A New Take on Tech Innovations from IFA 2023

The annual IFA technology show in Berlin revealed some interesting new gadgets, although it was a bit more subdued than previous years. Let’s explore the highlights and lowlights of IFA 2023.

Notable Absences and the Rise of Chinese Brands

Some tech heavyweights were noticeably absent from IFA 2023. Sony didn’t have a booth for the first time ever, and LG didn’t send any French speakers, despite having a presence. Huawei was also completely absent.

This created opportunities for Chinese brands to increase their visibility. Honor commanded prime real estate, reflecting their growth ambitions. Many other Chinese companies, from established names to newcomers, also had a strong presence.

Muted Announcements Compared to Past Events

In the past, IFA has been a hotbed for previewing innovative new products. However, this year most of the announcements felt like reruns. Many products had already been revealed at CES 2023 or MWC 2023.

Let’s dive deeper into some of the most impressive innovations showcased at IFA 2023.

Honor Magic V2: Pushing Boundaries in Foldables

The Magic V2 generated buzz as Honor’s latest foldable smartphone entry. When unfolded, it achieves an incredibly slim 4.7mm profile, thinner than a pen. This is a new benchmark for foldables, made possible by Honor’s new self-developed hinge technology.

Retaining the weight and feel of a standard smartphone while folded, the Magic V2 still packs top-tier specs. These include the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, up to 12GB RAM, and a triple camera array with a massive 54MP main sensor. Magic V2 represents a quantum leap forward in folding display tech.

Unistellar eVscope 2: Transforming Amateur Astronomy

Unistellar’s eVscope 2 aims to open up the wonders of astronomy to everyone. Its automated Enhanced Vision system leverages AI to point at and identify celestial objects selected on its sky mapping interface. No manual adjustment or tracking required.

Built-in cameras and sensors combine multiple exposures to gather otherwise invisible details about stars, galaxies, nebulae and other phenomenon. These enhanced views get streamed right to your smartphone or tablet. But eVscope 2 retains a traditional eyepiece for natural viewing when desired.

By automating the complicated parts of astronomy, eVscope 2 lets anyone explore space like a seasoned pro. Even seasoned astronomers gain new superhuman viewing abilities.

Xgimi Horizon Ultra: Home Theater in Your Pocket

Touting cinema-quality visuals rivaling dedicated home theater projectors, the sleek Horizon Ultra represents a new breed of ultra-portable projectors. Its sturdy aluminum unibody chassis fits in small bags, but transforms any wall into a 4K HDR movie screen up to 300 inches diagonally.

Incredible color accuracy is achieved by combining an LED bulb with a laser light source, along with customized optics. This enables stunning 2,300 ANSI lumen brightness rarely found on mainstream projectors. All focused through an advanced DLP imaging chip featuring nearly 2 million micro-mirrors.

With Android TV built-in and auto focus and keystone correction, Xgimi Horizon Ultra removes the projector’s traditional pain points. It frees cinephiles to enjoy theater-quality movie watching anywhere.

Conclusion: Facing the Future with Optimism

Despite muted enthusiasm by some industry mainstays, fresh thinking from Honor, Unistellar, Xgimi and other innovators proves consumer tech still has bright horizons ahead. As established brands shift strategies, it creates openings for new players to disrupt stagnant categories with outside-the-box designs.

While not packed with blockbuster revelations, IFA 2023 highlighted this dynamic of technology’s perpetual cycle of innovation. The future remains full of potential.

USB-C cable

The rise in the implementation of USBC technologyUSB-C technology is slowly but surely making its way into the world of consumer electronics, and it’s not just mobile devices that benefit from it. Many high-end laptops now offer USB-C ports. What’s more, USB-C is capable of delivering enough power to fully charge a host device.

Apple and other major electronics manufacturers are already adopting USB-C technology, which is becoming increasingly popular. The rise of the USB-C standard has spurred the development of a standardized connector. For example, Google’s Chromebook Pixel, released in 2013, removed its proprietary Lightning connector and mini DisplayPort SD/MMC card reader, and replaced them with USB 3.1 Type-C ports with 5 Gbit/s data transfer and power charging. Apple’s third-generation iPad Pro machine is also equipped with USB-C ports.

But not all USB-C ports support all of the features of the new standard.

To support all of these features, a device must have the necessary multiplexers and ICs in its design. This requires a higher cost than a bare-bones USB port, but it scales as the number of ports increases. If a device does not support all these features, it won’t support Alternate Modes.

