We often find a lot of wild and interesting appliances and smart home tech at Germany's annual tech conference. Not everything we see at IFA ends up being distributed worldwide, but together it gives us a glimpse into cool new ideas and trends. Pictured at left, the Miele Scout RX2 uses two cameras to see your home in 3D. Miele hasn't announced pricing or availability yet.
The Wi-Fi enabled Miele Dialog Oven brings a new form of heat into the equation. In addition to the traditional radiant heat and convection fan, the Dialog wall oven uses electromagnetic waves similar to a microwave to help speed up the process. Miele hasn't slated the Dialog to come to the US yet. It'll start selling in Germany in 2018 for 7,990 euros (roughly $9,500, £7,350 and AU$12,000), then will roll out to the rest of Europe.
The Google Assistant is making itself at home in a few new speakers at IFA. Some of the first third-party products with the Assistant built-in, the Zolo Mojo by Anker, the TicHome Mini by Mobvoi (pictured), the GA10 by Panasonic, and the Sony LF-S50G will all respond to your voice commands and are due out later this year.
Sony's spiffy new speaker will also have the Google Assistant built in. We got a chance to listen to some music via the LF-S50G, and it delivers a decent amount of bass. We're looking forward to putting it through our rigorous array of tests when it's released in October. It's expected to retail for $200 (£200, AU$300).
Not to be outdone, Amazon's digital assistant Alexa has a new third-party speaker of its own at IFA. The Allure supposedly pumps out 360-degree sound and has an ambient light that pulses with the music. The Harman Kardon Allure goes on sale by the end of the year for £250 -- that UK price converts to about $320 or AU$410, but local prices will vary.
In fact, IFA saw the unveiling of quite a few new devices that work with Amazon's digital assistant Alexa. Here's the full list.
Pictured is the Lenovo Home Assistant Pack. Functionally similar to the Amazon Echo Show, Lenovo's Assistant Pack combines a Tab 4 tablet with a speaker similar to the voice activated Amazon Echo. The speaker has Alexa built-in and responds to your voice commands. Connect the tablet to the speaker, and a custom Lenovo app will show info relevant to any questions you ask Alexa. The speaker will be $69 when it's released this October. The Tab 4 tablet is $150. Pricing and availability for other regions is still be announced, but the Assistant roughly converts to £50 or AU$85.
Standing at 2.7 feet tall, the Qihan Sanbot Nano uses 50 sensors to monitor and control your smart home. You can take advantage of the built-in cam to check on your home from afar. The Sanbot also has Alexa built in, so you'll be able to talk to it when it hits the market this October. This mobile robot with Alexa won't come cheap, though. The Sanbot Nano will cost a hefty $2,800, which converts to roughly £2,170 and AU$3,530.
Speaking of robots that work with Alexa, LG showed off a robot that works with Alexa and cuts the lawn. The LG Lawn Mower robot also works with the Google Assistant, so you'll be able to command it with your voice whether you're an Amazon or Google fan. First announced at CES 2017, we now know the bot will come equipped with a GPS tracker to help it navigate your yard, but we still don't know when it'll be available or how much it'll cost.
Alexa's built into pretty much everything at this point, so why not a piano too? This Disklavier piano takes advantage of Yamaha's MusicCast multiroom audio tech to turn Alexa into a pianist. Control the piano remotely with your voice and it'll tickle the ivories for you.
We saw a lot of cool washing machines at IFA, and Samsung's might have been the most unique. The Samsung QuickDrive uses a second drum in the back of the compartment to agitate your clothes in multiple directions. Supposedly, it'll cut your washing time in half without losing any performance.
At just 44 decibels during a wash cycle and 59 decibels while drying, Bosch claims its HomeProfessional washer-dryer combo is the quietest out there. They'll also work with Bosch's Home Connect smart home platform and both have touchscreen displays.
Not to be outdone, Electrolux showed off its own washer-dryer combo called PerfectCare. The machines in the line can all supposedly handle delicate fabrics such as wool to cut down on your trips to the dry cleaner.
Haier elected for simpler, practical innovation for its showcase washer at IFA. The Super Drum washer-dryer combo claims to be both compact in size while still having a large capacity -- it can supposedly wash 22 pounds of clothes and dry up to 13. Look for the Super Drum in Europe in 2018. US availability hasn't been announced.
