This year’s IFA has transformed Berlin into a tech heaven yet again as home tech companies from around the globe filled 26 massive halls with their exciting products. There were so many smart home products showcased that the show floor almost looked like a high-tech apartment.
As the exhibition is drawing to an end and 1Home Team is headed home it’s time to look back. We saw some welcome updates to existing product lines, like Amazon’s Fire TV Cube, stylish Philips Hue Filament Bulbs or Sonos’ new portable speaker Sonos Move, to name a few. We have also seen some new players hit the floor with promising innovations.
Here are the most interesting smart home innovations from IFA 2019:
The three main trends at IFA this year were 5G, AI and voice control, with all three promising game-changing innovation for smart home technology.
Amazon - Fire TV Cube
Amazon has launched the second generation of their iconic Fire TV Cube that looks the same as the original, but with a six-core processor, it’s a lot more powerful. It also has Alexa living inside that offers hands-free operation of the TV and can now hear you even better due to the eight microphones inside. Local Voice Control enables Alexa to process voice commands much faster, since the information doesn’t have to be sent to the cloud.
Google’s Ambient mode and new device supports
Google’s new Ambient mode lets you turn a Lenovo Tablet into a smart display. When docket, the Tablet will automatically show your notifications and reminders and you can command it with voice as if it was a Google Home smart speaker. The device will imitate the Google Nest Hub display as it will scroll through your personal pics as a screensaver,
Google Assistant is also now available to even more devices, such as Sonos and Bose speakers, as well as Lenovo Smart Display 7 and Smart Clock and Siemens’s whole Home Connect line.
Philips Hue Filament Bulbs
While Edison-style bulbs can add a nice touch of retro charm to your home, they can also get too bright for comfort. The new Philips Hue filament bulbs, however, feature adjustable brightness you can control from your phone. They come in three different styles and can be paired with a Hue Bridge for additional features and control. They are of course still the good old LED’s that just look like they have the glowing coil inside.
Move is the first battery-powered speaker by Sonos that has Google Assistant integrated as well. The first testers have announced that they love the shape, sound and the fact that it’s portable, but dislike the size and price. You probably won’t be taking it away on holiday with you due to its weight. It's more likely to be a semi-permanent fixture in a room of your house and taken for occasional spin in the garden when you’re grilling with friends.
Siemens - Home Connect voice controlled appliances (ovens, washing machines and dryers)
Siemens claimed two world firsts with both an oven that responds to voice commands and a washing machine and clothes dryer that communicate via WiFi to predict how long the clothes will need to dry. Their Siemens Home Connect system links household appliances, suggests recipes and even knows which ingredients are already at home, via cameras in the fridge.
This unique little gadget retrofits your cooktop and makes it more secure as it prevents fires. The next time you leave your stove on, it will sense the heat and Safera Sense will yell at you. It can even help you determine when your pasta will be cooked or if the air quality is bad and you need to open the window. Great little fella!
German Smart Speaker
German Telekom has already announced earlier that they’re entering the voice assistant market, but at IFA they’ve given us some more info. The new assistant will be called Magenta, with “Hello Magenta” as the wake word.
Telekom already offers some voice control through its devices, like its Magenta SmartHome products which allow users to perform simple tasks through voice commands like changing channels or making and receiving calls. But the Telekom smart speaker will provide more advanced capabilities through voice, similar to what consumers have come to expect of Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
Netatmo's Smart Door and Window Sensors come with an accelerometer and magnetometer that recognise certain types of movement, and can tell the difference between someone knocking on the door and breaking in. They also have a compass that can determine if a door or window is opening or closing. You'll receive a notification if it detects movement in a specific location, like the kitchen window and you can also voice control it with Amazon Alexa.
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