Technology is all around us, and not just in the form of computers and smartphones that we use every day. They come in many shapes, sizes, levels of complexity, and price tags, but all of them have the same purpose: to make life easier, safer, and even healthier. The past years have seen an influx of technologies for use inside homes, creating an ecosystem of smart appliances and devices designed to take some of the stress away from daily life. Many of these products have converged at the IFA 2023 trade fair in Berlin, where brands big and small showcase their latest wares and ideas. Whether you’re in Berlin yourself or just watching from the Internet sidelines, the number of names and products can be quite overwhelming, so we’ve whittled that list down to the top 20 product designs that will help you live productive and comfortable lives.
AnkerMake M5 3D Printer
Almost everyone has had a dream to create something, whether it’s an art project, a toy, or even a replacement part for broken equipment. Of course, it’s not that easy to actually turn those ideas into reality, even if you have the skill for planning and drawing out those objects. You’ll still need a way to craft those things into solid, three-dimensional forms, a process that used to require access to a production line but can now be done with a home 3D printer.
Best known for its portable batteries, Anker recently branched out to add an unexpected category to their portfolio under a new brand. But while there are countless 3D printers already available for use at home or in small offices, the AnkerMake M5 easily sets itself apart not only with its simplicity of design but also with its mouth-watering price tag, at least for the features it offers, which includes AI detection and a camera for video streaming and making timelapse. There’s even the AnkerMake M5C, which pushes the cost down to a more affordable figure. AnkerMake is effectively making such creation tools accessible to almost everyone who has the dream and the will to learn how to turn digital ideas into real-world objects.
Bluetti EP600 Modular Home Energy Storage System
Electric power has become a critical necessity in modern life, especially with our reliance on consumer electronics, but it has always been a precious limited resource that is also killing the planet in many ways. Although it is definitely possible to generate electricity from more sustainable and renewable sources, the amount of power that’s generated and stored is often insufficient for anything but the smallest of appliances, at least until now.
Building upon the strong foundations of its portable solar generators, Bluetti has expanded its portfolio to include less portable batteries, ones that are designed to hold enough power to light up the whole house and then some. The Bluetti EP600 is the latest design in this line, providing a modular system that lets you start small and later grow your energy storage system to meet your growing needs. Depending on the configuration, you can store up to 39.68Wh of power, more than enough for a few days off the grid. And, of course, these batteries can be charged using solar energy alone, allowing you to live on green energy for as much as you like.
CASETiFY Ultra Bounce Case
Manufacturers naturally design their phones to be beautiful and durable, but let’s face it, not all designs suit everyone’s tastes and not all phones survive the smallest accidents. That’s why there’s a thriving market for cases, for protection or for decoration, but it’s rare to find designs that attempt to do both. Of course, those do exist, and the new CASETiFY Ultra Bounce Case is one that tries to satisfy both needs.
In addition to utilizing a 6-layer Rugged Protection System, the case also has unique expanded corners with air cavities that provide structural support and rigidity when the phone drops on one of its corners, the most common reason why screens crack. At the same time, CASETiFY offers customization options for fonts, colors, and patterns that make each case truly unique and truly yours. And as if those didn’t already check the right boxes, each case is also made from 65% upcycled cases through its Re/CASETiFY program that has diverted more than 430,000 phone cases from landfills, the equivalent of over 40,000 kg of plastic.
EcoFlow Wave 2 Portable Air Conditioner
Regardless of your beliefs, it’s impossible to day how the world seems to be getting warmer and warmer. That has created the ironic and unfortunate situation of people consuming more electricity to keep themselves cool with electric fans or air conditioning units. The latter, while effective in cooling, have even greater negative effects on the planet and your wallet, not to mention being inconvenient for their stationary designs. Stepping a bit away from its comfort zone, battery power station maker EcoFlow has launched its line of portable air conditioners, and its latest model steps up the game in both efficiency and sustainability.
You’d be forgiven for mistaking the EcoFlow Wave 2 for one of the company’s power stations because they share the same design language. This sleek box, however, is meant to keep you cool anywhere you need it or, or even get you warmed up should the circumstances require it. While portable cooling is already a big advantage, its use of the R290 natural refrigerant helps minimize its carbon footprint, even in the worst heat wave. And like any EcoFlow product, you can also charge this using solar energy, continuing that clean and green theme.
