From 31 August to 5 September IFA NEXT, the innovation platform of IFA, will feature a much greater display area, a second stage for lectures, discussion rounds, theme days, workshops, a wider range of topics and an even higher international attendance. IFA NEXT 2018 will be even more attractive and this year will feature an extra display section in Hall 26. A second IFA NEXT Innovation Engine stage will set the scene for a more diverse program – and for new presentation formats such as technical workshops and hands-on sessions, according messe-berlin.com. This year, voice recognition and artificial intelligence will be key topics at IFA NEXT. The House of Smart Living from ZVEI*, an installation that sets standards for connected living, will bring this topic closer to visitors: be it the coffee machine, digital media or energy management, everything reacts to voice commands, while a background learning process ensures machines automatically adapt every system to users’ needs. Together with its system partners, Amazon will contribute a further highlight: audio systems and TVs as well as dishwashers and lighting systems already respond to instructions and queries that begin with the word “Alexa“. 
At IFA NEXT robots will be another key topic. They will include exhibits that invite visitors to find out about autonomous machines in entertaining ways. Using supplied components, younger visitors can assemble their own robot and teach it how to dance, for example, and in doing so learn how these machines can be individually programmed.
Startups from all over the world will be part of an exhibitor community boasting a high creative potential. France will be heavily involved in startup activities at IFA NEXT with the combined displays of the Hardware Club and the startup hub La French Tech. South Korea and Hong Kong will also be represented with startups on combined stands.
In 2018 the long-standing and successful collaboration between IFA and the German Startup Association is set to continue. At IFA NEXT the association will be represented by large exhibitor groups who each day will address different topics and will also be involved in the program of stage events. 
The future of mobility is the focus of a debut event at IFA NEXT. This is the first time the Shift AUTOMOTIVE mobility convention will take place at IFA. It will show how new technology is about to change people’s lifestyle and mobility from the consumer’s point of view. Shift AUTOMOTIVE is co-organized by the Geneva International Motor Show, Palexpo, IFA and Messe Berlin. In the future it will take place biannually, starting on 4 and 5 September 2018 at IFA, and after that will be held in Geneva at the next Shift AUTOMOTIVE show in March 2019. 
IFA NEXT made its successful debut as an innovation hub at IFA 2017, covering topics that belong together under one roof for the first time:
• An exhibition of innovative technologies for the markets of tomorrow – featuring fascinating lectures from research institutes, universities, organizations, platforms and startups. 
• The global Innovation Congress IFA+ Summit featuring forward-looking topics that reach far beyond day-to-day events.
• The IFA Keynotes featuring lectures and presentations by senior decision-makers from leading companies.
• Specialist conferences held by organizations partnering with IFA.
*The House of Smart Living features a combined display organized by ZVEI, VDE and ZVEH (under the aegis of ZVEH – the German Association of Electrical and IT Professions)