IFA 2017: What to expect in smartwatches, fitness tech and AR

The biggest launches due at the Berlin tech show
IFA 2017: Wearables to expect

Stop in the name of Internationale Funkausstellung. It's that time again where we implore you not to buy gadgets because there's a whole hunk of new wearable tech about to be announced.

The 2017 edition of IFA, everyone's fave Berlin tech expo, kicks off on Wednesday 31 August with a day (or two) of press conferences before it opens to the public from Friday 1 to Wednesday 6 September. We'll be there reporting from the show. Mike, James, Sophie and Conor are hitting up the Messe for Bratwurst, interviews, demos and more Bratwurst.

Read this: You might not pay for your next wearable

We're not saying all this shiny new stuff will go on sale in early September - just that it makes sense to hold up for a week or so to check out the new goodies plus the inevitable discounts for soon-to-be-old models.

Here's what we expect to see in wearable tech, VR & AR and smart home at IFA 2017.

Wednesday 31 August

Acer

IFA 2017: What to expect in wearable tech

Getting in nice and early with a 10.30am CET start is Acer. We reckon we'll get more of a look at its Windows Mixed Reality headset which we tried earlier this year as well as the new Leap Ware fitness smartwatch. Beyond that, who knows what it's up to in wearable tech - maybe more pet wearable talk?

Asus

IFA 2017: What to expect in wearable tech

Next up is Asus at 1pm Wednesday - will we see a new ZenWatch? Unlikely, but Asus is pushing into AR with its ZenFone AR so there could be news on that front alongside what looks like laptop or tablet news from the invite.

Samsung

IFA 2017: What to expect in wearable tech

Later on, at 6pm CET Wednesday, Samsung's press conference at the Tempodrom is likely to be interesting. Mainly as we've heard a whole bunch of rumours, but we're still trying to work out what is coming now, what is coming later and what is bull.

It appears extremely likely, based on leaks and a sole FCC filing, that we're going to see the Samsung Gear Sport, though whether this is a legitimate successor to the Gear S3 and the de facto Samsung Gear S4 is unknown. Also unconfirmed are the specs, though the device would appear to be waterproof up to 5ATM, offer a heart rate monitor and be slimmer than the Gear S3.

IFA 2017: What to expect in wearable tech

We could also see a new Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro. Details and images of this have already leaked. We hear it's coming with built-in GPS, 5 ATM water resistance, swim tracking and offline Spotify playback. Check out Mike's Gear Sport and Gear Fit2 Pro wish list for other features he hopes Samsung will include in these two big launches.

And if two bits of wrist-based hardware aren't enough to get you excited, a leak has suggested new IconX earbuds are on the way, as well as an updated Gear VR headset that will be able to house the Galaxy Note 8 smartphone.

Maybe if there's time we'll receive an update on Samsung's smart home plans and hopefully something concrete around its struggling voice assistant too. The Bixby smart speaker is on hold, though knowing Samsung, it won't be for too long.

Thursday 31 August

Garmin

IFA 2017: What to expect in wearable tech

Garmin has the potential to be a show stealer this year. Specifically, we have images of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 all-round fitness watch which has had a major facelift. We don't have spec information for this yet but stay tuned at 12pm CET on Thursday to see what Garmin has for us this fall.

While the Vivosmart and Vivofit lines have been upgraded fairly recently, we haven't seen an update to the Vivomove hybrid since 2016 either. In its latest earnings, the Fenix 5 seemed to be doing well for Garmin, but revenue declined 15%, due to fewer sales of basic activity trackers.

Fossil

IFA 2017: What to expect in wearable tech

Fossil doesn't seem to be holding a press conference, but from Thursday morning it's showing off "new touchscreen and hybrid smartwatch collections" at IFA.

We're still waiting for a lot of the Fossil Group announcements from Baselworld to drop, but Fossil might have something completely new to show, as part of its effort to get to 300 wearables in 2017. After its share price crashed earlier in August, it'll be hoping for a few (hundred) hits.

Sony & LG

IFA 2017: What to expect in wearable tech

On Thursday afternoon, we have two press conferences from Sony and LG and we have little to zero idea what to expect. Sony starts at 1pm CET, LG at 5pm.

Sony could show off a new hearable – which could be the Sony Xperia Ear Duo Bluetooth ear bud – and smart home concepts alongside fresh smartphone and TV wares as it has done the past few shows. What's more, we may even see the Japan only Three Hands smartwatch on show.

LG, meanwhile, has already launched two smartwatches this year - the Watch Sport and the Watch Style - but it might have more news on its high end SteamVR headset alongside the expected V30 smartphone launch. Your guess is as good as ours but hey, we like surprises.

Lenovo

IFA 2017: What to expect in wearable tech

Lenovo, which owns Motorola, is putting on its show at 8pm CET on the Thursday. Alongside a new Moto X, we're not holding out hope for another Moto smartwatch as that has been ruled out for the foreseeable.

Instead, all eyes on Lenovo's Mirage Mixed Reality headset and we're also itching to have a play on its phone-powered AR Star Wars visor, complete with lightsaber controller, too.

Friday 2 September

Fitbit Ionic – Confirmed

IFA 2017: What to expect in wearable tech

Fitbit has announced the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch ahead of CEO James Park's IFA keynote on Friday at 5pm CET – and it's a biggie. The fitness forward watch boasts an all-new heart rate monitor, mobile payments and guided workouts – find out more in our Fitbit Ionic guide. There were also announcements of the Fitbit Flyer wireless headphones and new Fitbit Aria 2 smart scales.


Shop for recommended smartwatches on Amazon

Samsung Gear S3
Samsung Gear S3
$299
Fitbit Ionic
Fitbit Ionic
$299.95
Apple Watch Series 2
Apple Watch Series 2
$307.99
Garmin Vivoactive HR
Garmin Vivoactive HR
$199.99

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