When you arrive home and need only whisper “Latte Macchiato” towards the coffee machine before slipping into a bathtub with patchouli vanilla essence, which you ran remotely by app, while the venetian blinds roll down silently on the timer – that is when you can say you have a bona fide smart home.
The current state of the art in the industry is revealed at imm cologne each year by the innovation network “let’s be smart”, which has once again this year presented various smart homes in LivingKitchen’s Hall 4 in collaboration with Koelnmesse. Under the theme “Living as an Experience”, a number of exhibitors, in an interdisciplinary collaboration, presented their products and services in realistic living environments, represented for example by a loft or a business apartment. Alongside futuristic elements in matters of design and home comfort, the smart homes also came with innovations in the areas of the environment, health and security.
Almost every function in the smart home can now be carried out by app or via voice or touch control. Desks by Röhr, for example, can be height-adjusted via an app; and the company’s sideboards and cupboards have smart-sense lighting controlled by touch, and can even be locked using a fingerprint sensor.
In the kitchen, Miele’s hob and extractor fan interact with each other: the extractor comes on when you cook and automatically adjusts to the cooking process. The Dialog Oven provides interactive assistance to ensure that dishes are always cooked to perfection and are ready at just the right time. Thanks to the setting that cooks using electromagnetic waves, you could even cook a fish in a block of ice without melting the ice.
We can save space by growing our herbs in a vertical garden. Smart? Yes, because the 4Nature System waters the plants automatically through a piping system linked to a water tank, all monitored by app – making green thumbs optional.
Heating can also be pretty smart. Fluxxotherm offers a maintenance- and emission-free heating system for floor and even wall heating. It is easy to install and, thanks to its wafer-thin heating elements, it has a low installation depth. As you’d expect, this system can also be controlled by app.
Fall sensors provide additional security in the home. A network of sensors extending across the floor reports falls to the emergency call centre, which can then get in touch immediately via an integrated telephone.
The Samsung Frame is a visually attractive TV that, when switched off, becomes a piece of art rather than the usual black slate. The owner can choose their preferred style of frame and a work by their favourite artist, or even one of their own creations.
However, the major eye-turner at let’s be smart 2019 was Model X by Tesla, a SUV that was parked outside one of the smart homes. The bright-red premium speedster attracted attention from a huge distance. And a secret bar that revealed its contents at the words “Open sesame” was also very popular with visitors.
The aim of let’s be smart is to improve people’s lives and living situations through technical innovations, and to represent the transformation of a future-oriented lifestyle. Freedom, comfort, security and independent, barrier-free living for the older generation are just as much a part of that as better harmony between work and family, security, health, energy efficiency and an ecological footprint.
If you missed the smart home and its products in Cologne, you can now experience it through a virtual 3D tour.