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IFA Day 2: Smart home appliances, VR headsets and gadgets galore

Audiophile headphones, wearables and smart home appliances all made a big splash here on the second day of Europe's biggest tech show. Join us as we roundup all the news you might have missed.


Gadgets and home appliances alike made a big splash here on the second day of IFA 2016. Haier announced it will begin selling ovens and cooktops starting in 2017, and companies like Samsung, Sharp, Tado and LG all introduced new connected smart home products of their own, replete with touchscreen control panels and apps designed to make domestic life easier.

Of course, IFA is always jam packed with new gadgets and there were plenty of headphones, VR headsets, phones, cameras and wearables to drool over.

Check out our roundup below for all the news you might have missed, and be sure to check back with CNET at IFA 2016 to follow along as we move into day three -- which is really day one of the show -- and our first opportunity to roam the convention floor after it opens.

  • Sharp introduced a new line of smart appliances called the "Next Gen Smart Zone": Not content with simple notifications or a remote on/off button, Sharp's giving each member of its first line of smart appliances at least one unique smart feature. Sharp rolled out a new oven, dishwasher, refrigerator and washing machine, each with Wi-Fi connectivity that goes beyond the basics of checking statuses and hitting start.
  • LG strikes back at Samsung with a touchscreen fridge of its own: LG showed off its Smart Instaview Door-in-Door Fridge with a translucent door panel that doubles as a fully loaded Windows 10 tablet, complete with Cortana voice controls.
  • Dyson rolled its big ball of vacuum innovation into the show: Dyson introduced a vacuum with self-esteem...well, it might not be that intelligent, but hear us out. On sale starting today direct from Dyson, the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball follows you as you clean with the attached wand, and should it fall, it'll naturally work itself back to the upright position. As usual with Dyson products, prepare to pay for the technology: the Cinetic Big Ball costs $600 or £450 and will go on sale more widely on September 18.

The Alcatel Vision headset doesn't rely on a phone plugged into the front to provide VR visuals. It's actually a standalone piece of kit with two OLED displays inside.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET
  • Alcatel put a twist on future tech with a VR headset and 360 camera: French phone-maker Alcatel pulled something a little different out the bag for IFA this year. First up is the wireless Vision VR headset that works as a standalone kit (no phone necessary) and has two OLED displays inside.
  • Alcatel also lifted the lid on two 360-degree cameras -- one that resembles a weird eyeball and a slimmer version with one lens offset from the other. Its new Shine Lite phone packs a 13-megapixel main camera, a 5-inch HD display and a fingerprint sensor.
  • Libratone adapts to a world without wires: The company's new Q Adapt wireless on-ear headphones are touch-sensitive so you can take a call or adjust the volume and noise-canceling level without taking out your phone. The Q Adapt In-ears have similar touch controls in an inline remote, but their Lightning connection only works with iOS devices. The in-ears come in white, black, rose pink and pale pink.
  • Sony's Xperia phones explode with camera settings: The flagship Xperia XZ phone appeared with a 23-megapixel rear shooter, a 13-megapixel selfie cam, a 5.2-inch display and a Qualcomm 820 chip. But the tiny, plastic Xperia X Compact, which shares the same megapixel-heavy rear camera, might well end up being the better buy for casual users.
  • Sony also dropped a high-level range of audio products with Björk-level oddness: Sony's Signature Series includes a the MDR-Z1R flagship headphone with golden ratio-shaped grilles, two Walkman digital audio players (gold-encased copper housing anyone?), and the ZH1ES, its first headphone amplifier under the ES brand.
  • TomTom is doubling down on fitness: The new TomTom Touch fitness tracker is one of the first to measure body fat and muscle mass. The tracker can also display notifications when connected to an iPhone or Android phone, and carries a water-resistance rating of IPX7. The company also debuted two new GPS sport watches: the slimmed-down Spark 3 and Adventurer that offer GPS, heart-rate tracking, music storage, all-day fitness tracking and more.