CES may rule the roost in the States, but over in Europe, it’s IFA that serves as the year’s biggest tech trade show. It means we’re likely to see plenty of product announcements, as well as showcases that’ll cast a light on where consumer tech is now and where it’s heading in the next 12 months.
This year, IFA opens its doors to the public on September 1st and runs through the weekend to September 5th. But much like CES, many companies like to make their big announcements in the days leading up to the show’s public opening. If September and October (Techtember and Techtober, if you will) are the year’s two big months for tech announcements, then IFA is their starting gun.
The Verge will be covering IFA 2023 live from Berlin, taking a firsthand look at all of the biggest launches, and you can follow along with all our coverage below. In recent years, IFA has acquired a reputation as being a big smart home trade show. Last year, it took place on the eve of Matter’s launch and was filled with companies making big promises about their support for the fledgling standard. So, alongside announcements from LG, Samsung, and Honor, expect plenty of robot vacuum cleaners, security cameras, and smart lights, as well as difficult questions about if and when Matter is going to let them effortlessly work together.
The dust has settled on IFA 2023, Europe’s biggest tech trade show, held annually in Berlin, Germany. The Verge was on the ground at the show, which ran from September 1st to 5th, covering all the big news and gadget launches. But now that I’m back stateside, I wanted to call out a few more fun gadgets and intriguing pieces of tech I saw on the show floor (or thereabouts).Read Article >
In case you missed it, I’ve already written about SwitchBot’s cool new twist on a robot vacuum mop that can fill its own water tanks, got some hands-on time with Philips Hue’s pricey but pretty new smart security camera system, and listened to Alexa and Google play nicely in a new smart speaker from JBL. So, in no particular order, here are a few more gadgets from the show that caught my eye.
Sep 11Red Alert! Red Alert! Philips Hue’s new security system can light up your home like the Starship Enterprise.
Philips Hue is moving into the smart home security space with the launch of Philips Hue Secure, a DIY security system that leverages new cameras and new sensors that work alongside Philips Hue’s smart lighting system to scare off potential burglars. When the system is triggered by a sensor, you can activate any compatible Hue lights to flash red or white and/or sound an alarm through the camera.Read Article >
Philips Hue Secure is launching this fall with a wired indoor/outdoor camera ($199.99), a battery-powered indoor/outdoor camera ($249.99), a full-color floodlight camera ($349.99), and new contact sensors ($39.99) to secure windows and doors.
A handful of new Matter smart home gadgets were launched at the IFA 2023 tech conference last week, including an intriguing ceiling light from Aqara, fun RGB light bars from Yeelight, a line of Matter-ready appliances from Midea, and stylish new smart security cameras from Philips Hue, which the company says will work with Matter when the standard supports cameras.Read Article >
It’s great that more Matter-compatible gadgets are rolling out, bringing the promise of secure local control and cross-platform interoperability into the smart home. But we need more progress behind the scenes.
After previewing its latest robotic invention earlier this month, SwitchBot officially launched the S10 robot vacuum and mop at IFA 2023 in Berlin last week. The $1,199.99 bot, coming to Kickstarter in October, features an automatic water refill station that does away with the bulky water tanks housed in giant auto-empty docks that have become the hallmark of top-of-the-line floor cleaners from Roborock, Ecovacs, etc.Read Article >
Unlike those models that clean and dry their dirty mops in a small “sink” in the dock, the SwitchBot S10 has an internal roller brush mop that it cleans using a squeegee method as it vacuums. This means no standing water or scuzzy mop left to get smelly.
The best bit of attending Berlin’s IFA trade show is when companies use it to offer an early look at tech that’ll get a “proper” launch later. That’s what I experienced with a demonstration of Dolby Atmos FlexConnect, a new technology to let you wirelessly connect compatible external speakers to your TV and create an Atmos-enabled spatial audio setup.Read Article >
The most interesting part of Dolby’s pitch for the technology is that it’s supposedly far more forgiving about where you can place these specialized external speakers. They don’t need to be perfectly symmetrical, like the press shots show DTS’s similar wireless Play-Fi Home Theater standard. With Atmos FlexConnect, the idea is you can place your external speakers anywhere in the room with your TV, making them fit into your existing living space rather than asking you to move your furniture or mount speakers onto walls. Maybe one speaker goes on a bookshelf to the left of your TV, while a second sits on a side table to the right of your couch — the system is designed to be able to handle the asymmetry.
- This floodlight camera doesn’t look like a giant spider hanging off your house.
European tech manufacturers know how to make good-looking cameras.
The new Bosch Eyes Outdoor Camera II on display at IFA 2023 has a sleek look and integrated, full-color ambient lighting in addition to a 1,100-lumen floodlight. It only records in 1080p and costs €350, but compared to most floodlight cameras it's got some je ne sais quoi. It comes in silver and black, but sadly it’s not coming to the US.
- Some photos of TCL’s “paper-like” smartphone display.
