IFA 2015, the world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, took place from September 4 to 9 in Berlin. During its 91-year history, the event opened up the doors to a whole new world of technologies and advanced engineering products. This year, the IFA exhibition showcased the latest developments in the fields of computing devices, smartphones, wearables, and connected home appliances. The last mentioned attracted significant public interest due to the growing demand for home automation products. By 2022, a typical family home could contain more than 500 smart devices, Gartner predicts¹.
Among the presented smart home novelties, the SmartThinQ Sensor by LG Electronics is worth mentioning. This device can be attached to existing home appliances such as washing machines or refrigerators, in order to make them “smart-aware”. For example, attaching the sensor to a normal washing machine door transforms the washer into a smart appliance that informs the user when the laundry cycle is complete. Attach the SmartThingQ Sensor to a refrigerator and it will send a notification to a connected smartphone when a particular food item is about to expire. The sensor will also keep track of how many times the door is opened even when you’re not home. And connecting the SmartThingQ Sensor to an air conditioner or other appliances will allow users to control the appliances remotely through the app. It is not surprising if such devices will soon become a must-have for each family home.
Samsung Electronics announced that it would be getting into the connected home by presenting two innovative products to IFA visitors – SmartThings Hub and SleepSense Tracker. The former represents a central hub that connects everything from electrical sockets and sensors, and links in with a home router to put home online. The latter is a small, circular device that helps to improve a person’s quality of sleep by analyzing his/her heart and respiratory rates, and providing a detailed report and expert recommendations on how to sleep like a top. Moreover, SleepSense Tracker can be connected to other home appliances, for example TV, and switch it off so that it does not prevent a person from sleeping.
Another smart device that created a furor at the IFA tech show is Neato Botvac Connected robot vacuum. This is a new Wi-Fi enabled model of robotic vacuum cleaners with the app-enabled smartphone controls that allows setting Neato’s schedule or start a run remotely. The additional enhanced features include high-capacity lithium ion battery, ultra-performance filter, and two new cleaning modes – Eco Mode and Turbo Mode.
The other highlights of the Berlin’s conference in the connected home industry are a sensor-laden stovetop, a refrigerator with a networked camera, a germ-fighting washing machine, and an automatic coffee machine. This is another evidence of the fact that the smart home adoption is occurring at a rapid pace, and this trend will continue in the future. Smart home appliances are not a luxury any more, but an essential part of the daily lives, as they make our homes more secure and energy-efficient, and our lives easier and more convenient.