Roll-up keyboards and modular computers, the IFA 2015 is here | brunch | Hindustan Times
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Roll-up keyboards and modular computers, the IFA 2015 is here

Roll-up keyboards, modular computers and speakers built into your rugs, the IFA 2015 is here, writes Rajiv Makhni.

brunch Updated: Sep 13, 2015 21:54 IST
Rajiv Makhni

Roll-up keyboards, modular computers and speakers built into your rugs, the IFA 2015 is here

It’s that epic time of the year when Europe becomes ‘destination tech!’ Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) in Berlin is easily one of the biggest tech events on the planet, and showcases all the stuff we will be using in the next few months.

The problem this time was that there were too many outstanding gadgets. Thus, I’ve given myself a self-quest. I will cover as many of them as I can, by restricting myself to about three lines each, telling you why it’s a standout product. I won’t bore you with mind-numbing tech specs. Mission IFA 2015 starts here:

Panasonic CZ950 OLED

OLED is the next big thing in TV displays and LG almost had a complete stranglehold on it. Until now. Panasonic comes marching in does a really solid OLED TV. The 950 is all OLED, all 4K and all stunning.

Acer Revo Build

We were all waiting for the first modular phone. Instead, we have a PC that is modular, can be built up block-by-block and is a dream, both for a geek and a tech-doofus. You stack blocks with different hardwares and features on top of each other. These connect to one another automatically and configure themselves on their own. It’s a PC that almost seems like it has artificial intelligence.


Talk about blasting back into the smartphone market and making all others look silly. Sony, with its Z5, has not only made a comeback, it’s taken the lead. The Z5 Premium has a 4K display with a 3840x2160 resolution. That’s 801 pixels per inch which goes beyond what can ever be imagined. It has a hybrid autofocus that can get a focus lock in just 0.03 seconds and an image-stabilisation system. Welcome back Sony, bye bye competition!

Ricoh Theta S

IFA didn’t set the camera market on fire and thus, the Ricoh Theta S really stood out. This camera has some real built-in optical wizardry. With its extra sensors on the front and back, it can capture 1080p videos spherically and in 360 degrees. The next big round thing is right here. Rolly

So, we all have really big phones and we all think we don’t need a tablet or a laptop. But we all realise how foolish we are when we have to type out a really long document!

Rolly will make you feel less foolish. It’s the world’s first rollable, wireless, portable keyboard that is a real keyboard and yet folds up perfectly into a very portable solid ‘stick’.

ZTE Nubia Z9

This phone is on pure anabolic steroids. Absolutely zero bezel makes it look like it has a curved screen. It fits in a big screen in a very small form factor. It is all-metal with gesture controls built into the sides. The capability to unlock your phone with a personal unlock gesture means you don’t need any fingerprint scanner.

Moto 360 2nd Gen (far right)

Motorola continues on its bizarre path of naming each product the same thing, adding a ‘next gen’ at the end. But all is forgiven for watch that the Moto 360 is, as it has three versions. It has souped-up specs, with two sizes for the normal watch (aka Apple Watch) and one new variation called the Moto 360 Sport, which looks good and works even better.

Samsung Gear S2 (right middle)
The Gear S2 is proof of Samsung finally getting a smartwatch so-totally-right, that it’s almost scary. It’s got the style chops right with a beautiful round-form factor, a 1.2inch OLED screen and a rotating bezel, that is actually your interface to launch apps and use features. Best smartwatch of the year!

TomTom Spark (right)
TomTom is all about GPS and making sure you don’t get lost. But the TomTom Spark is a smartwatch, fitness band and music player all rolled into one. It looks a lot like the Pebble Time, but does a whole lot more.

Toshiba Satellite Radius 12

When Toshiba engineers sat down to make the SR 12, they must have been in a good mood. This laptop goes where no laptop has gone before. Small form factor, 12.5inch 4K 3840x2160 screen, USB C 3.1 port AND 2 USB ports. This is the Macbook that Apple should have built.

As I read this column again before pressing the send button, I realised the total failure of my quest. So much has been left out. The Huawei Watch (the best-looking smartwatch ever), Lenovo Miix 700 tablet (hybrid with a great keyboard and screen), Onkyo’s totally wireless headphones (two earpieces connect to each other and to your smart device via Bluetooth ), Samsung SleepSense (goes under your mattress and provides a personalised sleep report), Polaroid Snap (prints an instant photo and saves it just like a digital camera), Panasonic’s rug speakers (yes, they are as bizarre as they sound and mesh into your carpet), Asus VivoStick PC (just like the Intel Compute Stick but smaller, and more powerful), Smarter iKettle (command it from your phone to start boiling even when you’re miles away) and about a 100 more really cool devices.

I can’t even promise you that I will do a second part to IFA 2015 next week. As that’s when we will get down and dirty with the all-new Apple iPhones. Yes, it’s that time of the year again.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, September 13
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