Wearable Robots to 8K TVs – Top Picks from IFA 2018 Tech Fest
The IFA is a consumer electronics fest that takes place every year at Berlin to showcase the latest in technology.
Every year at the the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA), some of the craziest gadgets and future tech makes an appearance. The IFA is one of the world's largest annual consumer electronics fests.
As expected, this year's IFA also had some cool and interesting inventions on display. From robots that can play chess to TVs with 33 million pixels, this year's IFA had it all.
Here are few of the most interesting engineering marvels we found in this year's IFA:
LG's CLOi SuitBot Wearable Robot
LG unveiled its 'wearable robot' - the CLOi SuitBot at the ongoing IFA. The thing looks like crutches from the 25th century. The primary purpose of it is to allow for more mobility and lower limb strength.
The CLOi SuitBot has been developed in collaboration with SG Robotics, a startup specialising in wearable robots that can improve the quality of life.
A comfortable fit and naturally rotating joints allow the CLOi SuitBot to move in a more relaxed and natural way to compliment or at best, enhance the lower body while walking, standing or working. It has sandal-type shoes and an automatic adjustment feature to allow the wearer to get in and out of the suit.
AI allows LG CLOi SuitBot to learn and evolve through the recognition and analysis of biometric and environment data, measuring and analyzing movements to suggest optimal movements and stances for maximum power efficiency.
It can also connect with other LG service robots to become a part of a smart network the company has been working on for its AI initiative for the commercial sector.
Sony Aibo Robot
Want a dog that doesn't need caring? Sony has you covered with its Aibo dog robot. This was not launched at the IFA, but was among the most sought-after showcases at the fest.
The new gadget uses cameras and sensors to map its surroundings, to be able to move around on its own, like a puppy does.
Since it can read its surroundings, the Aibo is able to go up to its charging dock itself when it is low on battery. The robot puppy can recognise up to 100 faces and remembers interactions with people.
All of this is done with powerful AI that makes every Aibo develop its own personality over time, according to Sony.
The new Aibo has 4,000 parts, 22 actuators, OLED Screens as eyes and its nose is a camera. It uses the same AI that is being used to develop self-driving cars. This AI integration allows it to mimic a dog's action and learn new tricks based on its interaction with the owners. Yes, it even responds if someone pets it on the head, back and under its chin.
Huawei AI Cube Smart Speakers
Huawei, although late to the smart speaker party, has come up with something that looks a lot like the Google Home speaker. The AI Cube is Huawei's first smart speaker and it does have a few unique features.
Contrary to the name, it is not in a cube shape.
The Huawei AI Cube is a combination of a 4G modem, a Wi-Fi router, a wireless speaker with surround sound and Alexa integration, along with AI capabilities. It can further support internet speeds of up to 300mbps.
Lenovo Yoga Laptops
Lenovo’s Yoga series of laptops is the one with a 360-degree adjustable screen. At the IFA, the Chinese manufacturer has introduced a new series of Yoga laptops - the Yoga Book C930, Yoga C630 and the Yoga 930.
The Yoga Book C930 has two panels, and both are screens. The screen on the bottom panel has been replaced by a touch-enabled keyboard.
The keyboard is an E Ink keyboard, meaning its not just an on-screen keyboard. You get a more specialised input device and better traction for the finger on the matte finish screen (as opposed to the screen on the original Yoga Book.)
The Yoga C930 top-of-the-line laptop has got a rotating Dolby Sound Bar for its hinge.
The C930 also comes with a stylus, integrated within the laptop itself. The stylus comes with 4,096 levels of pressure detection. Being a flagship device, the C930 comes with an 8th-Gen Intel i5 processor, paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The laptop can also be upgraded to an i7, with 16GB RAM and 2TB of storage.
The one that sits at the lower end of the spectrum, the Lenovo C630, is special as it is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 850 processor. The Snapdragon 850 is Qualcomm's latest chipset in its series of flagship processors for top of the line smartphones.
The flexible laptop comes with a polished aluminium finish, to give it a premium touch. It comes with a 13.3-inch IPS touchscreen that also supports an optional stylus. It comes with two 4GB and 8GB RAM options, with storage of 128GB and 256GB. However, whether a phone processor can perform well on a Windows laptop is yet to be seen.
Samsung Q900 8K TV
At the IFA, Korean appliances giant Samsung showcased its first-ever 8K resolution television. The Q900 is an 85-inch monster of a screen packed with 33 million pixels.
The 33-million pixels mean that the Q900 has four times the resolution of a normal 4K television.
However, these 33-million pixels are just to attract attention as the human eye cannot see so much detail. Also, 8K technology would need supporting content, like 4K itself, and it will take time to pick up.
Samsung says that the TV uses a new 8K Quantum processor and AI to improve texture, smoothen the edges and reduce noise and blurring. Apart from all of this, the Q900 will also be Samsung’s brightest ever TV.
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