Dirk Baranek

IFA 2014: Internet of Things for Consumers

The IFA or Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin is one of world’s leading trade shows for consumer electronics and home appliances. With its long tradition – the first show took place in 1924 – and over 200.000 visitors every year it is the perfect opportunity for large producers of home entertainment products to test if the market is ready for innovation. In the large halls you can find all the big brands of this industry – Samsung, LG, Miele, Bosch, Siemens and others. To point it out very clearly – The Internet of Things is in the mind of the producers and customers already. Of course nobody puts this term in big letters on top of his booth. In this industry the vogue is called “Smart Home”. And it’s really big. Every one of the before mentioned companies presented their solution for “connected” machines – at least smart kitchens. Even more: at the IFA on hall (11.1) – name: Techwatch – the organisators brought together companies, initiatives and startups with the focus on smart home applications.

The E-Haus
Fridge by SiemensIn the center of the techwatch hall you could visit a so called E-Haus, a model home done by the association of german engineers (VDE) to demonstrate the possibilities of smart home solutions. And itis getting very smart. For example the newest fridge of Siemens (Foto). This machine is taking two fotos every time you open the fridge and loads it into your cloud. This enables you to look at what’s in your fridge even being in the super market 2 km away – and the lights inside are of course off when closed!

Tado with new feature
At the booth of tado, a CODE_n14 alumni with a smart heating solution, we talked with Christian Deilmann, CEO of tado, about his approach to the Internet of Things. His radical point of view: “The term ‘Internet of Things’ will be outdated in the near future just because of the fact, that everything will have an IP address anyway.” He also criticised the ubiquitous use of the term smart home: “Smart home means nothing or everything if you like. It equals to the term ‘App Store’: there you can find everything but nothing in concrete.” At the IFA, tado showed their new feature tado care: they monitor your heating system and send you push notifications if something is going wrong.

Smart Home Startups
Some other startups showed new solutions for connecting things in a useful scenario. For example ‚Mother knows everything’. The main product is called Sense Mother, a bulbous object remembering in a way at the popular but yet disappeared Nabaztag. This device tracks data of so called „Motion Cookies“. These sensors are easy to attach to every object and give wireless informations about motion, temperature and/or presence.

The german startup digitalSTROM has a very serious approach to the home of the future, where all electric devices are connected. They are doing it via wireless connections integrated in the electric cable system itself. For this they use the well known screw terminal, which of course is smart, controllable and usable in a lots of ways now.

Qivicon – Smart Home for the Mass Market
Smart Home IFA 2014One of the largest presentation of a smart home solution, which does not only exist in a nice to have concept ready to use in an unsure time to come, but something very accessibleright now, was shown by Deutsche Telekom, Germany’s biggest player in the field of telecommunication. T-kom’s smart home is marketed under the brand Qivicon and is apparently going to set new technical standards. The list of the partners which will use this standard, integrating it in energy distribution or product development, is getting longer every day.

Take a foto walk here in our IFA album at Flickr

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