For the first time since 2019, IFA, Berlin’s gigantic electronics trade show, is back in full glory in person with more than 20 huge halls filled with innovation, home appliances, TVs and electronics. other gadgets. Sustainability is by far the biggest theme this year, with companies trumpeting that their products will last longer and help the environment.
HMD Global, the maker of Nokia phones, has launched three new smartphones and a new way to buy them called Circular. This encourages users to keep their devices longer and to take them back when they are finished to refurbish them and resell them or donate them to charity, for example. Samsung’s major home appliances will all be connected to Wi-Fi from next year, so owners can see exactly how much energy they’re using, and newer models are designed to use less. There is a washing machine that calibrates the water and detergent not only according to the weight of the clothes but also how dirty they are. The company is also offering a revolutionary new 20-year warranty for key components, such as the inverter motor in its refrigerators and washing machines.
Panasonic also promises to focus more on caring for people and the environment. This includes a modular travel kit that lets you use a battery-powered handle that attaches to a razor, hair clipper, and even a toothbrush. There is also a focus on heat pumps, factories running on 100% renewable energy and more sustainable appliances. I asked Panasonic about the need to retain and was told the business model would shift to offering repairs and maintenance to help products last longer. After all, if companies really take the environment seriously, it’s not just about gimmicks; they will have to manufacture and sell fewer novelties.
David Phelan is Monocle’s Technology Correspondent.