German companies controLED and RFID GmbH by Geschwister Flötotto launched the let’s be smart project with Koelnmesse for the 2018 IMM event. Several of the top tech and furniture companies leading the IoT industry today partnered with them to generate a truly smart home in which everything works together. Located in the Pure Architects section, the Smart Home exhibition displayed the seamless integration of their products.
The future of intelligent homes is closer than near, it’s finally here. In the “let’s be smart exhibition”, every object with a potential for connectivity came in IoT form, with Alexa sitting at the forefront of the smart home, readily awaiting commands.
“There’s an app for every device here down to the smallest one,” said controLED’s Tim Skrok during the guided tour.
You can find out how much coffee is left in your machine simply by looking at your smartphone or by asking Alexa.
Do we really need an entirely connected home? Skrok asked the visitors. No, he said. But it will simplify the life of those who enjoy having connected objects and find themselves with many. He also explained how several products could reduce damage costs and prevent fatal or severe injuries.
The smart entrance to the main house of the exhibition had a fingerprint detection system, a chip-coded card reader, and even a keyhole for those who prefer entering the traditional way. Whenever the resident comes home at night, the entry verification process also prompts on the interior lights to avoid entering a dark space. A visitor call system via an app allows homeowners to answer while away and let visitors in if necessary.
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Inside the Ultimate Smart Home
The entryway revealed a medium-sized mirror by Dirror hanging on the wall, which turns into the central station, the master controller for all IoT objects. From this station we can directly select the level of lighting in a specific room, adjust the temperature, set the music, change the artwork displayed on The Frame by Samsung, close or open room dividers, verify the remaining time for the washer and dryer, get the steamer going in the Grohe wellness shower, and the list continues.
The bathroom featured Grohe’s wellness toilet—Japanese style—and wellness shower with waterproof speakers connected via Bluetooth, along with its programmable steamer. The washing machine included Grohe’s Sense Guard, which detects a broken pipe and turns off the water supply before major leak damage occurs. The kitchen countertop by Nolte Kitchens hid touch sensors which turned lights on or dimmed them, a nice feature when cooking. Meanwhile, Miele kitchen appliances can be activated via smartphone or Alexa through its mobile app. In the living area, the furniture housed invisible speakers thanks to Flexound® Xperience.
The exhibition featured incredibly comfortable furniture by Konig + Neurath throughout. Rehau Group and furniture manufacturer Röhr-Bush created SMART SENSE, a sensor which is integrated into a continuous profile and can be triggered from any position. In the living area, Artome Smart Furniture incorporated Flexound® Xperience into the furniture to eliminate the buildup of bulky pieces around the room.
Let’s Talk Energy and Materials!
Let’s be smart highlighted sustainable and eco-friendly solutions. In the driveway, Tesla’s Model X electric car was parked along the E-Mobility station housing the Powerwall, a solar energy home battery.
“Powerwall detects grid outages and automatically becomes your home’s main energy source. Protect your home from the next power outage and keep your lights on, phones charged and no puddles under the fridge.”
On the other side of E-Mobility, in the meet-and-greet zone, Dr. Sascha Peters from Haute Innovation gave a talk on smart materials for the home and building sectors. In twenty minutes he wowed guests by recalling technologies such as air purifying surfaces with titanium dioxide nanoparticles, 3-D printed hygroscopic material by David Correa, Hydrotect by TOTO, programmable materials by Self-Assembly Lab, BMW’s 4-D printing a hyper-futuristic concept car and more.
An overall success and an excellent example of the force of collaboration, the physical look of the exhibition was developed by using the 3-D interior design software from pCon, which invited visitors to play with the VR version on site.