Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

By Adrian Justins

Last week was the annual unveiling of new devices and innovations at CES, the world’s largest technology festival, in Las Vegas. As always, home technology has had an upgrade. Here we conclude the dominant trends in residential technology and look at the latest products designed for the latest life.

The new technology can find a home next to the open brickwork, metal pillars and wooden beams of this one-bedroom converted warehouse in London. On the market for £ 565 000, the apartment is close to the skyscrapers of the Canary Wharf business district.

Form and function

Research by the German trading body GFU Consumer & Home Electronics found that year-on-year sales of home electronics increased by 11.6 percent in Germany in 2020 and the upward trend continued last year. Dr Sara Warneke, the organisation’s CEO, says that after spending more time at home during the pandemic, “consumers have developed a greater need to surround themselves with sweet and pleasant things”.

Televisions that play the role as well as the role meet this question. Loewe has she We see sub-brand series of smart televisions, designed to look equally good from all angles (bottom and main photo, top). The TV is available in 55-inch (€ 1,699), 50-inch (€ 1,499) and 43-inch (€ 1,299) versions with Ultra High Definition resolution. It has an elegant pedestal and an unusual two-tone frame. Audio is provided by a Dolby Atmos 80-Watt soundbar.

Sustainable gadgets

Technology buyers are becoming more concerned about electronic waste and carbon footprints. “Increasing numbers of consumers say they are likely to spend money with companies working to reduce climate change,” said Alex Cho, president of personal systems at Hewlett-Packard.

Danish electronic brand Bang and Olufsen responded with the Beosound level wireless speaker (from £ 1,149), which received Cradle to cradle certification, which means that its manufacture to the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Instituteprinciples including the promotion of clean air, water conservation and social justice. The speaker has a modular design that allows batteries to be replaced, dust and wood covers to be changed, and electronic components to be easily upgraded as the power technology used becomes obsolete. More than half of the plastic used in its construction is recycled. The model can work as a stand-alone portable speaker, paired with another or combined with a soundbar to provide immersive Dolby Atmos sound.

Smarter kitchens

The increased consumer focus on sustainability includes a pursuit of “premium devices that take advantage of advanced sensor technology, that can intuitively monitor and customize applications, and offer significant energy savings,” says Tim Buszka, head of branding and digital at Whirlpool.

His company’s W Collection 770mm induction hob (£ 849) use sensors to monitor the temperature and adjust according to what is cooking, until the food is ready to serve. Buszka claims the hob can reduce energy consumption by up to 30 percent compared to a standard Whirlpool induction hob.

Improved communication

“How we show up online is very important,” says Cho of HP. Three-quarters of the people surveyed by the company in 2021 said they rate someone online based on the quality of their audio and video output. Part of the solution is a more reliable home network, but Cho says “great cameras, microphones and speakers are a must-have now”.

Debuted at CES, the New N1 audio beam device lets someone sitting at a computer hear immersive sound as if they are wearing headphones, but those nearby are almost unaware of the sound. The N1 pushes algorithm-generated ultrasonic sound waves into the air, which are individually silent but target the listener using a built-in 3D camera and AI-based dynamic tracking algorithms. The N1 should be in stores by April, at $ 795.

Even smarter houses

The role of the smart home has evolved since Hive made its first smart thermostat 11 years ago. “Customers not only want convenience, they want to save money and be more sustainable,” says Americo Lenza of Hive parent company British Gas. The Korf Mini smart thermostat (bottom, right), which is on sale early this year for £ 119, will remind you to turn off the heating if you went out and left it on. It can also turn on the heater automatically when the temperature drops, which prevents frozen pipes. Heating and hot water can be controlled manually or by creating automated schedules via an application. Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit compatibility allow for integration with other home automation devices.

Meanwhile, Lutron, a pioneer in home automation lighting, recently announced its RA2 Select smart lighting dimmer (from £ 600) that can make any existing lights work. Unlike some smart lighting options, it runs from its own wireless hub rather than being part of a home network, and is therefore not affected by WiFi issues. An application allows the creation of specific lighting settings to suit different occasions – such as watching a movie or eating dinner – and for remote control from outside the home. The dimmer switch (bottom left) can control various light bulbs and be integrated with smart home products such as Sonos, Apple, Amazon Alexa and Ring.

Real Estate Photography: Savills

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