Philips Goes All-In on the Connected Home at IFA

Hue lamps, baby monitors, Spotify-connected speakers, and more

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Philips aimed to wow at its IFA 2014 press conference, mainly by attempting to connect each and every European citizen to each and every one of their small appliances and household electronics. Nothing is too small or too simple to be left out of the company's blitzkrieg approach.


Introducing the Hue Beyond

Philips has already made a huge mark in the smart lighting arena with its Hue light bulbs, as well as the various accessories that control them. Now, with the newly announced Hue Beyond, Philips is bringing connected lighting to standalone lamps, pendants, and ceiling lights.

Unlike previous offerings, the Hue Beyond features a two-bulb setup that means users no longer have to decide between usable white light or hued mood lighting. The attractive form factor also means Hue Beyond products should be able to fit into almost any style of decor. As usual, the lamps and other lights can be controlled with the press of a button or a tap on a smartphone screen.


Connecting to Infants

The Philips Avent uGrow Smart Baby Monitor streams live video straight to your tablet or smartphone, so you never have to wonder whether your little tyke is still asleep and content.

The Avent uGrow also reports live info about ambient temperature and humidity, allowing the parents to ensure the best environment to keep the baby (and, by extension, themselves) asleep.

If you're worried about air quality, Philips is also bringing an air purifier to market. Not only does the Smart Air Purifier remove pollutants from the air, it also informs you of the quality of air in the room. And once you tell the Smart Air Purifier where you live, it will actively report outdoor air quality and help you create air purification schedules to combat increased pollutant levels during high-traffic periods and meal times.


Connecting with Kids

Turning chores into games usually doesn't fly, but Philips is trying to make daily oral hygiene fun with its new connected toothbrush.

The latest Philips Sonicare for Kids reports the child's brushing behavior to a smartphone or tablet app, where good brushing earns them more points. Kids can also earn achievements with consistent good brushing, or by reaching milestones. It's an extremely habit-forming approach, if my own XBox Live gamer profile is anything to go by.

Connecting with Adults

Philips also considered adults in its offerings, particularly in the kitchen.

Its connected digital barista, the Saeco GranBaristo Avanti, promises to make trips to the coffee shop a thing of the past. While many espresso and cappuccino makers have steep learning curves, creating the perfect cup of foamy latte with the GranBaristo Avanti is as simple as firing up your tablet and touching the drink you want.

It even allows the user to adjust brewing strength and ingredient amounts for the perfectly customized cup.

For full-on meals, Philips also has a connected solution: the smart Airfryer app.

Providing crispy fries with 80% less fat, the Philips Airfryer is already quite popular in Europe, but the new app will help make creating whole air-fried dinners a breeze. The app provides recipes and meal suggestions to stave off boredom of endless healthy fries.

Connected Entertainment

Philips is also moving into the living room with connected entertainment devices. The company's joint venture with Gibson has led to the release of several sound devices, including two sets of headphones. The A1-Pro has the aspiring DJ in mind, while the Fidelio NC1 is designed for travelers who need top-notch noise canceling.

In collaboration with Spotify, Philips has developed two standalone sound systems that will fill any room with curated playlists at the touch of a button.

As with the new Spotify Connect–enabled TVs from Philips, all you have to do is connect a Spotify-enabled speaker to your WiFi network and hit play in the Spotify app.

Both the entry-level SW700M and the more powerful SW750M will be available for purchase all over Europe starting in October. U.S. users will have to wait a little longer, as no release date has been announced.

Rounding out the sound offerings, the new Fidelio B5 Soundbar will feature detachable wireless speakers for true surround sound. Simply unsnap them from the bar, place them wherever you like, and the Soundbar will do all the math necessary to optimize the sound.

If there's nothing on TV, each detachable speaker can also be independently paired with smart devices via bluetooth to provide high quality mobile sound.

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