It was all go at this year's London Design Festival. Panasonic debuted smart lighting that can detect your emotions at the Biennale, Smeg put Mickey Mouse on a limited edition fridge and Kohler talked smart bathrooms to anyone who'd listen.
The festival took over all corners of the capital and it's safe to say smart home tech hasn't quite taken over just yet but whether it was the hipster London Design Fair at the Old Truman Brewery in East London or the V&A installations and fancy West London showrooms, there was still plenty of connected tech innovations to see.
Harman Kardon's Memory and Light
Harman Kardon has given its new Citation smart speaker series another outing after we were first introduced to it at IFA in Berlin in August. The mid-range Google Assistant powered series was part of a collaboration set in the 18th century Norfolk House Music Room at the V&A museum in South Kensington.
The room features an installation from Arup which incorporates Citation speakers playing four pieces by composer Arvo PĆ¤rt. It's open to the public until Sunday 23 September.
Meystyle's OLED wallpaper
We've been hearing plenty of talk around OLED lighting recently from designers like Bodo Sperlein. But Meystyle's latest Conductivity collection, launched at Decorex (part of LDF), has actually put LG's flexible OLEDs to use on its hand-painted wallpaper via metal contacts which form a circuit on the paper itself.
The idea is that the OLED wallpaper will work just like any other smart lighting in that you will be able to control, dim and schedule it via a smartphone app - no word yet on Alexa, Google or other smart home integrations. Suddenly, Nanoleaf's got competition.
Designer HomeKit smart lamps
Promemoria is launching two stylish smart lamps that work with Apple HomeKit at a showroom on Pimlico Road - open until Sunday 23rd September. The first is a table lamp named Zipico (above) and comes in three finishes - gold, silver and bronze. As well as a touch button on the stand, you can power it on or off and control the brightness via the Apple Home app or Siri on your phone or HomePod speaker. The smart lamps can also be hooked up to HomeKit scenes.
The second, Will o' Wisp, is another wireless and HomeKit compatible table/bedside lamp this time with the touch controls on the base which doubles as a wireless charger. Also in gold, silver and bronze finishes, it's made from an aluminium shell with an opal polycarbonate diffuser and is IP44 water resistant so can be placed outdoors.
Also on show but not HomeKit compatible is Promemoria's Icosaedro LED lighting system which aims to diffuse light over 360 degrees with its awesome spaceship-like design.
BeoSound Edge x Michael Anastassiades
The just announced Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Edge also got its own bespoke installation, around how sound is activated by space and physical interaction, which runs until Sunday 23rd September on Brompton Road, Chelsea. The wireless BeoSound Edge has a round, aluminium frame and touch controls that light up when you approach, thanks to proximity sensors. Even better, you adjust the volume by gently rocking it. It supports AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in and Bluetooth and can be controlled via Alexa or Google Assistant.
Anastassiades, who designs lighting, furniture, jewellery and more for clients like Herman Miller and Flos said: "I always design objects to almost remain unnoticed at a first look. The speaker is a monolithic object without any controls, without any visual disturbance. The controls light up when you get close to the speaker, and when you donāt use them thereās nothing really to seeā¦ and to me that is magic.ā
Naim Mu-so gets a Special Edition
The Naim Mu-so, which is one of our best wireless speaker systems, is now available in a champagne finish as a Special Edition that's exclusive to John Lewis in the UK until October. In our review, we said it "looks stylish, sounds superb" and plays nice with Siri. Naim Audio also says that Apple AirPlay 2 is coming soon.
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