by Paul Roggema.
Traditionally the first two days of IFA are dedicated to the press, and Siemens starts at 10.00 in the morning and thus kind of opens IFA. Then comes Miele, followed by Bosch. This has been the sequence since the appliance sector joined IFA, nine years ago.
Just as last year, Miele had the biggest news. Then they had a new temperature control for induction hobs as well as auto descaling for coffee makers, both new and unique features, and now they are entering the bagless vacuum cleaner market. Naturally, this was expected for some time. Miele was the last main manufacturer not offering bagless products, because they thought the products were too dirty; the job of emptying the dust reservoir was seen as unfit to the high aspirations of Miele customers. This sounded a bit suspicious, and as the European market share for bagless reached almost 50%, they had to make a move. And the move was well thought out.
They solved two problems at once: the fine dust billowing out and the single speed of the multicyclone technique. The multicyclone technique is good at removing fine dust, but it must operate at top speed for all the small cyclones to function, and it is noisy. So there are no different power settings. So Miele went for a single cyclone. The fine dust is removed in a second filter which cleanses itself by a motorized arm. So, according to Miele, several problems are solved at once and the Blizzard CX1 is worthy of carrying the Miele brand.
The other big news was the washer-dryer version of their new W1 and T1 washer and dryer pair. These platforms were introduced two years ago and the washer has the unique TwinDos feature where the bleach and the other detergent components are added separately. So now it these are available for a combined washer-dryer. This product may be not as popular, but still is a product you cannot do without. In induction Miele also introduced hob with integrated air extraction.
While being a more traditional company, in stand design Miele started all over again, with a all-new look and feel, very asymmetrical, and focusing on the products. In the past they had the restaurant-like look, or the straight-and-boxy design. It does give a fresh impression, which is very welcome as the main manufacturers have had the same location in the halls for all the nine years they were present at IFA, which is mainly about consumer electronics.
The main theme in the Siemens presentation was connectivity. It was brought even more prominent compared to last year. And remember that three years ago it was just one of many items; this is how things are changing. The news was that there are now also two new connected products: hoods and hobs. The hood is connected to the hob and reacts automatically, and there is even a sensor which measures pollution and adjusts fan speed. Siemens had a nice example why you need the app: you are watching TV and the sound of the hood threatens to spoil your favorite romantic scene. So without getting up you can lower the fan speed using your tablet or phone. Another connection to romance could be EmotionLight: you can set the hood lighting to 256 colours. And, if that is not enough, also the dishwasher has this feature. Don’t give it to the kids, one would guess.
The dishwasher now has FlexStart, which talks to your solar panel and programs according to amount of sunshine. You enter the latest time you want the program to finish and the communication optimizes according to the strength of the sun. The new top model coffee maker is also connected: you can select a recipe (or a list) and send it over. On the app it is much easier to understand all the options. New in induction is also built-in downdraft ventilation; no more separate fans needed, also connected.
Here the stand has the kitchen demonstrations in the heart of the stand, and they are visible from all sides. Connectivity was highlighted by vertical objects with LED panels, in addition to a lot of LED panels at the ceiling with colorful video’s. In terms of presentation Bosch tried something new: a second presenter was running around and he highlighted the products on a large video screen. It was a risk as live video can go wrong easily, but it made for a much livelier presentation and you got to see the actual products in action. Connectivity and the Bosch/Siemens standard HomeConnect was omnipresent. In products the ActiveOxygen laundry refreshing was presented, just as last year. It is actually ozone wich neutralizes odors and germs. FlameSelect, the fine-tuned gas valve was shown for the first time in Germany. And all-new was AutoCook, a typical Asian-style multicooker. The design was clearly not German, and it must have been a standard supplied item. Maybe Bosch waits to see the market reaction and then decides if a special Bosch design is needed. The other new product was OptiMUM, a new top model in the food processing line. It has a built-in weighing system and a recipe computer. It is also heavier and bigger than earlier models and has sensors for detecting things as the perfect whipped cream.
Interesting, also regarding the fact that BSH now is wholly owned by Robert Bosch (previous co-owner Siemens got out of consumer products), was the presentation of Robert Bosch Smart Home product line. Typical products as a camera, a smoke detector combined with air quality measurements and a motion sensor were shown as Bosch products and can be combined with the smart control of BSH appliances. As we all know Bosch and Siemens appliances are part of BSH, a daughter of Robert Bosch Gmbh.
The second day will have all the other press conferences and your reporter will keep you updated.