This year’s IFA event saw some innovative and exciting products being exhibited ranging from new developments in virtual reality to personal trackers to drones and robots. These are the winners.
Analytics company IHS Markit has announced the winners of the IHS Markit Innovation Awards. Presented at the ShowStoppers press event in Berlin on the eve of the IFA expo, the awards showcased the most innovative technology products submitted by event exhibitors.
Winners and runners up by category are:
Augmented Reality (A/R), Virtual Reality (V/R) and Gaming
- Winner: Nuheara Ltd IQbuds, the world’s most intelligent wireless earbuds that allow users to hear what they want to hear around them and connect with their digital devices.
- Runner-up: Pixie Technology, a technology leader in the emerging Location of Things (LoT) sector, whose Baggage Claim service allows users to be alerted to the proximity of luggage and bags in real-time.
- Winner: ReSound LiNX 3D from ReSound GN, the third generation of the first hearing aid made for the iPhone. This product offers clear speech understanding, 360-degree sound location, the most modern control options and more.
- Runner-up: Nuheara Ltd IQbuds
- Winner (Tie): Rugged Messenger Keyboard for new 9.7-inch iPad from ZAGG International. The keyboard is designed to give users total versatility when it comes to being productive and on the go.
- Winner (Tie): Presidio CLEAR for Macbook from Speck Products, the first drop-protective laptop case designed to protect against drops from up to 1.2 meters. It features a transparent, durable design without the bulk of the traditional protective cases on the market.
- Winner: Tempow Audio Profile, a software-only solution for hardware and chipset manufacturers that lets existing Bluetooth speakers, of any brand, work together in perfect sync.
- Runner-up: CatS41 Smartphone, a rugged, waterproof device with great battery power, built to handle the extreme conditions that users face every day at work and play.
- Winner: Libratone ZIPP, speakers that create a 360-degree, full-room sound experience in any space. These speakers feature a pleasant-looking exterior, great battery power and are carefully designed to follow users around the home.
- Runner-up: Jooki, the jukebox for kids, from Muuse Labs. Users can link the Jooki music player’s playlist on a figurine (song, story, album or internet radio station), place it on top of Jooki and let the magic happen.
Robotics & Drones
- Winner: Astrobot Kit from UBTECH Robotics, the first Jimu robot kit that builds three distinct form categories: humanoid, anthropomorphic wheeled vehicle and treaded mobile robot with grab and lift action.
- Runner-up: Cruzr from UBTECH Robotics. Cruzr is the first customized service robot adaptable to a variety of business needs, optimizing human resources and improving work efficiency.
Smart Home & Appliances
- Winner: The Neato Botvac D7 Connected from Neato Robotics, a Wi-Fi enabled robot lets users control their vacuum from wherever they are. The Neato app allows the user to set a vacuum schedule, stop or pause the robot, and get instant notification about the status of the vacuuming run.
- Runner-up: VELUX ACTIVE and Netatmo from VELUX Deutschland, roof windows controlled by sensor technology. Smart sensors measure the temperature, light, humidity and air quality to automatically open or close roof windows, blinds and shutters.
Judges for the awards were technology industry research analysts at IHS Markit as well as prominent journalists who cover the gamut of technology sectors related to each ShowStoppers event:
IHS Markit Judges
- Ian Fogg, senior director, mobile and telecom
- Paul Gagnon, senior manager, consumer devices
- Paul Gray, principal analyst, consumer devices
- Dinesh Kithany, principal analyst, home appliances
- Ken Park, senior analyst, consumer devices
Welcome to world of 2099
The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.
Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.
This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.
Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.
As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.
“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”
The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.
“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”
- Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube
Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.
Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com
This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.
Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.
What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.
However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.
As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.
It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.
The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.
To enter the competition follow the steps below:
Competition entry details:
3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.
4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.
5. The competition is only open to South African residents.