IFA 2018: 8K TV, AI everything, and more trends we expect to see

IFA is right around the corner, and if history is any indication, we’re about to see some seriously awesome tech. We’ve kept our ears to the ground and snooped around to learn what’s coming this year, and one thing is certain: You do not want to miss the news coming from IFA 2018, and Digital Trends has boots on the ground to bring it to you. Here’s a teaser of what to expect over the coming days from Europe’s biggest technology show.

TV

Televisions will probably steal the lion’s share of media spotlights this year, and that’s because this will be the year of 8K TVs. Yes, we’ve seen 8K TVs before, but the news we expect to hear this year is that 8K TVs will finally go on sale in the coming months. Many of you will balk, but we’ve got some pretty compelling reasons why 8K TV is worth getting excited about.

Aside from 8K, we do expect microLED to remain a buzzword, and of course, there should be some OLED surprises in store. We’ll be positioned in the right place at the right time to get you up close and personal with all the new TV hotness, so stay tuned!

Phones

IFA has never been a big show for phones – most brands save their best for Mobile World Congress, held in February – and this year will probably be no different. Samsung’s already released its Galaxy Note 9, but Sony may surprise us with a new flagship, and LG has announced two G7 variants already.

We also know Chinese phone maker ZTE is unveiling the Axon 9, but don’t get too excited since it’s unlikely to make it to the US. We’re hoping to see something new from BlackBerry and maybe HTC. We’ll know for sure by Thursday morning!

Smart home and appliances

If its one thing you can count on at IFA, it’s a glut of smart home devices and smart appliances. This year, we expect to see not just internet connectivity, but A.I. built into just about everything. We also expect Samsung to push its Bixby voice assistant and Smart Things ecosystem, while LG will hopefully show off more of what its ThinkQ A.I. system can do. The trend this show should be interoperability – your fridge talking to your washer, which is talking to your phone, which is talking to your TV, and so on.

Our big question: Will all this “smart” stuff finally become easy to use?

IFA

Voice assistant

Alexa! Hello Google! Alexa! Hello Google! ALEXA!  Imagine several buildings chock full of people trying to use voice assistants. It’s going to happen – we’ll see voice control in refrigerators, washers, dryers, TVs, speakers, smart displays, mirrors, doorbells, security cameras, projectors … the list goes on.

Of course, recognizing accents has never been either the Google Assistant’s or Alexa’s forte, so rather than see voice assistants integrated into more devices, let’s see some improvement on the voice recognition end.

Robots overlords

Sony already unveiled the latest edition of its Aibo Robot dog, and we’re sure to see it at the show. But Sony will have competition in Berlin this year, as we expect teems of robots armed with cloud-based artificial intelligence to be found vacuuming floors, playing games, and clinging to people. Yes, LG’s got a wearable robot designed to aid mobility and it looks like its straight out of a movie. We’re going to give it a try and let you know what it’s like.

Computing

Franky, it will be a quiet year for PCs. Digital Trends’ Senior Editor Matt Smith told us most laptop announcements will involve incremental improvements, but no bold upgrades. Dell, Asus, Lenovo, and Acer are all sure to have something to show off, but Nvidia just unleashed a slew of graphics cards, so it’s unlikely we’ll see any movement in the gaming space. Some trends this year that we wouldn’t be surprised to see more of at IFA include premium Chromebooks, Qualcomm-powered 2-in-1s, and laptops refreshed with Intel’s latest processors.

IFA’s press day starts Wednesday morning in Berlin, Germany at 10:00 AM. You can follow our coverage by simply following @digitaltrends on Twitter and Instagram. You can also catch all our video coverage at our YouTube channel.

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