TCL has equipped its latest smartphones with its NXTPAPER display technology, which is designed to reduce eye strain. Fundamentally they’re still backlit LCD panels, but they’re LCD panels that emit less blue light, and have an anti-glare coating and a matte-textured finish. Here’s how the display looks on the NXTPAPER 40 5G, whose 90Hz display can get as bright as 500 nits.
Robot vacuum manufacturer Roborock announced three new vacuum products at IFA 2023, the global tech show taking place in Berlin this week: the Q5 Pro robot vac; the Q8 Max robot vac; and the Dyad Pro Combo wet / dry stick vacuum. The new lidar-powered robot vacuums add more than double the suction power of previous models, a new and more advanced DuoRoller brush system, and more app features for a lower price. The Dyad Pro is a multifunctional upright vacuum that can convert to a stick vacuum.Read Article >
Part of the company’s more affordable Q line, the Q5 Pro costs $429.99 standalone or $699.99 for the Q5 Pro Plus with an auto-empty charging dock. The Q8 Max costs $599.99 standalone or $819.99 for the Q8 Max Plus. Both are slated to go on sale in October.
Mophie just announced at IFA that it’s releasing three Qi2-compatible, 15W wireless smartphone chargers — the Snap Plus Powerstation Mini Stand ($69.95), the Snap Plus 3-in-1 stand ($129.95), and the Snap Plus wireless charging vent mount ($69.95) — starting later this year.Read Article >
Mophie doesn’t mention the iPhone specifically, but it’s rumored Apple will enable support for 15W, non-MagSafe wireless charging with the iPhone 15, as the second generation of Qi includes Apple's input and a similar magnet layout. We’ve asked Mophie and will update here if we receive a response.
- Now you can view your fans in all their RGB glory.
Yeelight’s seriously fun Cube Smart Lamp (from $76) got a new feature this week. Announced at IFA 2023, the modular lighting system can now show real-time fan counts from your YouTube and Twitch live streams.
The Matter-compatible light fixture already displays a clock face on four of its cubes, and now it can sync with your YouTube and Twitch channels to display real-time viewer numbers while you stream.
After releasing two solar-powered pairs of headphones, you would have thought that it’d be simple for Urbanista to apply the same technology to a Bluetooth speaker. But with the Malibu, which is being shown off at IFA in Berlin ahead of its release later this month, Urbanista says it had a whole new set of challenges to overcome.Read Article >
That’s because the company’s approach to its solar powered products hasn’t just been to put some solar-absorbing material on an existing device and call it a day. Instead, Urbanista product director Marten Sahlen and the company’s brand and marketing director Tuomas Lonka tell me the company spends a lot of time making the products more power efficient in the first place, so they can get the maximum benefit from the extra sun-provided power.
The robot vacuum cleaner is undergoing a renaissance this year as all the major manufacturers figure out new and more outlandish ways to make the tiresome chore of cleaning your floors fully automated.Read Article >
At the IFA 2023 tech trade show in Berlin this week, robot vacuums were literally roaming the halls as companies showed off their latest innovations. We saw robot mops that integrate into your plumbing, big advances in navigation, smaller sizes for multi-function docking stations, and a robot mop that can do the splits to clean your baseboards better.
Smart home robotics company SwitchBot — of robot finger fame — has come up with another ingenious solution for automating boring chores in your home. This one is a sizable leap toward a Rosie the Robot vision of a fully autonomous robot house cleaner, though without the personality. The SwitchBot S10 is a new robot vacuum and mop that autonomously drains and refills its dirty and clean water tanks using a battery-powered water station that hooks directly into your plumbing.Read Article >
Combined with an auto-empty charging dock that dries the mop, the S10 is the most fully automated floor cleaner I’ve seen. You won’t need to refill its mopping tank, deal with emptying dirty water post-clean, or mess with its mops. The only dirty work you need to do is empty its dust bag after about 70 days (according to the company). Otherwise, it should trundle around your home, mopping and sweeping until the cows come home.
The V Purse is a new concept phone from Honor that asks “what if foldables were more like fashion accessories?” The company showed off the device during a presentation at IFA 2023 alongside the Honor Magic V2, its latest foldable phone announced in China earlier this year.Read Article >
The V Purse is a demonstration of what’s possible for folding devices, and Honor hasn’t said if it’ll ever be released it as a product. Conversely, the company says it plans to release the Magic V2 globally no later than Q1 next year, CNBC reports, but has yet to officially announce pricing outside China.
Yale has launched a new line of its home security products specifically for the European market. In addition to a new video doorbell, the company revealed the next-gen of its smart alarm system, plus new indoor and outdoor smart cameras — all of which integrate with its line of smart locks.Read Article >
Using the Yale Smart Video Doorbell, you can keep tabs on your doorstep with 1080p footage and a 154-degree field of view. The device comes in wired and wireless options, offering two-way audio talk, live viewing, and night vision. You’ll receive a notification when the doorbell detects motion and when someone rings the doorbell. The Smart Video Doorbell itself costs £129.99 / €159.99.
