We’ve flipped over our desk calendars to September and in the world of tech that only really means one thing – it’s IFA time. The big Berlin expo kicks off later this week and, as always, the big players will turn out in force to show off their latest and greatest gadgets.
For IFA 2014 we’re expecting a whole host of new wearables as the industry gets its house in order ahead of the impending Apple iWatch launch.
Here’s what we expect to see on show….
Samsung could have already played its wearable trump card by going official with the Samsung Gear S last week; the Tizen powered smartwatch looks likely to be Samsung’s wearable star of the show.
The Gear S features a rounded design and 3G connectivity, meaning it can operate without an accompanying smartphone – a first for Samsung smartwatches, which before now required a Galaxy handset. You’ll need a separate data contract to make use of those 3G features though.
There are rumours of a circular Samsung Gear smartwatch to rival the spherical Motorola and LG contenders, although we’d be surprised if this was announced at IFA.
If there is a wearable curve ball thrown by the Korean behemoth it will most likely be in the shape of an Oculus-powered VR headset.
Dubbed 'Project Moonlight', images of the purported Morpheus rival appeared online in August. In the leaked image there was a Galaxy S5 alongside the device but, given that Samsung has dropped major hints that the next iteration of its Note range will be announced at IFA, we'd expect phablet compatibility as well.
If the rumour mill rings true Sony will announce the SmartWatch 3 at IFA 2014. The device is said to maintain the square screen of its predecessors and will apparently stick to Sony’s own wearable OS rather than adopting Android Wear. Or, according to a report on 9to5google, it will come running Google's smartwatch OS. You decide...
The most exciting new feature, according to the murmurs, is a built-in Wi-Fi module this allows the smartwatch to operate completely independently of the smartphone it’s partnered to.
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What’s more, we may have already seen the Sony SmartWatch 3 – a mysterious band appeared in an advert for the SmartBand Summer School app on Sony’s Facebook page recently.
"Here is a glimpse of #ASUSwearable, which will be one of the highlights at #IFA2014 in Berlin."
So read a tweet from the official Asus account at the end of last month – and if that's not an official confirmation that the Taiwanese company will definitely be launching a new smartwatch over in Berlin, we're not sure what is.
Not that it wasn't already much expected; CEO Jerry Shen told an investors' conference earlier this month that a launch at IFA in September could be on the cards.
The latest reports suggest a price tag of around $100 – which, if accurate, would blow the Android Wear market wide open.
Anything Samsung can do, LG can do better. That’s what last week’s Korean wearable tech muscle flex-off seemed to show anyway.
After Samsung went official with details of the Gear S, its long-time rival LG dropped the G Watch R bomb – a gorgeous looking Android Wear device that will be on show over in Germany.
The G Watch R boasts a P-OLED 1.3-inch display, with an impressive resolution of 320 x 320. It was teased before the official reveal, but it seems that manufacturers can’t wait for IFA 2014 to one-up each other.
The biggest loser in all this seems to be Motorola; until now its Moto 360 has been the most anticipated round-faced smartwatch to run Android Wear.
Ah yes, Motorola. The former-Google-owned company seemed to have the early Android Wear market sewn-up with the much-anticipated Moto 360 before LG came along and stole the show.
However, let’s not write the Moto 360 off just yet – it looks like a great device, even if we have had to wait around six months from its initial unveiling for any concrete details of its launch.
And while IFA isn’t expected to be the official launch platform for the round Android Wear smartwatch – a Chicago event is pegged for 4 September – we are expecting to get hands-on with the device at the Berlin show.
The stylish Withings Activité smartwatch will go on sale in October. The company’s CEO Cédric Hutchings revealed the date to Wareable in an exclusive interview and we fully expect the stylish wearable to be on show at IFA 2014.
However, another device from the French company could also get a grand unveiling at the Messe Berlin – a company insider has told Wareable that two new devices will be demoed at the expo.
The Acer Liquid Leap will go on sale on 7 September, priced at £79.99.
The official launch details were offered up by the Taiwanese company ahead of IFA - where the fitness tracking smartband will be on show alongside its new smartphone brethren, the Acer Liquid Jade.
Blurring the boundaries between a regular activity tracker and a smartwatch, much like the Huawei Talkband B1, Acer's first foray into the wearable tech market is a durable 17mm rubber hypoallergenic strap that comes in five different colours.
The smartphone giant is expected to take the wearable tech plunge over the next few days.
Reports suggest that HTC has not one, but two, smartwatches planned for officialdom at IFA - codenamed WWY and CWZ. Catchy, we know.
The WWY is purported to have a 100 x 32 pixel, 1.8-inch screen – so likely to be a Gear Fit style horizontal display. Not a great deal is known about the CWZ.
Toshiba recently unveiled the WERAM1100 in Japan: a fitness tracker that the company claims has a two week battery life – and it’s likely this will be on show in Europe for the first time at IFA 2014.
A device that will take on the likes of the Sony SmartBand and the Jawbone UP24, the WERAM1100 packs in the usual array of lifestyle band features such as step counting, distance measuring, calorie recording and sleep statistics.
Apple doesn’t do big trade shows. Instead, it does big events around the same time as big trade shows so it can be sure it steals the attention away from its rivals.
And, with a high-profile event scheduled in Cupertino for 9 September – where the new iPhones and possibly the iWatch get an official launch – the biggest company in tech looks set to do just that.
You can read all about the iWatch here – it’s everything we know about Apple’s smartwatch so far, including price and release date details.
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Wareable will be reporting live from the Messe Berlin trade show floor all week – check out our dedicated IFA 2014 hub for all the latest news and analysis from the big tech expo.
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