If you don't want to worry about folding and sorting your clothes after you finish washing them, Panasonic's Sustainable Maintainer will take care of that for you. Still a concept machine at this point, the Maintainer grabs each item of clothing one-by-one, and runs it across a conveyor belt cleaning stains and drying it off before folding it.
Samsung wants to help you clean more than your clothes at IFA. The Powerstick Pro vacuum has a handle that folds up to 50 degrees to help you reach under furniture. Plus, it has two different brushes in the vacuum head, each powered by its own drum, to increase the agitation of the carpet and suck up dirt more efficiently.
Elgato added to Siri's repertoire at IFA. The company showed off five new products: an updated Thermo to control your radiator, the Aqua for your hose-fed sprinkler, the Lock, the Smoke and the Window Guard. Each will work with Apple's smart home platform HomeKit and will respond to voice commands you give to Siri via your iPhone.
The Mars+ mattress wants to help you sleep better with automated temperature control. Innerspring coils and sensors adjust the bed's temp as you rest. The mattress integrates with a number of other smart home platforms such as Nest to control the temp of your home and Amazon's Alexa so you can check how you slept with a voice command. The product is US-only for now. Prices start at $1,299 for a full mattress, which converts to roughly £1,015 and AU$1,640.
Panasonic's Sake Cooler responds to voice commands, tracks every bottle of sake you put in it, and can even recommend food. Oh, and it's mobile so it can actually bring the sake to you. We don't know many details about this roaming, sake-loving fridge yet, but the features certainly have us intrigued.
Not only does Haier's new fridge have a touchscreen on the front, it uses built-in cameras to suggest recipes for dinner based on what you have. The Link Cook Series is Wi-Fi connected, so you can also see what's in your fridge when you're at the grocery store.
Four-door fridges are becoming more and more popular, and Haier's latest is trying to outdo the competition in the simplest fashion imaginable -- it has five doors. All four top doors are for the fridge with a single freezer compartment on the bottom. Look for the F+ in Europe starting in 2018. Haier's not sure if the model will make its way to the US.
For another dose of innovative laundry tech, Sharp's IntelliDos washer supposedly fits into small spaces, while still being able to hold up to 22 pounds of laundry. This washer can even handle 22 different types of stains and reduces sound to keep its work quiet.
With the promise of evolutionary improvement, Neato showed off its next robot vacuum cleaner at IFA. Like the other Botvac Connected models before it, the new Neato Botvac D7 will leap into action if you speak a command to your Google Assistant or Alexa. Now, you can also cordon off sections of your home where you don't want the robot to go. This extra tech will come with a hefty price tag when it hits stores in the US and Europe this fall: $799 (£799 or about AU$1,011).
Like the Miele RX2, the Bosch Roxxter will use a camera to stand out from the robot vacuum crowd. You'll be able to stream video from the vac directly to your phone and monitor your home remotely. The Roxxter will also use its cam to avoid obstacles and generate maps while it cleans.
If you want your smart bulbs to sync up with what's playing on your TV, you'll soon be in luck. Philips announced Hue Entertainment at IFA, which the company is calling "surround sound for your eyes." Anyone with a second-generation Hue bridge and color-changing bulbs can take advantage of the feature this December after a free software upgrade. Philips also announced compatibility with Apple's smart home software HomeKit for a bunch of new Hue devices. Plus, Hue starter kits will soon come with more bulbs.
Nanoleaf will also let you sync your lights to your entertainment. First announced back in January, the Nanoleaf Aurora Rhythm is now ready for action. It's a small module with sound sensors that plugs into your colorful Nanoleaf LED panels and syncs them to your music. The Rhythm goes on sale in the US on September 25 and in Europe on October 1. The standalone add-on will cost $50/£40/AU$60. You can buy the Rhythm Kit which packs in the LED setup you need to get started for $230 (roughly £180 and AU$290 converted).
Just a concept for now, but the Bosch X-Spect scanner already analyzes the makeup of fabrics and food. A handheld device, you can press it against a material to find out what its made of. You might even be able to tell what exactly that mysterious stain is.
If it's a cool day in the summer and you throw open your windows for a dose of fresh air, Tado's latest app update will sense the temperature drop and automatically lower the set temp. Tado will also respond to a sudden rise in temp in the winter. This latest update for both the Tado thermostat and radiator also includes a repair service button and refined geofencing.