IFA 2016: Red Dot winners, smart household appliances and drones

The IFA is the world’s leading fair for consumer electronics and home appliances. On an area of 150,000 square metres, about 1,600 exhibitors presented more than 10,000 innovations this year. Also a Red Dot team was on site: to meet laureates of the Red Dot Award: Product Design and discover the newest trends and developments. The keynote “Consumer experience in the connected kitchen” by Dr. Karsten Ottenberg, CEO BSH Hausgeräte, granted insights into current product worlds and the technologies of tomorrow. In general, the terms “smart” and “connectivity” were fundamental keywords on the Berlin fair.

Visible success – Red Dot label marks good design

Success in the Red Dot Award: Product Design, one of the world’s largest design competitions, can be communicated visibly. Thus, the Red Dot seal for award-winning design quality was often applied in the course of the IFA 2016. With targeted placements of the renowned label at booths, on packaging and stand-up displays, visitors could immediately see which products and brands stand apart from the rest due to excellent design. The company Intenso from Vechta/Germany for instance promoted its awarded design and excellent security of its hard drives at the booth. Various other Red Dot laureates presented their victory in the competition with the help of the Red Dot, for example WINIX or Liebherr.

The (smart) kitchen: from analogue to digital to connected

Clearly recognisable on the IFA: The connectivity of home appliances and the development of smart products are on the rise. Dr. Karsten Ottenberg, CEO BSH, talked in his lecture “Consumer experience in the connected kitchen” about the rapid evolution of home appliances. Especially, the product landscape of the kitchen went through an interesting process: from analogue to digital to connected. Hence, a coffee machine can by now be programmed individually via display or app, cameras in the fridge give consumers who are on the go the opportunity to see, what has to be purchased. The oven decides autonomously which settings have to be made for the Sunday roast; and LEDs – even in the dishwasher – provide atmospheric ambience.

Kitchen helper of the future

Prospectively, the Internet of Things will be connected with online services, so that the refrigerator system will be able to independently do the shopping with online services. With the concept “Mykie” (My kitchen elf), BSH presented the connected kitchen assistant. The small helper is a mixture of tablet and robot and is planned to be both contact person and support at once. It is expected to play music by voice command, find recipes online and project them onto the kitchen wall, and generally facilitate tasks. Providing maximum and individual support in household with smart equipment is the main approach of the designers. 

Smart home, robotics and drones

The intelligent and connected home controlling is forward-looking for many fields of products as for instance in areas such as lighting, room temperature or heating, energy management or security systems. The same applies for wireless transmission technology, admission control and the integration of robots such as vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers and window cleaners. Another trend is the drone: The Chinese brand Xiro, which already received a Red Dot: Best of the Best for the drone “Xplorer” and two Red Dot awards for the “Xplorer 2” and “Xplorer Mini”, presented itself with a booth along with a flight cage. Further companies on site were among others Thunder Tiger Group, Parrot and Yuneec, which introduced promising devices. Particularly interesting for the consumer is that the product range in this field becomes extensive. Affordable drones as a “gimmick” will be on the market just like the high-end devices with a professional camera and control module.

Soon, the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017 will start. Manufacturers and designers will submit their novelties and let them be evaluated by the Red Dot jury. Which products receive a distinction will be published in March 2017. One thing is for certain: Consumer electronics and home appliances are undergoing a change, which encourages new thinking and innovative product designs.

The Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017 starts on 24 October 2016.