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IFA, sustainability and beyond

Last week Blake McEldowney and Juan Soriano Blanco Soriano visited IFA Berlin 2022. After 3 years, they got to reconnect with the consumer electronics community in person, in an industry Mormedi has extensive experience and expertise since its first project back in 1998.

As expected, the concept of sustainability was all over the place. From displays and stands that emulated a botanic garden - some companies are even working on indoor plant growing appliances - to the exhibition of products and technologies that promote efficiency and improve Supply Chain carbon footprint. Although many displays were compelling, it needs deeper investigation to understand genuine effort to improve and how much is just promoting a perception of sustainability.

It was good to see some appliances that are made to last longer and are designed to be easier to repair. Although the tradeoff between affordability and sustainability remains, this is still good news, since the world discards around 60 million tonnes of e-waste per year.

Another sustainability related initiative that is growing within the industry is the concept of Home Appliances “as a service”. More Companies are implementing a leasing model, keeping track of the entire lifecycle of the products they sell and takingresponsibility for their disposal at end of life, while the customer just gets to use the device hassle free.

Of course it wasn’t all about sustainability, IFA received over 160.000 visitors eager to experience the latest smart home and connectivity solutions, some of the other trends we highlight are:

1. Continued Customization

Companies are engaging with their clients by giving them the chance to customize their products in a deeper way with more complex characteristics and features that can be tailor made.

For example, we saw LED light panels across the entire front of the fridge and washing machines, so colours could change instantaneously depending on the function needed and aesthetic choice. #customization #devices

2. IOT devices

Brands are improving the connectivity and convenience of their new products, with enhanced features, platforms and protocolslike MATTER. There is still along way to go to make these experiences truly compelling. Another question is the security of these connected systems and we are yet to see a clear answer.

3. Foldables

Foldable Smartphones and Tablets; the latest generation are now more robust and have an improved quality look and feel. The flexibility of use and portability benefits are becoming quite compelling, especially if we get more out of one device. There were also some large 15” folding screen Laptops that unfold to become a super large display / tablet that could be interesting in the next generation.

4. Accessories

Big brands are realizing that there is a good business opportunity in developing their own accessories for their products rather than relying on 3rd party providers. This means higher quality and a better fit to the devices.

5. Gamification

Companies are making experiences as playful and interactive as possible and devices that challenge users to participate and engage with their specific functions.

6. Mixed-up Reality

There was a lot of discussion about where the VR - AR - XR - Metaverse is heading and what this means for the appliance &technology industries, but not much clear evidence of new thinking or offers beyond a few heads up display headsets for gaming.

It is great to be back to in-person events and to catch up with colleagues in the industry and to experience all these new solutions first hand.

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