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IFA: All the winners

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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.

Fitness/Wearables/Health Devices

  • 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

Mobile Accessories

  • 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.

Mobile Computing

  • 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.

Personal Entertainment

  • 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

Journalist Judges

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Smash hits the Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Competitions

Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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