ECOVACS Winbot W2
Even before “smart home” was a thing, robot vacuum cleaners were already rolling on some floors, sucking up dirt and undesirable particles from the ground. Floors and carpets, however, are not the only things that could use some automated help, and some parts of the house are, in fact, in greater need of some robotic assistance. ECOVACS is trying to corner the market in robotic window cleaners, and the new WINBOT W2 tries to take that niche product line to the next level.
Using its suction power to cling to a slippery vertical window, the new WINBOT W2 delivers not only enhanced cleaning but also enhanced reliability. A new two-in-one composite cable does both retraction and release with a single cord, while the new multifunctional station provides a home where the robot can stay and recharge its battery. With a wider spray angle and three nozzles, the ECOVACS WINBOT W2 is able to reach more areas previously inaccessible to its predecessors, promising improved cleaning efficiency by as much as 30%.
Electrolux AEG 8000 SpahirMatt Induction Hob
When people talk about smart home appliances, most probably think of TVs, speakers, lights, and vacuum cleaners. The kitchen, however, is also in need of an upgrade, especially considering how many of the tasks can be easily automated. That said, one doesn’t need to go overboard with hi-tech features to make kitchen appliances better. Sometimes, just a single material change could have significant improvements in people’s lives.
That’s the kind of change that the Electrolux AEG Series 8000 SaphirMatt Induction Hob brings to the table, or to your kitchen rather. Most induction hobs have shiny and slippery glass surfaces, but this exquisite spin on a common sight in the kitchen uses a special kind of ceramic glass called SaphirMatt. In addition to bringing a unique matte texture that’s never before seen on any induction hob, this material also promises four times better scratch resistance, 80% less reflectiveness, and is even easier to clean than conventional glass tops. And, of course, it makes your hob easily stand out, adding a bit of class to your kitchen.
Smartphone makers try their best to make the most durable phones possible without making them look like miniature tanks, but that doesn’t mean they’re impervious to damage or immortal. These often expensive devices still meet accidents or require some repair after a few years, and that’s when the ugly truth about these beautiful phones is revealed. With very few exceptions, almost all smartphones are designed to be expensive or difficult to repair, especially on your own.
Fairphone has been one of those rare exceptions, and its latest iteration definitely steps up the game. While the Fairphone 5 still boasts the usually ethically sourced materials and easy repair process, what really makes it special is how it is catching up with mainstream specs. That list includes using a 90Hz OLED screen, dual 50MP cameras on the back, a 50MP selfie shooter, and 8 years of software updates. While it is likely to run into accidents or broken components, the Fairphone 5 is at least designed to make it easy to extend its life until you finally give up and move on.
Lenovo Legion 9i Gaming Laptop
Gaming laptops are a great way to not only enjoy content anywhere but also to make it, giving both gamers and creators a portable workstation for their needs. Physics, however, often puts a cap on these computers’ performance, especially when processors have to be throttled to prevent the laptop from overheating. Sophisticated cooling systems are a hallmark of desktops, but Legion is attempting to change that with its coolest gaming laptop yet, literally and figuratively.
The Lenovo Legion 9i is equipped with a Legion Coldfront integrated liquid-cooling system, a first for a 16-inch laptop, designed to allow you to push the machine to 230W TDP. An AI-tuned triple cooling fan system also helps keep the laptop cool even under the most intense gaming sessions or video rendering. What makes this laptop even more special is the use of forged carbon chips for its A-cover, not only offsetting the added weight of the liquid cooling system but also giving each Legion 9i a unique pattern and identity.
Lenovo Legion Go
Thanks to the success of the Nintendo Switch, handheld gaming devices have become popular again. It was only a matter of time before that trend landed on the PC market. From the Steam Deck to half a dozen small brands, handheld PCs have been trying to woo gamers off their desks and couches and tempting them with the idea of being able to play anywhere. As the world’s biggest PC maker, Lenovo is naturally not going to be left behind, and its new Legion Go is attempting to set the standard for handheld gaming PCs.
