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What Turned Heads At IFA 2017

IFA, Europe's largest tech show, was inaugurated in 1924. The 2017 edition is hosting 1,823 exhibitors in around 159,000 square meters of exhibit space encompassing 30 multi-level buildings circling Summergarten, a concert park, at the Messe Berlin fair grounds. More than 145,000 trade visitors are expected and, over the weekend, will attract around 100,000 consumers.

Arguably the most colorful booth annually at IFA is the blindingly magenta T-Mobile booth.

IFA Next, an area laid out like a wheel with spokes with a center presentation space, features displays from dozens of companies demonstrating technologies that IFA organizers said will be coming in two to five years.

Around of a third of the IFA exhibit space — and about two-thirds of the fun — is occupied by appliance makers, and every one of them actively demonstrates their wares and feeds attendees. For instance, there are a cornucopia of cooking demos, such as this one at Bosch …

... or get charged up on any and all varieties of coffee, such as espresso at Nespresso ...

... or fresh-squeezed juice at Panasonic.

So why is this fresh donut maker so lonely? Probably because he's nowhere near the coffee vendors.

Once you've eaten, of course, you'll want to brush your teeth at the Philips booth using the company's latest SonicCare model.

... or adopt a whole new 'do.

Just as at any trade show, exhibitors try to attract attention with gimmicks, such as this display of soccer – sorry, we're in Europe so that's football – legerdemain at the Hisense booth.

A few large companies occupy their own singles-floor buildings, such as Sony ...

... and LG, which inaugurated a new OLED tunnel at this year's show. Philips also earned its own building, and Samsung essentially owns the main floor of the separate City Cube, which opened at IFA 2014.

Like CES, IFA features several product-specialty areas, such as the labyrinth of smartphone accessory booths winding through several buildings.

Microsoft's Peter Han announcing the Oct. 17 arrival of Windows Mixed Reality headsets from a variety of suppliers for $299, at one of the many IFA keynotes.

And if you ever become disoriented at IFA – which is easy to do – or even have trouble finding the show driving around the city, just look up and find the 490-foot-tall Funkturm Berlin, the former broadcasting tower opened in 1926, the distinctive feature of Messe Berlin.

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