europe’s largest sourcing show
IFA Berlin has turned out to be another huge success story with nearly 2,000 exhibitors, 245,000 visitors, and a new all-time high for international attendance, with more than 50 percent of trade visitors coming from abroad. Three big technology trends dominated IFA across both consumer electronics and home appliances: voice, artificial intelligence and connectivity, especially given the rapid roll-out of high-speed, high bandwidth 5G mobile networks.
Two IFA Keynotes – by Huawei CEO Richard Yu and Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon – focused on how 5G-connectivity can push the power of artificial intelligence to the very edge of computing – in the devices, into vehicles and into industrial applications.
Anthony Wood, the CEO of Roku – which powers one third of all set-top boxes in the United States – used his keynote to outline his vision of how online streaming will dominate the TV experience, and announced his company’s expansion to the UK, with plans to move to other European countries as well. Hakan Bulgurlu, the CEO of Arçelik, dedicated his keynote to demanding industry action against climate change and plastic waste.
IFA’s innovation hub – IFA NEXT – also set new records with more start-ups and innovation leaders than ever spread across two halls, alongside research institutes from countries like Germany, Japan and Korea. This year, IFA NEXT hosted Japan as its first Global Innovation Partner country; the Japan pavilion was showcasing the newest ideas and innovations for how machines and humans can interact.
Keita Nishiyama, Director General of Commerce and Information Policy – Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry says “We hope that Japan’s Interface with Consideration and Sensibility has inspired IFA visitors to embrace the future and continue on the path of innovation. As the first partner country of IFA NEXT – we look forward to staying in touch with you. Please follow us as Ninja does!”
Once again, IFA Berlin lived up to its reputation as the world’s most important trade show for consumer electronics and home appliance.
“As an important driving force for trade and industry and the world’s most important platform for consumer electronics and home appliances, IFA 2019 met the high expectations. With its large number of innovations, it has a positive influence on the mood in the international markets. With an unexpectedly stable high order volume in regard to the current market situation, the foundation was laid for a successful year-end business,” explains Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of IFA organizer gfu Consumer & Home Electronics.
“We are satisfied with the results of IFA 2019. Accordingly, the household appliance industry is optimistic about the future. This year too, IFA has strengthened its position as the world’s significant trade show for home appliances and made a positive contribution to the market development,” states Dr. Reinhard Zinkann, Chairman of the ZVEI.
The CEO of Messe Berlin, Dr. Christian Göke says IFA had once again shown the “power of co-innovation, where inventors in different sectors and industries inspire each other.” He warned that trade wars, trade barriers and political barriers would harm consumers not just by making products more expensive, but by slowing down innovation itself. Picking up a theme developed in one of IFA’s most famous keynotes, by Albert Einstein in 1930, Dr. Göke said that in today’s day and age Einstein would probably “call on the best and the brightest minds in the world, whoever they are, and wherever they live, whichever country they call their home, to pool their knowledge and co-innovate to create a better world.”
IFA Executive Director Jens Heithecker was hugely impressed by the level of innovation: “As the number of exhibitors has grown, so did the quality and quantity of innovations as well as the number of product premieres that were shown here in Berlin for the first time.”
Global media attendance has gone up yet again; the journalists coming to Berlin work for media organisations covering 160 countries around the world. This shows how important IFA is in the calendar for technology and lifestyle journalists. This year, IFA attracted some 2.800 international journalists from around the world.
Among the broadcasters reporting from IFA Berlin were Al Jazeera from the Arab Emirates, NDTV from India, Nine Network from Australia, the BBC from the United Kingdom, IBA International from Israel, TEKNAVI from Finland, CNBC from the USA, CGTN / CCTV, Global Times as well as the Phoenix Group from China. From France teams from Eurosport, 01net TV, LCI, BFM TV, OUATCH.tv, France 24 and ES 1 reported on the latest IFA news. News agencies such as AP and Reuters were represented, alongside public broadcasters working through the EBU and private broadcasters cooperating through ENEX.
SHIFT – Future of Mobility
SHIFT, the two-day convention on how new technologies are shaping the Future of Mobility, has grown strongly compared to the previous year; among the speakers were top executives from industry giants such as AXA insurance, BMW, Daimler/Smart, Ford Fujitsu and Volkswagen, start-ups like 2Getthere, Iomob, LISNR, Trafi, Vive La Car, what3words and Wundermobility, and mobility pioneers like Zipcar Founder Robin Chase, the former CTO of Barcelona Francesca Bria, former Tata Motors CEO Venkat Sumantran, and a very unusual automotive consultant, Jay Ward the creative director of the Cars Franchise at Pixar Animation Studios.
IFA Global Markets
IFA Global Markets exclusively accessible to trade visitors, suppliers, manufacturers and OEMs / ODMs established itself as a significant part of IFA.
Dirk Koslowski, IFA Director, states: “IFA Global Markets has been growing continuously for four years now. It is thus the leading platform in Europe for the supplier industry and has firmly established its position as the largest sourcing show in Europe.”
Covering 20,000 square meters, the B2B marketplace IFA Global Markets was once again fully booked.
IFA Global Events – Save the Dates
CE China 2019
19 – 21 September, Guangzhou, China
CE Week 2020
10 – 11 June, New York, USA
IFA Global Press Conference 2020
2 – 5 April, Cyprus
4 – 9 September
2 – 3 September, IFA Media Days
2 September, IFA Opening Press Conference, 1 p.m.
6 – 9 September IFA Global Markets