The Lenovo Legion Go immediately sets itself apart from the competition with its removable side controllers, not unlike the Nintendo Switch, and a built-in full-width kickstand for those who will want to play on a table anyway. It tries its best to cram as much of the console experience inside a small package, including configurable rear “paddles.” Lenovo’s experience goes beyond just the device itself, with Legion Glasses that give you a much larger screen when and where you need it. The added bonus is that this device comes from a reputable brand, giving some assurance and peace of mind when it comes to longevity and support.
LG 24-inch Built-in InstaView Oven
As one of the areas that sees a lot of work inside the house, there are plenty of opportunities to upgrade the kitchen experience. From smart appliances to AI-powered apps, preparing and cooking food shouldn’t be that big of a burden these days. At the same time, kitchen products also present an opportunity to create a more pleasing and welcoming atmosphere with their designs, and LG’s latest suite of built-in kitchen appliances delivers on both fronts.
Of the new built-in kitchen package, the new 24-inch InstaView oven takes the spotlight not just because of its design but also because of its efficiency, rated at A++. That’s thanks to optimized heating control and a four-layered glass door that helps keep the heat in and conserve energy. The InstaView feature also lets owners check the food inside without having to open the door, further keeping the heat locked in.
LG StandbyME Go Lifestyle Screen
Watching videos on the go or outdoors has become a popular pastime, especially thanks to smartphones and tablets. Those, however, can’t recreate the experience of sharing those moments with others because of their small screens. Portable laser projectors do exist, but those always leave you at the mercy of your environment. A large but portable screen is still your best bet, and LG just revealed a design that is head-turning in every way.
The LG StandbyME Go is practically a 27-inch touch screen that comes inside a suitcase. It comes with all the features you’ll need to enjoy videos and even games, whether outdoors or indoors, including a 3-hour battery life away from a power plug. You will not be carrying this around everywhere you go, of course, but having it always ready inside a car or van, ready for a weekend outdoor getaway, will definitely help fill in those empty and awkward moments of silence when you have nothing else to do.
Onyx BOOX Tab Mini C
E Ink devices have come a long way since the earliest days of the Amazon Kindle, and many such products have blurred the lines between eReader and tablets. With the arrival of color E Ink displays, the gap gets even smaller, opening the doors to more things you can do with the eye-friendly device. Onyx BOOX has been at the forefront of these innovations, and its latest color tablet brings all those desirable features into a more convenient package.
Designer: Onyx BOOX
It might be more accurate to call the Onyx BOOX Tab Mini C an Android tablet with an E-Ink screen, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. Although its 7.8-inch screen is smaller than the large BOOX Tab Ultra C, it doesn’t skimp out on the features. Plus, it makes the device more comfortable to hold for long periods of time, making it even more ideal for reading while still keeping the doors open for other activities, such as note-taking, web browsing, typing, and any other experience that Android apps can offer.
RingConn Smart Ring
Although smartwatches have finally found their place in our lives, some people are still on the fence about switching away from their beloved timepieces. Fortunately, if keeping track of your health is all that matters to you, there are other more discreet designs now available. Smart rings have started making their presence known, and RingConn is one of the brands that is pushing the envelope of what these wearable devices are capable of.
Beautifully minimal yet fully featured, the RingConn Smart Ring has all the activity, sleep, and health-tracking features you could ever want. It doesn’t get in your way and lets you wear your favorite mechanical watches, a win-win situation for any style-conscious user. More importantly, however, RingConn doesn’t hide its functionality behind subscription fees, allowing you to access all the data and insights you need to live a healthier lifestyle.
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Robot vacuum cleaners are the predecessors of today’s smart home appliances, but it was only recently that these floor-cleaning machines have started to become smarter and more useful. In addition to self-navigation, these automated vacuum cleaners have also become more convenient in how they can clean themselves, minimizing the need for human intervention and exposure to harmful substances. In this regard, the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra offers the ultimate hands-free convenience, letting you just relax knowing that you barely have to lift a finger to get that chore done.
Roborock’s latest flagship has it all when it comes to self-maintenance. It can empty its dust and water bins, clean and dry its mops, and even refill its water, leaving you to only take out the trash when it finally gets full. And with its intelligent detection of floors and carpets, you can also rest assured that the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra will get the right job done as efficiently and as quietly as possible.
