Like nearly every other home appliance maker, Haier has its eye on the future smart home. The China-based manufacturer displayed its range of connected appliances at IFA 2015, and now it has brought its U+ Smart Life platform stateside for CES 2016. The company says it wants everything in the house to communicate, even across other device makers.
Of course, Haier is ready to offer its own range of products, from a smart refrigerator to air conditioners to washing machines. The fridge is app-controlled, so you can adjust the temperature remotely and find recipes based on its contents. You can also use its “smart window” technology to check on what’s inside there. We got a peek at the smart window at IFA 2015, and it’s pretty cool. When you approach the fridge, motion sensors detect your presence, and the display turns from opaque to translucent. You can then look for a snack without having the door hang open, exposing food to warmer temperatures.
Haier’s washer is also app-controlled, so you can start it with the push of a button, and beyond that it has Amazon Dash-like capabilities, alerting you when the detergent is low and giving you the option to purchase more.
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One intriguing concept of Haier’s is the Magic Mirror, which has a touchscreen that lets you control other smart products like your connected scale. Or you can use it to browse the news while you’re brushing your teeth. Panasonic had a similar concept on display at last year’s CES, so Haier isn’t alone in seeing the value in a smart mirror. So when can we expect this slice of the future to arrive? Haier isn’t offering a lot of details about prices and availability yet.
Perhaps less eye-catching but equally compelling is Haier’s line of products designed for “small space living.” They’re essentially European-style appliances, made for apartment dwellers.
Of course, what’s bringing everyone to the firm’s booth is Haier’s R2-D2-inspired mini-fridge. Who doesn’t want to see the life-sized, remote-controlled replica in action?