Top 5 home innovations at IFA 2012The most exciting new home products and ideas
31 August 2012
We've rounded up the top five most interesting and exciting new home products and concepts at global technology show IFA.
IFA is underway in Berlin, and major brands have been showing off their new product launches and innovative concepts for the homes of the future. Here's our top five:
1. Jamie Oliver kitchen appliances from Philips
Philips has teamed up with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to develop a new range of kitchen gadgets including the new HomeCooker. The Jamie Oliver HomeCooker lets you cook food in the main pan (and stirs it for you!) whilst steaming food in an upper layer. So you can leave it to cook your main course and steam your rice or vegetables at the same time.
It has a timer so you can set it to cook and turn itself off when it's finished. You can also buy an accompanying electric chopper to slice vegetables, cheese and meat straight into the pan. Both products will be available in the UK soon - watch out for our first look reviews of both products in our kitchen appliance first look reviews.
2. Philips PerfectCare Xpress hybrid iron
Following the success of its ‘one perfect setting’ PerfectCare Steam generator, which was revealed at last year's IFA show, Philips is launching a one-setting only hybrid steam iron/generator. Designed to combine the steam power of a steam generator with the speed and agility of an ordinary steam iron, this product has an ultra-compact steam generator contained inside it's ordinary iron-sized body.
It's not the first hybrid steam iron/generator we’ve seen, but it is the first with Philips 'OptimalTemp' one-setting-only technology. We've recently tested the Philips PerfectCare Silence steam generator - see our full review of the PerfectCare Silence to see how Philips 'one perfect setting' technology fared in our rigorous lab tests, and look out for test results for the new PerfectCare Xpress in early 2013.
3. Panasonic Smart App
Panasonic is expanding its Smart Appliance offering with a cloud-based service that allows you to control your home appliances using your smartphone. Designed to make life 'more convenient, comfortable, and energy efficient’, the Smart App allows you keep track of and control your home appliances remotely, for example to check your fridge is running efficiently or set your washing cycle/cooking programmes.
Panasonic Smart Appliances aren’t available in the UK yet but we'll be looking out for them and smart appliances from other major brands.
4. Panasonic wireless kitchen appliances
Panasonic is showcasing early prototypes of wireless kitchen appliances in its 'Future Craft' stand at IFA. Designed to work with their new infrared sensor induction hobs, the appliances can be placed on the induction zone and draw their power from it.
There is also the potential to buy a compact stand-alone induction ‘hub’ and use it for powering multiple appliances. The example we saw in action was a blender but this range could potentially also include a range of small appliances including kettles.
5. Philips AquaTrio Pro
This clever three-in-one floor cleaner from Philips vacuums, mops and dries hard floors all in one sleek machine. On top of that it self-cleans and claims to be energy-saving, too. We don’t know if or when this product might come to the UK, but we’ll keep you updated.
IFA 2012 is a global show, so some of these products may not make it to the UK. We’ll be looking out for the ones that do, and seeing how they measure up in the Which? test lab.