As the cost of USB components falls, new power and data capacities will become more affordable. In the future, USB-C ports could become common on power strips, in cars, and on wall power sockets. Furthermore, USB-C cables will also have additional requirements, like supporting 240 watts. These requirements also require cables to carry icon-like graphics that confirm they’re compatible with USB-C devices.

The rise in the implementation of USB-C is expected to continue accelerating, especially for the telecommunication industry. USB Type-C connectors are a crucial part of a phone or computer, and its adoption in these industries is projected to increase at a CAGR of 29.7% over the next several years.

USB-C is gaining popularity across the world, but it still has its fair share of problems.

The current specification for USB-C is opaque and proprietary, and it can lead to consumer frustration. Nevertheless, smartphones and high-end laptops are increasingly using the standard. The rise in popularity of USB-C is a positive step for both Apple devices and other electronics manufacturers.

USB-C has increased connectivity and speed. Thunderbolt is one of the most useful protocols for USB-C ports. Thunderbolt 4 adds support for up to 40Gbps throughput and lowers power consumption. Thunderbolt can move up to 100 watts of power.

USB signal standards are constantly evolving. Each new release tries to improve on features introduced in previous versions. The latest USB signal standard is USB 4 from the USB Implementers Forum, although it has not yet been introduced to the market. So, it’s unclear which USB-C devices will work with which Thunderbolt devices.

USB-C technology supports three primary USB standards. USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are the two most common. However, USB 3.0 and 3.1 use the same port. This makes it possible to use the same cable for multiple purposes.

heat your water with solar energy

A significant percentage of energy consumption in buildings is devoted to the production of domestic hot water. Researchers are now proposing a solution that could reduce the associated greenhouse gas emissions. Thanks to a system that takes advantage of available solar energy.

In the residential sector, the production of domestic hot water consumes a lot of energy according to this Facebook page. More than cooking, for example. It represents about 12% of the total energy consumption of a home. Hence the importance of finding efficient and clean solutions. And this is what researchers from the University of Cordoba (Spain) are proposing today. They have designed a photovoltaic solar device that uses some 95% of the energy available to it to heat water.

We are not talking about a solar water heater or a solar thermal system that requires a special hydraulic installation. We are talking about photovoltaic solar heating, which only requires the installation of solar panels and a very conventional electric water heater. All that is needed is the “very simple and low-cost” electronic conversion system developed by the researchers. Enough water can then be heated to around 80°C to cover 85% of a household’s annual needs.

A system that works even with little to no sunlight

The system designed by the researchers makes it possible to keep a fixed reference voltage and thus to operate permanently at its maximum power point. Thanks to a microcontroller and a metal-oxide gate field-effect transistor (Mosfet) that conducts or cuts the current according to the voltage. This is similar to the MPPT (Maximal Power Point Tracking) technology on which the similar solution marketed by the Belgian start-up Wanit is based.

The whole system allows solar photovoltaic panels to be connected directly to the water tank to be heated. The solar energy is then converted into heat. The researchers promise that this can be achieved with only a small number of solar panels and at any level of radiation.

The device is still in the experimental phase, but it could soon be commercialised. Scientists are working on integrating artificial intelligence, which could improve performance and safety.

solar powered water system are very energy efficient

Here is a little guide to help you learn more about solar energy and panels:

What is a solar thermal panel?

Thermal solar panels convert solar radiation into heat energy. By means of solar collectors – metal tubes – this type of solar panel transfers the heat from the sun’s rays to a heat transfer fluid. A pump sends the heat transfer fluid to an exchanger circuit. The solar energy transformed into heat is transferred to a hot water tank, a boiler or any other heating system.

What does the solar thermal panel look like?

The solar thermal panel is a product in the form of a rectangular panel made up of parallel vertical tubes. The “water” type of solar panel, the solar thermal panel, has metal tubes with fins to transfer the sun’s radiation to water. The heat transfer fluid solar panel is based on the same principle, with the heat transfer fluid replacing the water. The most common type of solar thermal panel is the roof-top solar panel for domestic hot water production. It is also called a solar water heater.

What are solar thermal panels used for?

Thermal solar panels with water or heat transfer fluid allow the self-consumption of up to 50% of domestic hot water. They also provide energy for a heating system. Solar thermal panels with water or heat transfer fluid often complete a primary installation. This type of solar panel is then called auxiliary solar panels. In winter, the electric resistance of the hot water tank or the gas boiler takes over to ensure the operation of the installation.

