News from the world of smart homes


Smart homes are becoming more and more popular, although their control is not always completely simple and intuitive. Most modern devices rely on voice control, which may not always be so convenient.

When you want to draw the curtains or blinds, there is nothing to spoil. But try, for example, to set the right lighting in your home – the temperature, intensity and color of the light. At such a moment, voice control becomes cumbersome and erratic.

And looking for a smartphone all the time around the apartment in order to remotely adjust the settings to your liking is not an ideal solution either. Especially when there are more people in one household and perhaps even smaller children who don’t even have a phone yet.

The inconspicuous smart home controller caught the attention of hundreds of people, fans sent four million to the creators

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Mostly unobtrusively

It is at such moments that the Mui Board 2 comes in handy, because you can use it to control the vast majority of elements in a smart home with just a few touches. In addition, weather information, time and a number of other useful data are displayed on the inconspicuous display.

The novelty can, for example, read the current temperature from the thermostat and then display it directly on the wooden panel. There is probably no need to emphasize that such a thermostat can subsequently control the Board 2 remotely.

The latest generation of the controller from Mui is designed for all smart home elements that build on the Matter communication standard. It is the result of the cooperation of large technology giants such as Apple, Google, Amazon and others.

Mui Board 2 smart home design controllerVideo: manufacturer’s archive

In practice, this standard should ensure maximum compatibility of connected devices practically across the entire market. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve used Apple HomeKit, Google Weave or Thread from Nest Labs.

Probably the biggest added value is the design of the new product, which is strictly minimalist. When the controller is not activated, it feels completely unobtrusive. It’s just a piece of wood on the wall that you can match beautifully with other accessories without making the whole home look too over-tech.

Board 2 should appear on store shelves this year, the price will be around 11,000 CZK.


Photo: Miloslav Fišer, Novinky

Control is very intuitive.

Home AI robot

Samsung imagines smart home control in a completely different way. This year, she showed a new version of her robot, which looks just like a ball. But it boasts artificial intelligence (AI) support.

The home robot from Samsung is called Ballie, and the South Korean electronics giant introduced it for the first time back in 2020. This year, this robotic ball has undergone a major redesign and improvement, and it wants to enter our homes reinforced by artificial intelligence.

It is thanks to AI that it has become a regular companion that communicates with other smart devices in the home, can stand in for the owner in many boring activities and projects all kinds of photos and videos on the wall, so you always have the weather forecast or other important information at hand.

It even manages to occupy our four-legged pets when we are not at home.


Photo: archive of the manufacturer

AI robot Ballie

When you’re at home, on the other hand, you’ll control Ballie mostly through voice commands. But you can also task him remotely, using a smartphone, even from the other end of the planet. For example, just text him the message “feed the dog”, after which the robotic ball will instruct other smart electronics in the home to release a preset portion of food into the bowl.

So, as can be seen from the lines above, Ballie should function as a manager of all smart devices in the home. It will function basically like a smart home remote control, only wrapped in a very attractive package.

Samsung made it clear that the future belongs to connected households, when individual devices will communicate and cooperate with each other. The fridge, the robotic vacuum cleaner, the light controls, all of which should be controlled by Ballie.

And as befits and belongs to a well-behaved companion, he will always remember to come and say hello when you arrive home.


Photo: archive of the manufacturer

AI robot Ballie

Samsung vice president and head of the South Korean electronics giant’s future planning group Kang-il Chung said he expects a new version of the home robot, called Ballie, to arrive this year.

However, he did not want to be more specific yet, except for the promotional video, there is no information available about the new generation of this ball robot. Unfortunately, the question mark still hangs over the potential purchase price.

Without exaggeration, Ballie opens a new era of smart homes. It will be interesting to see whether similar robotic companions really take hold in the market and whether in a few years we will consider them as commonplace as, for example, smartphones.

Smart microwave

Startup Revolution Cooking drew attention earlier when it introduced its first smart toaster, the InstaGLO, with which it defined a new era of “automatic toasting”. In practice, the mentioned technology offers up to ten times faster heating, and most importantly, it can automatically recognize different types of bread and prepare them accordingly – toasts, rolls, waffles or bagels, it can handle everything.

This year, the creators boasted that they have taken their idea of ​​fast and tasty heating to larger dimensions. They showed the Macrowave device. It is a smart oven that replaces a microwave, a conventional oven and a hot air fryer in the home.

“We actually took the regular microwave and completely reinvented it. Better,” said the creators. The basis of the futuristic-looking device with a large touch screen is again the patented InstaGLO infrared heating technology, which was already used in smart toasters. This time, however, it combines microwave heating with various frying options, in addition to conventional, hot air is also available.


MacrowaveVideo: Revolution Cooking

The creators claim that by combining different methods of food preparation, they are able to achieve tastier dishes, this applies even when reheating frozen foods such as burritos or pizza. These are usually heavy bites for ordinary microwaves, when part of the food is melted or wet, but the rest is cold.

What is perhaps most important is that smart mechanisms, just like in the case of a toaster, automatically take care of the precise preparation of specific dishes according to their type. In the past, other manufacturers also combined infrared heating with microwaves, but their products lacked precisely intelligent cooking algorithms and accurate heating detection.

When Macrowave will appear on sale and how much it will cost, the creators have not yet revealed. Most likely, however, we will learn more details in the coming days or weeks.

But we dare to predict already now that the price tag will correspond to advanced technologies. For example, the smart toaster from the startup Revolution Cooking is sold in the USA for more than CZK 6,000.


Photo: Miloslav Fišer, Novinky

Macrowave by Revolution Cooking

Crowded parking lots

Parking is a nightmare for many people. And the smaller the defined space, the more dramatic the situation.

Car manufacturers are trying to solve this with various automatic parking systems directly in the cars, but they usually need more space for parking than would be enough for a skilled driver. Of course, this does not solve the problem with the lack of parking spaces at all.

That is why HL Mando decided to deal with the whole problem in a completely different way. She made a sophisticated robot that will park instead of the driver. His name is Parkie.

The South Korean manufacturer expects that the car will always be parked by two robots at the same time. These are basically flat running boards that are not too high, so they can easily drive directly under the car. Then they pick him up, turn him around and take him to the parking spot.

Everything happens autonomously, the driver leaves the car in an open space and Parkie takes care of everything else.


HL Mando Parkie at CES 2024Video: archive of the manufacturer

The main advantage over classic parking is that cars can literally be stacked just centimeters from each other so that the doors cannot even be opened. In practice, it is thus possible to stack more cars next to each other than if a person parked them and kept a place for the performance.

Thanks to this, there is no need to constantly build larger underground parking lots and multi-storey parking buildings, Parkie uses the offered space in a much more efficient way.

When Parkie completes its task, it automatically returns to the docking station to recharge so that it is always ready to tow away more cars.


Photo: Miloslav Fišer, Novinky

The robot is not too tall to easily fit under most cars

Currently, however, HL Mando supplies its autonomous robot only to owners of large buildings and parking facilities. One day, we could also expect Parkie to serve drivers calmly even in large housing estates.

CES 2024: Recipe for crowded parking lots. Cars are parked by a robot

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The article is in Czech

Tags: News world smart homes


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