'Europe's biggest tech fair, Berlin's IFA, is showcasing a flood of product launches until Wednesday. Here are five trends and gadgets making waves.
- Fitness trainer for pets -No time to walk or play with your pet puppy or kitten?
California start-up Varram showcased a Pet Fitness robot, which plays with cats and dogs at home via smartphone instructions, even dropping treats as a reward, while the owner is at work.
Sensors in the robot help it detect and stay away from furniture to not get stuck, avoiding bored pets.
The robot can be timed to play with the family pet at different times and keep track of how much activity the animal has had.
- AI at home -As executive director Jens Heithecker told AFP, "three main trends at IFA this year are 5G, voice control and AI (artificial intelligence)" with the latter two combined in innovations for the home.
Siemens claimed two world firsts with an oven that opens on voice command and separate washing machine and clothes drier that communicate via wifi to predict how long garments will need to dry.
The Home Connect system links household appliances, suggests recipes and even knows which ingredients are already at home, via cameras in the fridge.
Once the meal has been prepared, the oven door opens on voice command, leaving the cook with both hands to slide in the dish.
Meanwhile, the system's washing machine has built-in sensors to measure the moisture in washed clothes, sending the information to the drier.
However, the sensor cannot detect whether a stray black sock is about to ruin a load of white laundry. "That would be useful to know," admitted a Siemens spokeswoman with a smile.
- Christmas gifts -Heithecker tips that of the thousands of items showcased at IFA, headsets and wireless stereos will make popular Christmas gifts, as they are "affordable, moveable, high quality and part of the digitally connected world."
"Headsets with noise cancelling are mostly used in homes now, to squeeze out the surrounding noise - you go into your own world and won't be disturbed if you want to hear music," he added.'
Read more: Voice-command ovens, robots for pets on show at Berlin's IFA tech fair
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