IFA Berlin highlights 2019: Homes get even smarter
From 6 to 11 September, Berlin was playing host to IFA 2019. As the world’s largest and most always influential consumer electronics trade show, the IFA is always a great place to spot the next big thing. This year, one trend clearly stood out above the rest: Smart connected household devices. Although the buzzword “smart” has been gradually weaving its way into our minds and homes over the past few years, 2019 saw a veritable explosion of smart devices across the trade fair halls.
Entertainment, too, was another key focus, with Samsung, Panasonic and LG seeking to defend their leading positions with innovative prototypes that gave us a glimpse into the living room of the future. Of course, the G-Pulse editorial team paid the show a visit – enabling us to share our IFA Berlin highlights with you.
IFA 2019 trends: Proof that household devices can be design objects
The first stop on our tour of the event was none other than German manufacturer Miele, whose stand this year showcased the Aura 4.0 Ambient, a recirculation cooker hood with a unique design. The device – which is suspended above the cooker on four wires – could easily be mistaken for a designer lamp. During cooking, the hood draws in air and then routes it through an activated charcoal filter, where it is purified. When connected to the hob via Bluetooth, the power of the appliance automatically adjusts to the hob setting. If it isn’t connected, the user can control all settings via an app. And to top it all off, the device is equipped with a fragrance mode that can make your kitchen small like orange blossom and jasmine, mint and eucalyptus, or even freshly baked croissants.
For interior design fans: The flexible Bespoke refrigerator line
The Bespoke refrigerator line is available in a range of colours, sizes and materials, making it another eye-catching addition to your kitchen. With colour options such as marine blue, mint, pink and Living Coral, the Colour of the Year for 2019, the Bespoke fridges are designed to fit seamlessly into your interior.
The line has multiple basic appliance options, including the T9000 French-door refrigerator and the RR7000 refrigerator. Whether you’re looking to purchase for a single-person household or for a large family, the Bespoke series is guaranteed to include something for you. And best of all: The system can also be expanded with additional modules, so that your fridge can grow with your family.
Looking smart: Washing machines that lend a helping hand
The next part of our tour took us from the kitchen into the utility room. If the latest developments from Bosch are anything to go by, the washing machines of the future will only have a single button: the start button. In the manufacturer’s latest washing machines and dryers, the remaining control functions are all taken care of by AI. The machines weigh the load, determine the best programme and dose the detergent.
The company used the IFA as an opportunity to unveil its new washing machine of the future. Known as “Concept”, the appliance is still currently in prototyping stage. LG is also turning to AI in its large-volume TWINWash machine. The appliance has a second washing compartment, enabling it to wash two different load types in a single 39-minute wash cycle – a revolutionary change for those short on time.
Smart TV: The televisions of the future
Exhibitors at the IFA also turned their focus to entertainment, with Panasonic showcasing not one but two prototypes. The new “MegaCon” (Mega Contrast) TV and transparent OLED technology gave visitors a glimpse of what might be possible in the future. The “MegaCon” screen has two LCD layers to achieve perfect contrast and black level.
The “MegaCon” screen has two LCD layers to achieve perfect contrast and black level.
The device produces quality comparable to that of a Hollywood studio monitor. The transparent OLED TV is the result of a partnership with Vitra, and underpins Panasonic’s ambitious vision of fully integrating the television into the living environment. We’re impressed!
Connected Living with Samsung
Samsung took a more holistic approach to the smart trend, inviting IFA visitors into a tiny house packed with smart features. The house, which was constructed in collaboration with manufacturer Cabin One, included a smart refrigerator, an intelligent hob and –
New smart plug & play solutions
Smart devices need smart controls: Whether that’s via an app or via a voice-controlled virtual assistant. Deutsche Telekom has joined the ranks with its own smart speaker which responds to the words “Hello Magenta” and has all the same functions as other voice assistants, including listening to music and controlling your smart gadgets.
Sonos also brought a new product to this year’s IFA: The Sonos Move is the first battery-powered smart speaker, enabling you to take your music with you inside, outside or on the road. Some music fans were surprised at the exceptional quality of the new Sonos. According to the company, the new and redeveloped Trueplay function is responsible for the speaker’s deep, premium-quality playback: The Sonos Move analyses the environment, listens to its own audio and adjusts the sound accordingly.
Our third plug & play highlight in the field of Smart Home control is the product of a collaboration between Senic and Gira: The new “Friends of Hue” smart switch is a wireless, battery-free switch designed specifically to control Philips Hue products. The switches can be used to switch lights on and off, dim the lights or select colourful lighting scenarios. And best of all: The whole system works without power cables or batteries. Each time the switch is pressed, it generates sufficient energy to send a wireless signal to the hub, so you never need to recharge the switch.
Which of our IFA Berlin highlights do you like best? Is your household “Smart Home ready”? Share your views in the comments.