IFA Archive

And this is why VR headsets are headsets and not sunglasses

They fall off. A lot. And nothing rips you from the escapism of VR faster than having a pair of glasses constantly fall off the bridge of your nose. No sudden movement and you should be fine. I’m not saying never to the idea. I can certainly see a time in the not too distant future when such devices might become practical. For now, however, there …

If nothing else, StikBox is a good way to hide the fact that you own a selfie stick

What if I told you that you could hide the shame of carrying around a selfie stick, protect your smartphone and have a free kickstand all in one go? How much would you pay for such a luxury? $10,000? $100,000? $8 million? Try around $40, American. The StikBox is actually a pretty solid idea that seems to work fairly well. It’s a plastic iPhone/Samsung handsets …

Samsung’s smart belt is now on Kickstarter, and it’s still called WELT

In Berlin, it means “world.” There’s probably something to be read into that, but I’ve been here covering IFA for several days now and quite frankly, I’m coming up short. The gadget made its debut back in CES in January and now it’s kind of, sort of ready for prime-time. Along with its appearance on the show floor, the product has just hit Kickstarter with …

The thing that makes IFA a hard show to cover is also its best feature

 Today concludes my fourth IFA. Or maybe my fifth. These tech conferences tend to blend together after a while. The first time I attended the show, I hadn’t really heard of the thing, to be honest. Even this year, a number of my colleagues still hadn’t. In the U.S., IFA hasn’t risen to the ranks of a CES or even an MWC, somehow. It has, however, …

A wristband and your finger can replace your phone, but you still need a phone to use it

The most exciting part of Samsung’s IFA booth is also its most understated. Somewhere toward the middle of the huge, brightly lit hall are a series of tables, showing off non-Samsung products, a perfect microcosm of the ways in which large electronics corporations are reaching beyond their own walls for inspiration. Not that these companies don’t have any connection to the technology giant. Many are …

Your washing machine should be smarter about washing clothes than you are

Washing machines have always felt like a sort of necessary evil. I’m wouldn’t go so far as suggesting that no one enjoys washing clothes – heck, I find doing the dishes kind of cathartic. People are weird. But most washers feel like big, dumb machines. Machines that break down, lose our unmentionables and often ruin the clothes they should be cleaning. It doesn’t seem like …

As long as robots look adorable and make us coffee, we’ll be eating out of their robotic hands

It doesn’t take much. For all the bluster around the conversation about Skynet and robotic overlords, we still melt when a diminutive robot flashes the slightest hint of humanity through a small set of blinking eyes – and then does something nice for us. Sony’s Xperia Agent robotic assistant captured the tech world’s attention when it debuted at MWC in Barcelona, back in February. But …

A different glimpse at VR’s future through Qualcomm’s eye-tracking headset

Poor Qualcomm. Always the reference design, never the retail unit. It’s like being the guy behind the guy, the comedian’s comedian, the power behind the product that doesn’t get to reap the pomp and circumstance of a retail displays and big and flashy press conferences. The San Diego-based company did kick off IFA a few days back with its own event, but coverage got buried …

A circular satnav designed to blend in with a scooter

Like Garmin, TomTom’s been getting pretty aggressive with its wearable strategy. No wonder, really – it’s a space that’s seen exponential growth over the past few years, as in-car GPS systems have, at best, flatlined, thanks to the near ubiquity of smartphones. But TomTom’s not giving up the ghost. The company’s been playing around in the space to see what, if anything, might stick. This …

Acer’s 17 pound, curved-screen temple to gaming excess

Where to start? There’s the weight: 17 pounds. The screen: 21 inches, 2560 x 108, curved. The power supply: two. The fans: five. Rear ports: 21. Or how about the gaming pad that flips over, trap door style to reveal a number pad? Most ridiculous of all is the fact that, in spite of everything, the Acer Predator 21 X still somehow qualifies as a …