Samsung Smart Food Platform
Smart homes are smart not just because of the Internet-connected hardware but especially because of the software that ties the many pieces together. Automating when appliances turn on and off is one thing, but adjusting to a person’s needs and preferences really takes the cake. Nowhere is that more needed than in the kitchen, and Samsung is launching a new AI-powered platform that connects different pieces together to bring you the best recipes and meals to suit your taste and diet.
Smart Food is primarily a software platform that helps you discover and customize dishes tailored to your personal preferences, with the help of AI, of course. It doesn’t stop at your smartphone, however, and integrates with Samsung’s other smart home products. It can show those recipes on the Bespoke Family Hub refrigerator screens, for example, and alert you if certain ingredients are running low. It can also set timers and preheat ovens, helping reduce the time and energy needed to make a scrumptious meal.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Foldable Phone
Although foldable phones have been around for a while now, it’s only recently that they’re finally taking root in people’s minds. That’s partly thanks to the “flip” style foldables that feel more approachable and look more fashionable. There are quite a few players in this segment now, but Samsung recently showed that it’s still ahead of the race with the Galaxy Z Flip 5.
The latest clamshell foldable from Samsung improves many things, but its biggest claim to fame is the larger and more capable external Cover Screen. Samsung is also pushing the device as a fashionable accessory with its Flipsuit cases that use NFC to automatically change the phone’s Theme when they’re put on. That opens the door to branding partnerships and collectibles that many younger users will surely love.
SwitchBot S10 Vacuum Cleaner
Robot vacs that combine sucking and mopping are pretty convenient, until the time when you need to take out the dirty water bins and refill the tank. While dust bins have designs that prevent your hands from getting dirty, there’s really no way around having to throw out dirty water on your own. That is until now. The SwitchBot S10 could very well be the smartest robot cleaner around, removing almost all the potential health hazards in maintaining the machine itself.
The SwitchBot S10’s killer feature is how it can drain and refill its water on its own, thanks to a separate station that you can connect to existing plumbing. Along with its hygienic dust tank, cleaning out the vacuum has never been easier and safer. As a bonus, the SwitchBot S10 can even refill your humidifier’s water, presuming it’s the compatible SwitchBot Humidifier 2 that has also just been announced.
XGIMI Horizon Ultra 4K Long Throw Projector
Home projectors are becoming more popular these days as more people try to banish large TVs from their homes. There’s honestly quite a large number of options to choose from, making it hard to pick the best one for your needs. If you want a combination of performance, price, and beauty, however, the XGIMI Horizon Ultra is the one to beat.
Although it’s a long-throw projector, this stylish box is something you’d be proud to put on display anywhere in the room. It isn’t just good looks, though, because it also boasts bright and clear images thanks to the use of dual light sources. For all its features, it’s impressive that the XGIMI Horizon Ultra still comes in a compact form and with a price tag that puts its competitors to shame.
Yaber K300 Ultra Short Throw Projector
Regardless of their design, not many people might want or can afford to have a projector somewhere in the middle of the room. That’s the problem that USTs or ultra-short throw projectors try to solve, allowing you to put the box almost right next to a wall or screen. Again, there are many options in this segment, and the upcoming Yaber K300 will be challenging other players with its big projection and bright images.
The Yaber K300 is the brand’s first laser project and it will be utilizing a triple laser technology from the get-go to deliver that much-desired visual detail. It can project a screen as large as 150 inches from a very short distance and features automatic focus and keystone correction. All of these are packed in a compact and stylish form that turns the projector into a decorative piece when not in use.
Yeelight Smart Cube Lamp
You don’t always need fancy and expensive gadgets to give your home or room an upgrade. Sometimes, all you need is the right kind of light to add a splash of color to your space and maybe inspire your creativity. There are plenty of smart lights with RGB colors that paint your room with colors, but Yeelight’s modular Smart Cube Lamp system puts an interesting twist to that concept.
Made of three RGB cubes that serve different purposes, the Yeelight Smart Cube system lets you mix and match spotlights, smooth diffused lights, and matrix lights to your preferences. The Cube Matrix, in particular, can be programmed to show different patterns, including a clock or some text. While they might not be able to illuminate the entire room, these cubes can definitely change or enhance the mood, bringing a splash of fun colors and designs to your space.