IFA enterpreneurs showcase innovation across security, lighting, air conditioning, robotics and much more

New figures from research firm IDC suggest that smart home technology is gaining traction with consumers. According to the company’s latest figures, 433.1 million smart home devices were shipped worldwide in 2017, up 27.6% on the previous year. Looking ahead, IDC anticipates a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.5% as the market expands to 939.7 million device shipments by 2022.

In terms of the profile of companies at the Smart Home Zone, the majority were either single-product suppliers or smart- home solutions providers. Key product categories on show included security, with a number of firms offering smart- lock technology or surveillance. Ring, for example, was showcasing video doorbells and security cameras on its large, well- populated stand. There was also a strong emphasis on smart climate control – with air conditioning, air purification and thermostat tech on show. Tado, for example, has just unveiled a new generation of smart thermostats that help users improve the quality of their air through the use of an app and associated tools. Interestingly, there was also a company called Agan Aroma promoting “a smart home aroma diffuser” under the Moodo brand name.

While the big manufacturers focused a lot of their energy on smart audiovisual products and large appliances, the Smart Zone crowd focused more on areas such as smart lighting, smoke detectors, energy efficiency controls and small, agile robot appliances. Wiz was showcasing its smart connected lights while the well- established Neato brand was on show with its state-of-the-art robot vacuum cleaners. Also present was Chinese rm Mamibot with a range of vacuum and glass cleaning robots. Mamibot’s high end vacuum model included mapping functionality and wet mopping function. Meanwhile, one of the quirkier robot technologies on display at IFA was A’Varram’s smart robotic pet sitter.

Away from sector specific companies, there was a strong presence from the likes of Devolo, which was marketing its new home networking product, Magic, a form of mesh WiFi that also uses Powerline technology. Also high-pro le was Z-Wave, the company that provides the leading international standard for wireless communication between intelligent devices. Currently there are 2400 Z-Wave compatible products from more than 700 brands and manufacturers worldwide.

Other famous brands to be found in the Smart Home Zone included Yale, which this week announced Alexa integration for its latest generation of smart home alarms at IFA, as the Smart Home Zone included the high number of companies promoting their compatibility with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, underlining the way these two systems are becoming increasingly ubiquitous.

Photo: The Smart Home Zone