Every company and its mother seems to be putting out handheld gaming PCs these days, and Lenovo is next to the plate. The company has announced the Legion Go, its first Windows-powered gaming handheld, which will be available for purchase in October. It’s got an 8.8-inch QHD Plus screen, an AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, and a 49.2Wh battery (which is bigger than those of the ROG Ally and the Steam Deck). Oh, and the controllers pop off, which is neat.Read Article >
While Valve’s Steam Deck tends to be the first product that comes to mind when this category is discussed, the Legion Go seems more like a cross between the Nintendo Switch and Asus’ ROG Ally. For one, with models starting at $699, the Ally is clearly what Lenovo is trying to match on price. But it also, like the Ally, is running old-school Windows and has more controls (a touchpad, primarily) that are tailored toward operating that system.
Lenovo has announced a new Legion 9i, and it might just be the wildest thing I’ve ever seen from the Legion line. It’s coming in October, it starts at a whopping $4,399 (you know, a totally normal price to pay for things), and Lenovo is throwing in all kinds of eccentric stuff.Read Article >
The company is clearly most excited about the fact that the 9i is the first 16-inch gaming laptop with a self-contained liquid-cooling system. This is exactly what it sounds like. Most laptops use air cooling to transfer heat along heat pipes to a radiator; a fluid-cooled device instead does that with water and a pump which, as you might imagine, can handle much more thermal mass. Such a system could theoretically allow the 9i to pull truly massive amounts of power (up to 230W, Lenovo claims) for a ridiculous gaming experience.
- Alexa and Google Assistant: two great tastes that taste great together?
Not bad, right? I love how Jon puts it in his full writeup:
I had to do a little trial and error to work out exactly how to get them working best in sync. But it felt similar to the trial and error process of speaking to a voice assistant in the first place
Samsung has been trying to make the connected kitchen work since 2016, when it launched its smart fridge with an Android tablet slapped on the front. But today, with the reveal of Samsung Food at the IFA 2023 tech show, it took a big step in the right direction.Read Article >
This isn’t because the app is amazingly innovative at launch. In fact, slightly the opposite. It’s a rebranded, revamped version of the Whisk app, which has been around since 2013. With this new version of the software, Samsung is finally uniting the disparate sides of smart cooking: the recipes, the food itself, and the kitchen appliances.
- ‘Hey robot, mow the lawn.’
The Dreame Roboticmower A1, a new robot lawnmower, can tackle yards as large as half an acre, which is good news for us Americans with big yards.
These electric autonomous grass-cutting devices have struggled to take off in the US due to range issues, complexity, and high costs.
While Dreame’s bot may cost as much as $2,000 (pricing isn't finalized) it uses lidar mapping so there’s no need for clunky beacons or fiddly guide wire.
Belkin is embracing the new magnet-enhanced Qi2 wireless charging standard with a pair of new products being announced at Berlin’s IFA 2023 tech show. There’s the BoostCharge Convertible Qi2 Wireless Pad to Stand (yes, that’s the name), which can either work like a traditional Qi pad or hold a phone upright while it charges — great for the iPhone’s new StandBy feature. There’s also the BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad with Qi2, which is equipped with a pair of wireless charging pads (one 15W and one 5W) plus a USB-C port for charging a third device like an Apple Watch via an optional dongle.Read Article >
Announced at CES earlier this year, Qi2 is a new version of Qi wireless charging that effectively integrates the magnets from Apple’s MagSafe standard into a cross-platform spec. Belkin has previously put out several MagSafe chargers, so it’s not much of a surprise that it’s embracing Qi2.
After nearly three years without a new smartwatch, Withings is kicking off IFA 2023 by announcing not one but two ScanWatch hybrid watches.Read Article >
The $349.95 ScanWatch 2 is Withings’ latest and greatest hybrid smartwatch, with a new temperature tracking module that uses a combination of four sensors: a thermistor; heat flux; PPG (the green LED for measuring heart rate); and accelerometer. Data from the four sensors will then be fed into an algorithm that uses movement, heart rate, and skin temperature to deliver health insights. Withings also introduced a slightly pared-down, fashion-first ScanWatch Light for $249.99.
The point of cloud gaming is it doesn’t require a powerful PC; a Chromebook should do just fine. Today, Google and Nvidia are ready to prove it by giving away a free, no-strings-attached GeForce Now subscription to every modern Chromebook owner.Read Article >
You don’t have to buy a new machine, and there’s no recurring subscription. You don’t have to enter any credit card information, Google spokesperson Peter Du confirms to The Verge. As long as you’ve got a Chromebook from 2017 or newer, you can simply head over to Google’s Chromebook Perks page and hit the “Get perk” button to redeem a three-month subscription to the Priority tier of Nvidia’s GeForce Now.