The concept of smart homes is rapidly being adopted by households across Australia with an astonishing rate of growth in terms of retail and daily usage. With smart appliances being introduced in the market, the shift towards automated living is gaining full steam.
In the recent IFA Tech Show held in Berlin ( 31 Aug – 5 Sep 2017 ), a number of smart appliances were in full display from various manufacturers and it showcased the futuristic concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) where mobility, sensory tracking and automation are reshaping the modern way of living.
Whether you’re in the market for smart devices to add to your current smart home setup or looking to get started with automated home living, these smart appliances that amazed in IFA 2017 Berlin could soon make their way to the market and to your home.
We’ve seen the robotic vacuum cleaner that probes the house by itself and anytime you take the concept of robotics and embed it into common household appliances, you get something out of science fiction. Panasonic showcased the “Fridge on Wheels” where it is a mini-refrigerator that rovers around the house and can bring you a chilled drink in response to a voice command.
Panasonic developed the Fridge on Wheels to help the elderly and people with physical handicaps. The concept could also benefit homeowners with its mobility feature. It can actively dispense drinks to your guests, which makes it perfect for parties in having a robotic dispense drinks for your guests. See video.
Laundry day may be a less of a hassle as laundry appliances are getting smarter. While machines may never fully automate the tedious laundry process, it can make life easier for you in the case of stain removal.
The X-Spect Scanner by Bosch scans and identifies the type of stain on the fabric. It is operated by holding the X-Spect, hover its sensor over the fabric and let the scanner do its work. It identifies the stain and the recommended wash cycle. It is best paired with Bosch’s smart washers where X-Spect can program the washers to a wash duty in order to remove the stain.
Through the concept of internet connection, the X-Spect retrieves information from its database when scanning a stain. It allows the homeowner to segregate and schedule washing of clothes through different levels of dirt. See video.
When it comes to the climate setting of the household, different levels of thermostat comfort for the whole family is mostly determined by the personal preference of each family member. While the family may never fully agree on a perfect household climate setting, the Nest Thermostat E will help find the balance in between preference.
The device allows for programmability of the home’s heating and cooling system when installed. After getting past a technical installation process, the Thermostat E can now study and formulate the preferred room temperature. It records and sets the heating and cooling basing on the previous setting, thereby achieving a comfort level which is close to the preference of all family members.
Through a sensor, the Thermostat E can turn on and off the home’s heating and cooling system. It is responsive to voice commands and works in parallel with Google Home or Amazon Echo. See Video.
Chances are you’ve heard about smart home assistants. These are essentially smart hubs that help connect and govern all the smart appliances you own. Example is the Amazon Echo. Sanbot takes it a notch further with the Sanbot Nano that is a robotic and mobile version of smart home assistants. It can follow you around the house; it responds to voice commands, allowing you to play music, stream videos and help your kids be entertained.
Although the Sanbot Nano is not the robotic butler we all dream of, the Sanbot Nano cannot help you with menial chores, but it carries most of the functionality of what the Google Home features. The developers of the Sanbot Nano promises more functionality in the future. See video.
When it comes to piano lessons, Yamaha is well in hand in deploying the concept of smart things for its piano line. The result is the Clavinova Smart Piano. With optical keys, the Clavinova routinely trains you on playing the chords of your favorite songs or symphonies. When paired up with a tablet computer through its official app, you can issue voice commands to find the songs to be played next.
Much like all pianos, the Clavinova Smart Piano will cost part of your fortune, but it may compensate by not having you pay for additional piano lessons. See video.
In the near future, your installed light bulbs could also be connected to the internet. But why, you may ask? The concept and its function will not only be purely about aesthetic, but also about the convenience as a part of the modern living through smart homes.
With the Philips Hue, the light bulbs become “smarter” in such a way where every Hue light bulb is centrally connected and can work in unison to display the perfect light setting. These bulbs can modulate their light intensity from glow to full illumination depending on the time or day or on demand. You can turn off various Hue light bulbs through an app even when you are away from the house.
The family can have the best lighting setting for movie nights, dinner time and hosted parties. See video.
When it comes to automating your home, functionality and convenience are the two most common reasons why households embrace the concept of smart homes. However, one of the “smarter” reasons for home automation is to attain energy efficiency and save money from the high cost of energy consumption.
Through platforms such as carbonTRACK's home energy management system, households are given real insights on which appliance or system contributes to the high energy bill. Armed with the knowledge and insight, homeowners can quickly take action and benefit from energy savings. See video.