What is a photovoltaic solar panel?

The photovoltaic solar panel is made up of photovoltaic cells. When sunlight hits the surface of the photovoltaic cell, it captures photons of sunlight. It then converts them into energy and electricity. Photovoltaic cells are based on silicon (gas or physical). There are three types: amorphous, monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Photovoltaic solar panels are the most widespread solar panels. This type of solar panel is installed on the roof, on the ground (solar farm), and also equips mobile electronics.


Some people change their public IP address to avoid online bans or to access websites blocked by certain countries.

Changing the IP address of a computer, phone, or router is useful when:

You have accidentally configured an invalid address, such as a static IP address in an incorrect range.

Using a faulty router that provides incorrect addresses, for example, a router already used by another computer on the network.
Installing a new router and reconfiguring your home network to use its default IP address range.

Before trying the various methods found on the web to change your IP address, disable (or disconnect the power supply of your cable/ADSL modem for 5 minutes. In many cases, this will change your IP address. However, if this does not change your IP address, repeat the process every 12 hours instead of every 5 minutes. We hope this will result in a change of IP address.

But in layman terms, what is an IP address?

Your IP address is your identity card on the Internet. It corresponds to the place, and even precisely to the device you use to connect to the Internet. Each website and server visited will keep a record of your visit, thanks to – or because of – your IP address. So, if you upload files to P2P or torrent servers, you will leave a trace of your passage.

Any authorized person could, therefore, determine your Internet activities using your IP address, and could consequently know the devices and applications used, your country, your city, your age, your gender, etc.

ip address explained

The most effective way to avoid this access is to hide your IP with a secure VPN server. This way, no company, no Internet service provider, or even the Government will be able to determine your activity on the Internet.

Your entire internet connection will be encrypted with a VPN and geolocated in the country of your choice. Your real IP will be hidden behind that of powerful VPN servers.

Understand the geographical blockage

Each Internet user automatically receives an IP address, which includes information about where he or she is located. That’s why geoblocking exists: without geographic data, your computer would be a computer like any other, and websites would have no way of knowing where you are.

A geographical blockage is often painful for users. Want to watch the fourth season of your favorite series? The problem is that it is only available on American sites. Do you want to discover your favorite actor’s first films? It may be difficult if none of them are streamed in your country. In these cases, it may be interesting to try to overcome geographical blockage.

The good news is that it’s not very complicated. By connecting to a free or paid proxy or VPN to hide your IP address, you can make websites believe that you are in a country other than your own. If you are asking yourself “comment contourner le geoblocage“, a VPN is your answer.

Hide your IP address

Renown VPN providers such as ExpressVPN or North VPN will allow, through their powerful servers and VPN infrastructure, you to hide your real IP address, as well as choose the geolocation of your future IP address.

Beyond the security and anonymity aspect, the use of a VPN also allows, for example, to change the IP address to obtain a US IP to access Netflix US from Europe or China. It also unblocks specific online gambling sites such as poker and casino sites or lifts the censorship of particular social networks such as Facebook or Youtube, blocked in China or Russia. Finally, a VPN can also allow you to bypass router/firewall restrictions in your workplace.

Hiding your IP address with a VPN will allow you to download anonymously and securely and to surf freely on the sites of your choice. No one will be able to determine who you are, what you have viewed or downloaded, or to prevent you from accessing the sites of your choice.

5G Telecommunication tower antenna in morning sky Evening sky

According to a recent report by a nature conservation organization, 5G waves are harmful to insects. And its effects on humans are hardly more encouraging.

Pro Natura, a Swiss nature conservation organization, is sounding the alarm. The organization warns of the harmful effects of 5G on different insect species and recalls the consequences of human activity on their ecosystem.

According to their studies, 75% of insects have disappeared in Switzerland, and the number of species is decreasing, with 163 species considered extinct. Those still present are nevertheless threatened, such as bees and butterflies, which are crucial in the pollination process.

Until then, this disappearance was associated with the use of pesticides in agriculture, excess light or lack of space for insects. But today a new factor would put them at risk: 5G.

Why is 5G dangerous?

Unlike 4G waves, whose frequencies do not exceed 6 GHz, 5G waves can rise to 120 GHz. To provide context, frequencies can increase the body temperature of insects from 10 GHz. That’s why the 5G and its 120 GHz Pro Natura alarm.

