Every year, Germany hosts Europe’s premier technology event, the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA). This grand affair offers companies a platform to display their current innovations and tease upcoming products. With recent editions drawing crowds of over 150,000 attendees, IFA 2023 is set to unfold from September 1st to 5th at the Messe Berlin Exhibition Grounds.
IFA, a name that once resonated with radio waves and early television sets, has evolved into one of the world’s most significant tech showcases. Since its inception in 1924, it has been the epicentre of technological innovation, where companies, big and small, unveil their latest creations to a global audience. From the introduction of the first cassette tape to the unveiling of cutting-edge smart devices, IFA has been a testament to the ever-evolving tech landscape.
From wearables to wonders
For wearable tech companies, IFA is not just another event; it’s a pilgrimage. It’s where the boundaries of what’s possible in the wearable domain are pushed, and where the world gets a glimpse of the future draped around our wrists, perched on our noses, or woven into our clothes. The importance of IFA for these companies cannot be overstated. In an industry where innovation is the key to survival, IFA offers a platform to showcase advancements, gain feedback, and understand market dynamics.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Wearable technology, once a niche segment, has now permeated every facet of our lives. From fitness trackers that monitor our health to AR glasses that augment our reality, the wearable tech industry is at the forefront of personal technology. And at IFA, this industry converges. It’s where partnerships are forged, where trends are set, and where the next big thing is just around the corner. As we gear up for this year’s event, one thing is certain: the wearable tech world will be watching, and the future will be on full display.
We will, of course, be on the ground in Berlin to report on all the news. Last year we witnessed a number of interesting launches. This year should be no less exciting. As usual, Apple will not be there but many others will.
Here is what to expect.
IFA 2023: Wearable tech exhibitors
Fitbit has remained notably silent this year, especially in terms of hardware. The lack of updates is likely due to the ongoing consolidation after its merger with Google. We know that the search giant plans to unveil the Pixel Watch 2, but this will occur in October. On the software side, Fitbit has implemented some changes in the past few months. Some of these have not been to the benefit of existing Fitbit customers, with existing functionality being stripped back.
It will be interesting to see where things go from here. Last year, Fitbit introduced the Sense 2, Versa 4, and Luxe 2 at the IFA in Berlin, launching them just a week before the official event kicked off. The company is set to participate in the Berlin event once more, though what they’ll present remains a mystery.
A possibility is the first proper kids smartwatch from the company details of which have leaked out a few months ago. Another possibility is Fitbit Charge 6 as the current edition is some two years old now.
Unlike Fitbit, Garmin has had quite a few launches so far in 2023. The company has been going from strength to strength in recent years and it shows.
In 2022, Garmin had only one new watch on display in Berlin – the Venu Sq 2. The display has been enhanced from the original version. Additionally, the device offers GNSS support, almost twice the battery longevity, Sleep Score & Insights, Health Snapshot, and an expanded range of sports modes.
We are not 100% sure that the company will attend IFA this year as it is currently not on the list. However, with two weeks to go this could change. Garmin has been a regular at the show.
As far as what to expect, Venu 3 is widely expected to launch in the coming weeks. Another device which has popped up a few days ago at a regulatory agency is HRM-FIT. This will be a new heart rate monitor from Garmin and we would not be surprised if it is the first from the company to work from multiple locations – chest, upper, lower arm. The Forerunner 65 should also land soon.
Then we come to Samsung. It always has a large hall that it occupies by itself in Berlin. Everything from the latest TVs, to robot vacuums and washing machines can be seen there. Along with a few wearable tech products.
No mystery on that end. The Galaxy Watch 6 series was unveiled a couple of weeks ago, and the company will be proudly displaying abilities of the new watches. All things considered, the latest generation offers a modest upgrade over its predecessor. But we did see a return of the physical rotating bezel on Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
What we would like to see in a few weeks time is an official mention of Galaxy Ring. Some details on the first smart ring from the company are filtering through, and we’ve had a few mentions of the device by regulatory agencies. We were actually disappointed its launch did not occur alongside the Galaxy Watch 6 series.
Zepp Health is another familiar face at Europe’s tech spectacle. In the previous year, they strategically announced the GT4 line just before IFA. These gadgets brought notable improvements over their earlier versions. These advancements encompassed design refinements, the integration of Huami’s newest BioTracker 4.0 PPG optical sensor, continuous SpO2 tracking, enhanced sports functionalities, state-of-the-art dual-band circularly-polarised GPS antenna technology, and built-in music storage.
We are yet to learn what Zepp Health will be showcasing this year. Perhaps the GT5 line? Or maybe something else. No doubt, they will have something new to show.
Withings will also have a display in Berlin. Little has dropped from the French outfit in terms of new devices this year. Also, no regulatory filings pointing to a new product. It might be a quiet year for the French outfit although we wouldn’t mind a surprise such as, for example, ScanWatch 2.
Many other companies will be showcasing trackers for sports, outdoor activities and sleeping, along with smartwatches, smart clothes, smart helmets and much more. You can find a full list by clicking on this link.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out