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Friday, 20 September 2019

The world's leading consumer tech show: Following in Einstein's footsteps in Berlin

Ezzat Ibrahim in Berlin, Thursday 12 Sep 2019
 The Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin exhibition
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Back in 1924, the great scientist Albert Einstein visited the first industrial exhibition, the Great German Radio and Phonographic Exhibition, where he sent a message to people everywhere saying: “Dear present and absent ones. When you listen to the radio, also spare a thought for how humanity obtained this wonderful instrument. The wellspring of all technical achievement is the divine curiosity, the ludic drive of the tinkering and pondering researcher, and no less the constructive imagination of the technical inventor."

Einstein

In 2019, the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA), as the exhibition is called today, has kept the message of the humanity's greatest scientist alive and curiosity has reached the sky with new technologies that come to dominate the exhibition.

Almost one hundred years ago, the "Radio was the star of the show and Einstein presented the new technology to the audience, this year, the artificial intelligence (AI) is the dominator in the largest consumer electronic fair in the world.

IFA, kicked of September 6, has gathered hundreds of leading enterprises, nearly 10,000 medias, and hundreds of thousands of smart product enthusiasts. to get a glimpse of the innovations on display, the exhibition attendees need at least a couple of days to tour the various halls of IFA.

In 2018, IFA set a new standard by selling out 161,200 square meters of show floor space to 1,814 exhibitors, confirming IFA’s role as the leading showcase for the global technology industry. The value of transactions or order volume that came out of IFA 2018 reached 4.7 Euros.

IFA 2019 hosts more innovation and product launches than any previous event, and also presents more digital lifestyle products in one place than any other show worldwide. The innovation platform of IFA, called IFA NEXT, is focusing on smart cities, the future of mobility, artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality, along with many other topics.

The exhibition brought all these complementary topics and global expertise together for the future of technology, business and lifestyle. The future technology from Japan was one of the main features of IFA NEXT this year.

The (AI) Revolution

Artificial intelligence technologies are being used in a variety of situations across consumer, enterprise, and government markets. Hence, the term is currently used to refer to a variety of technologies, such as machine learning and natural language processing. According to the statistics of Statista, the AI market worldwide will grow by 154 % in 2020 and North America is the largest region based on AI software revenue in 2019. Also, the Global AI hardware market revenue reached USD 635 IN 2017. According to the market research firm Tractica, in 2019, the AI software market in North America is estimated to be worth around 6.36 billion U.S. dollars. The US market will reach $ 51 billion in 2025 and the Middle East and North Africa market will jump from $ .25 billion to $ 3.03 billion.

Home, Smart Home!

The size of the global smart home market will reach 79.3 million US dollars. The future smart home market will see explosive growth and further upgrade to and focus on Smart Home 3.0. The further development of whole-house intelligence will gradually solve the pain spots in smart home and satisfy more user demands with richer combination and more customized scenes.

In Bosch Home Appliances's booth, the German leading company introduces a whole new way of life. With a technology called Home Connect, you can control your home appliances very easily, from washing machine to the oven, to the coffee machine or the vacuum cleaner. the Home Connect app gives the user access to all the relevant information at any time.

Artificial Intelligence technology

As it can not only switch the appliances on and off, it can also select programs, adjust timers, set appliances to eco mode and much more. For example, High-performance sensors enhanced by artificial intelligence: The Serie 8 sensor-controlled oven with HomeConnect. An oven that'll predict when a cake baked to your individual recipe is done? Bosch is the first home appliances manufacturer in the German market to now incorporate the possibilities of artificial intelligence in sensor-controlled built-in ovens. For example, Amazon Alexa can connect everything at home. it gives orders to oven or washing machines and it can also adjust the cooking mood. A new cooker has 140 recipes on one device with a whole explanation on how to cook while you are on the sofa or doing something else. The idea is to download the recipes on your device and ask Alexa to finish the job. Also, the Bosch's AI technology tells, via apps and cameras in the fridge, if you need more supply or not. The trend is to searching for solutions and to enhancing devices to stop the waste of food (the waste is up to 18 billion Euros a year in Germany alone-according to recent statistics).

Artificial Intelligence technology

Also, Bosch Household Appliances managing director, Harald Friedrich told reporters, "Bosch Home Professional Series of washing machines and dryers works with a form of artificial intelligence. The machine, via sensors, can measure the laundry load, how dirty it is, and what kind of textiles are being washed. From these parameters, the machine, in the automatic program, determines exactly, to the last milliliter, how much detergent is needed. This saves money, it saves water and detergent, and in the end, it helps the environment."

Another aspect of the exhibition, the IFA Product Technical Innovation Award (IFA-PTIA), which is focusing on cutting-edge consumer electronics, is launched globally every year. Hence, the outstanding products selected over the years are the pioneers in the development of the consumer electronics industry, representing the development trend of consumer electronics technology in recent years. This year, 24 products from 20 manufacturers including Bosch, Siemens, TCL, Google, SONY, LG, Midea, AEG, Miele, Skyworth, BOE, Beko, KONKA, Kärcher, CHANGHONG, ECOVACS, Delonghi, Philips, Amazfit and Millo have been selected. The product range covers TV, air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, sweeping robots and other consumer electronics products.

Artificial Intelligence technology

According to Popular Mechanics magazine: "Bosch debuted a new line of super quiet appliances, including a washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, and oven hood. Using EcoSilence tech, developed by the German tech and engineering company." Indeed, each appliance "promises to make your home a more peaceful place. To put decibel level into perspective: The Series 8 Washing Machine runs at 44 decibels—comparable to the quiet conversation you might hear between two people in a library. The Series 6 Dishwasher runs at an impressive 38 decibels, something between the sound of human breathing and a whisper."

Egypt: a New Market for Smart Technology

The new technology of Bosch and Siemens had raised questions related to their plans to invest in Egypt and how the AI technology fits in the new promising production in the country and the relation between the advanced technology and the households's income in different markets.

Last March, Bosch announced the establishing of a major factory as part of its investment plan in Egypt. According to company's officials the factory will be a regional hub in the Middle East and Africa and the corporation looks forward to exporting some 60% of the factory’s production abroad, hailing Egypt’s potentials and special location. In June, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly toured the factories of Bosch in Stuttgart as part of his visit to Germany to attend the 22nd session of the Arab-German Business Forum.

"As a market leader, we don't want to compromise the the name of the brand or the quality, we provide quality here in Germany and to the European market, and by far we are the German market leader and the Europe' market leader. Then we are not for the upper-class only and that's not the intention for sure in the case of working in Egypt or any other market," Matthias Ginthum, Chief Markets Officers BSH CMO told Al-Ahram Online. "after the decision of putting the factory there (in Egypt) and making sure that the factory reached maturity level, which means people get training to raise the operational capabilities and this is what we need to see in the next five years," said Haluk Kaya BSH Home Appliances Turkey, Middle East, Africa and CIS Region Head of Finance.

Bosch Household Appliances managing director, Harald Friedrich talking to reporters

"Egypt is very important to us as the economy improves and grows, and also capabilities in the country improving, and from there we can decide what else we can invest in or what can be extended in Egypt," he added.

The case of studying the market is very key to produce the proper products for Bosch. "The consumer's preferences is one of our strategies. We are not fighting against the competition but we are fighting for consumers to meet their needs," said Ginthum. "We have spent a lot of energy to understand what are the pinpoints, specially in Egypt's cooking market. We have basically analysand what are those are being supplied today, and what is the consumer's habituation. This is basically the source of developing the whole products; A lot of consumer's insights and a lot of studies and R&D," he elaborated.

Bosch booth

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