Gear Diary’s Best of IFA 2018 Awards

Gear Diary's Best of IFA 2018 Awards

The annual IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin covers about 160,000 square meters and almost 2,000 exhibitors. Whether it was on the floor, at a press conference, at the media-only Showstoppers event, or in private meetings, we scoured IFA to find the latest and greatest to make up Gear Diary’s Best of IFA 2018 list.

Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F30

Casio cleverly layers two screens into the watch, so you can use it multiple ways. If battery life isn’t an issue, you’ve got the full WearOS experience [called normal use]. If, like the couple in the video, you’re cramming your entire outdoor vacation into 3 days, you can call up a battery sipping screen but flip to a full-color map screen when needed [extended mode]. Or, if you’re going to spend a month in the woods and really just need a compass, barometer, and altimeter, you can shut off the WearOS portion entirely to preserve the battery for longer [multi-timepiece mode]. The Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F30 will be available in January 2019 for $549.

Acer Predator Thronos

Imagine stepping into an impressively massive steel gamer’s cockpit with a 140º reclining chair (including footrest), three 27″ monitors mounted at eye-level in an overhead brace, with room for your gaming PC and all the other necessary gadgets. Once in the Thronos, you’ll get serious vibration feedback from the chair synced with in-game impact, and a spot that is comfortable enough to stay in for hours — leaving only for absolutely necessary bio-breaks. There’s no release date (beyond “end of the year”) or price yet announced, but if you’re a serious gamer and you have the room for it (and the floor strength — it weighs almost 500 pounds!), you’ll want to check it out.

Eve Power Strip

Gear Diary's Best of IFA 2018 Awards

The Eve Power Strip will enable HomeKit control of up to three devices powered by a single outlet. The Eve App will give you total consumption measurement so you can project the cost of using that particular device, and there’s Wi-Fi connectivity (2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n) so that you can enable individual or simultaneous device switching without latency. You’ll also be able to create and manage on-device schedules from the Eve App. The power strip is made of solid aluminum and it will offer superior surge protection. We don’t have pricing or the availability date for the Eve Power Strip yet, but this looks like a brilliant way to convert your favorite “dumb” lamps, fans, and other devices into smart ones.

Earin M-2

If you want a set of small and lightweight wireless in-ear headphones that are comfortable to wear, simple to operate, and that use a touch & trap interface to control your music, phone calls or summon your favorite digital assistant (Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant), you’ll want to take a look at the $249 Earin M-2. You can personalize the earphones through the Earin app, and you can adjust how much ambient sound you want to allow, which makes them safe for use when walking (or cycling) on busy streets. Over the air updates will ensure that you always have the latest software. The Earin M-2 uses Bluetooth 4.2, and they give you up to 4 hours continuous usage on their own, but with the storage and charging capsule you can add up to an additional 14 hours usage. They are available now.

Neato Robotics Botvac D4 Connected

If the idea of having your floor vacuumed for you each day without you having to do a thing appeals to you, you’re not alone. The Neato Robotics Botvac D4 Connected offers an incredibly smart and programmable robo-vac for a very reasonable price. The Botvac D4 Connected uses lasers to navigate; using straight lines rather than random patterns. You can tell it which areas are out of bounds, so you’ll never have to worry about it falling don a flight of stairs or getting stuck on sucked up yarn in your crafts room. The Botvac D4 has a huge single brush that’s great for carpet, hardwood, and tile. Battery life is 75 minutes, so it won’t die halfway through a cleaning job. You can control the Botvac D4 from your phone, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, or Google Home. The Neato Robotics Botvac D4 Connected sells for $499.

Mitte Smart Water System

Tap water is often gross, off-tasting, and loaded with impurities. Bottled water tastes better, but the plastic bottles it comes in are bad for the environment. Mitte Smart Water System offers you a way to purify your home’s tap water through distillation (removing “all potential contaminants including bacteria and viruses, hormones, pharmaceuticals, and more”) and then add customized mineral enhancements so that you’ll have an almost endless supply of tasty and healthy drinking water at home. Best of all, you can use it to fill your reusable water container when you leave the house – so no more plastic bottles. Mitte completed a successful Kickstarter campaign in November 2017, and they are in the process of setting up production now.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.