Electrolux may have stolen IFA yesterday, but German appliance maker Bosch is showcasing its own wide range of labor-saving devices at Berlin’s massive electronics conference. Among the highlights are stove surfaces laden with sensors, a refrigerator with a networked camera, a germ-fighting washing machine, and an automatic coffee machine.
Cooktops, ovens, mixers, and blenders
First up: Bosch’s Series 8 line of cooktops and ovens. The new cooktops let you adjust temperature on a per-zone basis if you, say, want to boil water and pan sear at the same time, but more intriguingly come equipped with an array of sensors that determine the ideal settings at which to cook your meal. Place a steak on the stovetop and the sensors will use the temperature of the meat to adjust the mode accordingly.
Bosch’s new Series 8 oven have sensors, too — moisture sensors adjust temperature automatically throughout the cooking process and shut the oven off when food’s cooked through. For manual adjustments, there’s a touchpad and HomeConnect, Bosch’s app for Android and iOS.
The new cooktops and oven weren’t the only kitchen appliances Bosch had on tap. The MUM 5, a new heavy-duty mixer, whisks at up to 1,000 watts (enough for 48 muffins, Bosch says), moves in three directions simultaneously, and comes in colors like scharz, impulsive orange, and pistachio. Trendy.
For smoothie enthusiasts, there’s the SilentMixx. It’s apparently quiet (Bosch didn’t give a metric), handles hot and cold items, has automatic programs for crushed ice and other common ingredients.
Several new fridges will be compatible with Bosch’s Home Connect, the company’s home-automation solution. The fridges will have a camera pointed at the shelves inside that takes a snapshot every time the refrigerator door closes, and you can pull up a feed within Bosch’s app if, for example, you forget what food you have stocked while out shopping. The feature’s usefulness will obviously hinge on the positioning of the camera — whole-fridge coverage is a tough proposition, especially when you consider corners and obscured drawers — but it’s nonetheless a novel approach to grocery management, and dare I say, more useful than AEG’s oven cam.
Other improvements are trickling down to all of Bosch’s new refrigerators: A redesigned cooling system, humidity sliders, and “VitaFresh” and “NoFrost” temperature control.
Washing machines and a steam station
Moving on to the laundry room, Bosch’s Series 8 washing machines feature ActiveOxygen, a microbe-killing technology that the company claims kills up to 99.99 percent of bacteria on clothes. It’s activated manually by button or tacked on to a cycle, and works by twice cleansing clothes with “active oxygen” — once during pretreatment and once before the final rinse. Unlike most antibacterial cycles, Bosch says, ActiveOxygen is fairly quick — 30 minutes from start to finish — and works in low temperatures and on delicates.
Bosch’s new Series 8 washers are supposedly softer, too, thanks to an “EcoSilenceDrive” feature, and sport LED control panels.
For those times when you can’t get away with wrinkle release spray, there’s Bosch’s Sensixx DS38 ProHygienic steam station. It, like the Series 8 washing machines, removes 99.9 percent of bacteria, which Bosch says is a world first.
Tying everything together is Bosch’s enhanced Home Connect app. When a major update hits the Google Play Store and Apple App Store later this year, you’ll be able to turn off and on any connected appliance and receive notifications when clothes/dish washing cycles finish. And like Electrolux’s My AEG app, Home Connect will suggest cycles for specific dishware and clothing and allow you to start them remotely.
But coffee brewing is where the new app really shines. It’s essentially a virtual barista: you can pick from such blends as “Australian Flat White” and “Café Cortado” from its Coffee World recipe library and Bosch’s connected coffee machine will get your beverage started. It can save your preferences too, and send you an alert when the machine’s due for a cleaning.
Bosch says it’ll be out in full force at IFA, and we intend to get a look at its new lineups as soon as is humanly possible.