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The slick smart-home tech of IFA 2014 (pictures)

Smart-home technology made its presence felt in a big way at IFA 2014 in Berlin. Here are some standout highlights we saw that demonstrate impressive connected-home skills.

1 of 12 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Philips Hue Beyond

The Hue Beyond light boasts two banks of LEDs that you can control independently via Android and iOS apps, are dim-able, and can create over 16 million RGB colors.

The gizmo will start at £299 for the desklamp without a connected hub, going up to £529 for ceiling and pendant lights with the full hub kit. US and Australia prices have yet to be announced, but those prices convert to $495-$875 and AU$530-AU$940.

2 of 12 Colin McDonald/CNET

Miele Scout RX1

The new Meile Scout RX1 packs in seven infrared sensors, a digital camera, and even a gyroscope, Miele says this gives the Scout a level of smart navigation that, "borders on perfection."

The appliance maker also claims the cleaning machine has the brains to pause in its duties and recharge if necessary, then resume until its hunt for dust and grime is done.

3 of 12 Colin McDonald/CNET

Siemens iQ700 Series

Siemens announced that three products in the iQ700 appliance line will gain app functionality in 2015. An in-wall oven/microwave combo device, a steam oven, and a dishwasher will each have their own set of device-specific controls allowing you to set temperatures and timers from the Home Connect app for iOS and Android.

Once this initial line launches, Siemens says it plans to expand its connected offerings to laundry machines and small appliances next year. The Home Connect app will be able to control all of its offerings, as well as any others from BSH companies, though their unified standard will have to compete with options from Apple, Samsung, and even Miele.

4 of 12 Colin McDonald/CNET

Bosch Connected Appliances

Bosch joined Siemens in announced smart-appliance capability at IFA. Indeed, it'll even be using the same Home Connect app to control its Wi-Fi enabled offerings. Bosch's first smart appliances will be its "Series 8" ovens and dishwashers. Home Connect will allow users the usual set of remote controls and even offer recipes and service advice. It’ll also serve as a unified standard for all BSH companies, allowing the user to control many appliances from multiple companies with a single app.

Right now, that just means controlling Bosch and Siemens appliances, and they'll need other allies if their connected standard hopes to be the one that finally unifies the smart home.

5 of 12 Colin McDonald/CNET

Miele W1 Prestige Washer

Not to be left behind, Miele upped its own smart-appliance game by announcing the upcoming release of a new app with more functionality. Miele made the announcement as it revealed a new high-end washer and dryer with plenty of brawn to go along with the expanded brains. Starting in 2015, iOS and Android users will be able to use the Miele@Mobile app to fully control washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Miele has allowed some connected control of its appliances for years, but this is a step forward for convenience and one Miele hopes to add to the rest of its appliances as soon as possible.

The company also took steps to create yet another unified standard by helping to found Qivicon with other leading German industrial companies.

6 of 12 Taurus

Taurus MyCook Touch

One neat appliance content with not trying to unify your smart home, is the Taurus MyCook Touch. It offers Wi-Fi connectivity but mainly for providing cooking advice.

The machine displays a host of recipes pulled from the cloud.  It also gives step-by-step instructions to use the many tools contained in this device to whip up something delicious. Specifically the Taurus lets you chop, whip, blend, emulsify, fry, and knead. You can control all of this with the 7-inch touchscreen or the app. Prep, weigh, and cook your food with a single device. MacGyver would be proud.

7 of 12 Elgato

Elgato Eve

A simpler device, designed to work with Apple’s upcoming HomeKit, the Elgato Eve uses sensors to monitor the air pressure in your home. Eve sensors will be available for purchase later this year, along with an app that lets you visualize the data it collects.

In addition to air pressure, you’ll also be able to see readings on temperature, air quality, humidity, water, and air consumption in your house. This sensor doesn’t have the excitement factor of some of the other IFA announcements, but it could prove uniquely useful.

8 of 12 Colin McDonald/CNET

Samsung Smart Home Platform

Speaking of unified standards, Samsung vowed to stay in the race shortly before the start of IFA. With Apple preparing HomeKit and Google purchasing Nest, Samsung purchased SmartThings and promised a wide array of third party support with the goal of positioning itself as a major player in the burgeoning smart home industry.

Samsung didn’t actually announce anything specific, just painted a picture of controlling air conditioners, garage doors, and light bulbs with its S-Voice voice-recognition on one of its smartphones. Soon, though, we might need a unified standard for all of these unified standards.

9 of 12 Lindsey Turrentine/CNET

Nest Protect gets fresh software

Thanks to Protect 2.0 software, Nest has added new features to its Nest Protect smoke/CO detector. While this fresh code doesn't fix all of the device's shortcomings, it promises to greatly cut down false alarms caused by steam and adds brightness control over its LED light along with other tweaks.

10 of 12 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Dyson 360 Eye

Another robot vacuum billed to boast better smarts and sensors is the new Dyson 360 Eye. Dyson touts the sensitivity of this bot's camera saying it captures 30 frames per second to better detect obstacles and orient itself properly.

Additionally the 360 Eye is built to provide more suction power than any robovac on the Japanese market. You can also command it via Android and iOS mobile apps.

11 of 12 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Samsung Powerbot VR9000

Samsung also unveiled a fresh robovac to its European line up at IFA 2014. The new Samsung Powerbot VR9000, the electronics giant claims, has 60 times the suction power of "conventional cleaners."

Other goodies include a "Cyclone Force" system which uses centrifugal force to separate particles and sort into various internal chambers, plus a FullView sensor array to avoid bumps and entanglements.

12 of 12 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Smart-home tech arrives in force at IFA 2014

A slew of smart-home products made their debut at the IFA 2014 technology show in Berlin. From smart lighting fixtures like this Philips Hue Beyond to robot vacuums, and Web-connected washers from Samsung, Dyson, and others, Europe's equivalent of CES didn't disappoint in terms of fresh, intelligent gear for your abode.

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