We expected smart home technology to dominate the IFA 2018, but were surprised to see smartphones and wear that challenges most tension. Having said that, we saw many very innovative smart home gadgets at the conference, with smart speakers dominating other connected smart home appliances.
If you want to upgrade your home from stupid to smart, take a look at our top selection from IFA below.
1. Huawei AI Cube
Huawei's first venture in the world of smart speakers in the form of the AI cube impressed at this year's IFA conference. With Amazon's Alexa Assistant built-in, it has access to all voice skills, and can answer questions, play music and control other devices in your smart home setup.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the AI Cube is that it is also a 4G router, which means it can be used to connect the other devices to the Internet.
2. Sonos Amp
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Made for connection, Sonos Amp AirPlay 2 supports voice activation, HDMI ARC (for TV setup), and analogue to connect the player. Even though Wi-Fi is enabled, there are two Ethernet ports on the back if you prefer.
Sonos Amp is out in December for custom installers. For the rest of us, it will be available in February for $ 599 (around £ 460 / AU $ 830), with official prices in non-US markets to be verified.
3. Technics Ottava S SC-C50
Speakers dominated the smart home market at IFA this year, and for good reason. One of the most impressive was the Technics Ottava S SC-C50, which combines sleek, futuristic design with fully customizable sound thanks to its associated smartphone app.
With a total of seven speakers in the cabinet, the Chromecast speaker is enabled and music playback can be controlled through Google Assistant – assuming you have another Google Assistant smartphone in your home because voice activation is not built up. i.
4. Harman Kardon Enchant Soundbar
Home cinema enthusiasts had a lot to bring to IFA this year, not least of all the new Enchant sound bars from Harman Kardon. With the help of a digital signal processor and side-screen transducers, the audio bar is designed to bounce sound from the walls of your living room for a truly immersive movie experience.
With Chromecast built-in, you can stream show to your living room and connect the audio bar to a wider Chromecast room with multiple rooms. WiFi and Bluetooth are included, and Enchant comes in two different sizes – it should be available for purchase by the end of 2018.
5. Toshiba Alexa-enabled TVs
Toshiba announced to IFA that it would add Amazon Alexa to its OLED, 4K HDR and Full HD TV from 2019. With access to the speech assistant, the series will be able to deliver a wide range of features, unique to the smart TV, which is also part of Alexa's broader skills.
This means that you can provide Alexa voice commands to change the channel and change the volume as well as ask questions, request weather reports and more. Although price and availability have not yet been verified, Toshiba's 65-inch OLED 4KHD TV sells for around $ 3900 (£ 3000 / AU $ 5300).
6. Lenovo Smart Camera
Lenovo announced its new Smart Essentials range at IFA this year, including Smart Plug, Smart Light and Smart Camera. The smart camera is Lenovo's response to the influx of home security technology that we've been looking for upgrading in the last couple of years, with the little surveillance camera that lets you monitor live recordings from your home 24 hours a day.
It also has a built-in microphone and speaker that allow bi-directional conversations. It is currently put up for sale in the United States in early 2019, with a price of $ 99.99. Availability in other markets such as Europe, Africa and the Middle East has not yet been confirmed.
Not only smart speakers and TVs that hit us to IFA 2018. Besides the big launches, we also saw some very cool little gadgets like Varram's Pet Fitness robot, which can be controlled via Bluetooth to distribute goodies to pets and help with separation anxiety.
We also tried HiMirror Mini, a smaller version of HiMirror Plus, which uses a camera to analyze your skin for wrinkles, pores, dark spots and redness, and can be used to track the effectiveness of skin care products over time.
- IFA 2018 is Europe's largest technology show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the broad news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other technologies as they are announced.