Another species potentially threatened by this technology is humans. Indeed, although there is a debate about the danger of mobile phones and their waves to humans, 5G is also suspected of influencing the safety of residents in the United States.

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) wants to sell frequencies for 5G that are too close to the waves used for weather predictions including rain, snow, atmospheric temperature, clouds, and ice. It could mean a loss of 3 days in weather predictions. In the case of a hurricane, this could put people at risk, giving them less time to prepare for it.

A higher subscription is, therefore, not the only price to pay for a faster Internet connection on your smartphone. Is it worth the cost? The question arises.

Netbooks were a big deal in 2008-2009, as the tiny affordable computers found a place in the homes of many. But then the iPad came in 2010, and they were forgotten more with each passing day. Why so? Because tablets were, let’s see:

Coller, thinner, lighter, easier to use, with speedy interfaces, didn’t have heat vents, battery life lasted longer, had fun apps, and did I mention way cooler than their bigger competitors?

On the other hand, the only good thing about Netbooks was that they could run native Windows applications that mattered to people. That and the connectivity ports found on a typical PC like USB, VGA, HDMI which allowed you to connect to big hard disks and projectors/televisions out of the box.

So what was the problem now? They were a pain to use, with their cramped keyboard and touch-pad. Also, they ran Windows, and with their cheap under-powered hardware, it wasn’t a buttery smooth experience at all times.

It was only inevitable that since the first batch of Tablets was priced like computers, they were expected to do all the tasks that a computer could.

I’ve seen some people dedicated to complicating their lives by trying to make this work. An array of accessories were peddled to morph that tablet somehow into a fully-functional computer. I’m talking keyboard covers, USB adapters, VGA adapters, HDMI adapters and the lot. Now that the hardware end was covered, they also wanted fully functional Office apps. Some even dared to expect Photoshop, FCP, Maya, Tally, etc. to run on it. It was a long road till a realization sank, “tablets are not computers, don’t expect them to be one.” For some, it may be sinking in right now.

What about smart-books?

Across all this tablet craze, one product that never got much exposure was the Smartbook. To marry the power-efficient ARM architecture that runs the Tablets with the ease of using a physical keyboard and mouse,

Smart-books were discussed as early as 2009. It would look like a Netbook but would have ARM chips (the kind you find in a smart-phone) and probably Android or some other Linux running inside, because back then there were no Windows for ARM. And April this year, Microsoft gave the world just that — Windows RT.

Windows RT is to iOS the way Windows is to Mac OS, get it? It is a derivative of the full-blown desktop OS, that is designed to run on ARM hardware. It won’t run any typical Windows application, only ones from their ‘App Store.’ So, why would anybody care about Windows RT over an iPad? Probably because of the one odd bone they threw at us: Microsoft Office 2013.

Windows RT runs a particular version of what seems to be, a reasonably functional MS Office. The only hitch is that it runs in desktop mode; i.e., the interface is pretty similar to using MS Office on a PC. Thus from a touch-screen only point-of-view, that may prove to be an unsatisfactory experience, as the video shows here.

So, what’s the fix?

Well, if you’re buying the recently announced $499 Windows Surface RT tablet, then you can buy a cover that doubles up as a physical input device. So we’re back to physical input mediums, albeit in a funkier form. With this, the experience could be similar to using MS Office on, well, a Netbook (10.1-inch screen, cramped keyboard, and touch-pad, you get the picture). Want to run regular PC apps? Don’t worry; products like an Intel-based Surface tablet will be coming your way soon.

So is this what we want?

The Netbook was praised for its functionality, then was thrown in the gutter for a tablet’s ergonomics. So now we want the best of both?

If I were to recollect the umpteen number of potential tablet buyers, I’d talked to, then yes. It will be interesting to see how people try to make this combo work this time around.

Personal Opinion: After owning a tablet for over a year, I find them to be great for reading and entertainment. That’s it. If I want work done, I use a computer. I’m waiting to be convinced otherwise.

Technology has the power to do many things, and changing the world is one of them.
We’re privileged to be living in a time where science and technology can assist us, make our lives easier and rethink the ways we go about our daily lives. Inventions that will change the world for the better such as Blockchain and many others. Scientists and inventors always amaze us with their creativity in making all sorts of gadgets and machines we have to buy right now.