Our houses will turn upside down very soon, according to the latest edition of IFA Berlin. Innovation in domestic spaces gives for granted our relationship with voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. Nobody questions whether we want to have these abstract inhabitants in our living spaces, but that’s the trend for now. Many high-tech companies are upgrading their devices to satisfy this formula. “Alexa, turn on BBC”, “Hey Google, play Childish Gambino”, it is time you get familiar with it, and be kind to the robot. Along with virtual voices, much of the changes are within the kitchen, the laundry room and the living room.
New fridges all deal with food waste, and are more customized than ever, as glimpsed at Eurocucina earlier this April. There’s no need to open the door to see what food you have left, just knock on the glass door and a light will turn on, preventing energy waste (LG Electronics, Smart InstaView™). Multidoor fridges at different temperatures have definitively surpassed the classic two-doors, with a compartment for your dairy products and wines, and digital screens allow you to do the grocery, play cooking videos – or anything that Alexa wants. You can also check which food is left inside at any time through temperature-resistant indoor cameras, that turn quite useful when going shopping (Vestel, Multidoor). With the hastag #respectfood Grundig goes even further with its mission to reduce food waste and delivers hyper-efficient fridge sections such as the Vitamin Care Zone that better preserves fresh food (Grundig, Full Fresh+™). Interesting in terms of self-sufficiency is the special fridge designed to harvest your own microgreens (Neopia, MicroGarden) and a home-distiller to create your own essential oils (Neopia, AromaGarden).
As for washing machines, they are becoming sexier and greener. They don’t bounce anymore and feature fancy colors for any taste (Candy, Millennial Pink edition). To achieve the best sustainable standards some are not even using soap but treat water according to the different washing phases and temperatures (Vestel); others have an extra compartment to quickly wash 3 kg in less than 4 minutes (LG, Expanded TWINWash™). Maybe we are just washing too much: why not just use a styler, instead? LG takes it to the next level, with something that “keeps clothes cleaner, more hygienic and stylish”, without the need to start a washing cycle (LG Electronics, Styler).
Candy, Bianca Millenial Pink, 2018
Last but not least is entertainment. IFA Berlin’s ideal house moves around sound, video and light effects. Possibly altogether. TVs are larger and thinner, with curved screens (Sony, Bavia Master Series) to enhance their theatrical presence and ‘expand’ their colors to the living room through interactive colored LEDs (Philips, Oled+ with Ambilight). Speakers become totems connected to voice assistants that work with simple gestures and give the best sound experience, directing sound wherever needed (Bang&Olufsen, Beoplay). For more interaction and spectacle, the Nanoleaf Light Panels sync to the music and light up the environment with rhythm. It is a place between a disco and a meditation alcove, where appliances are all interconnected to give you the best show at any time.