Bosch make your kitchen smart with Home Connect at CES 2016



As much as we like spending time in our kitchen, there are times when we wish that things could be just that little bit more joined-up and easy. Bosch seem to agree with us, and their new range of Smart kitchen appliances look set to make life just that little bit more simple. The best thing is, everything is controlled from one central app. We got to see the app and appliances up close at CES 2016.

All your major appliances working in harmony

Bosch don’t do things by halves. Rather than dipping their toes in the water with just one or two Smart kitchen appliances, they’ve dived right in and provided smart options for just about every essential device. Your fridge, cooker, washing machine, dishwasher and even your coffee machine can now connect to your home network. Load up the Home Connect app and you’ll be in full control, wherever you are.

What can Home Connect do?

Home Connect is Bosch’s central control app for all the Smart kitchen appliances and works on Apple and Android Smartphones and tablets. Once you load it up, you’re able to do everything from preheat your oven to start the dishwasher going. But that’s only the basics – Home Connect can do so much more.

For example, one of the key features of Home Connect is its database of recipes. Fancy a luxurious coffee cocktail? Load up the recipe, select the option to start preparing and your connected coffee machine will start making the relevant part of the recipe. Or maybe you’re cooking a roast. Home Connect will tell the oven what mode to be in, set the timer and preheat the oven. It’s a simple thing, but it’s one less thing for you to worry about as you prepare the evening meal.

The interface is clean, simple and logical. It’s easy to see where you need to tap to get things started, and the icons are nicely designed. For example, when telling the washing machine what sort of program to run, if you select a coloured wash, it’ll change the picture of the washing basket into colour. It’s a nice, simple visual cue and demonstrates Bosch’s attention to detail.

What’s Smart about the kitchen appliances?

Each kitchen appliance in Bosch’s smart range has a logical and useful range of connected functions. As we were shown how the devices work together with the app, it was clear how much thought had been put into making sure each function had a definite benefit, rather than being a novelty.

For example, the Smart Fridge contains two cameras; one showing what’s in the main section and one showing what’s in the door. Every time the fridge door is opened and closed, the cameras take a photo of whatever is in the fridge.

From the app, you can look and see the most current view of what the state of affairs is with your chilled food. You can even zoom in on the image to check fine details, such as how full a jar is. This is really great for those moments at the supermarket where you can’t remember if you’ve run out of something – and for double checking that someone back home hasn’t eaten a vital ingredient.

Then, while you’re on the way home, you can start the oven preheating. There are even a number of different options for various types of food designed to give you the optimal settings for your meal. From pizzas to roasts or stews, it’s a simple tap on the app. The oven then changes its display, so you can clearly see what’s cooking. As with the coffee machine, you can select a recipe from the database and the oven will prepare itself to cook that dish.

After you’ve eaten, it’s time for the dishwasher to spring into action. Let the app know what sort of load you want washed, and it’ll set everything up accordingly. Washing glasses takes a more delicate touch than pots and pans. And if you’re clearing up after a late-finishing dinner party, there’s also a late night mode designed to be as quiet as possible.

One nice touch here is that you can let the app know when you buy dishwasher tablets. Tell it how many you’ve stocked up with and it’ll keep a tally and let you know when you’re running low.

Time to put the laundry on. We’ve mentioned before about how there are different programs for coloureds and whites, but the app also lets you set up the wash for types of fabrics and how dirty the clothes are. You can tell it exactly what type of clothes you’re putting in – shirts, skirts, jeans and so on – and the app will alert you if some of the items shouldn’t be washed with others.

Finally, the coffee machine. This has all the settings you’d expect, and the added link to the database of coffee recipes is a nice touch. One extra we really liked was the ability to set up “playlists”. This lets you create a list of coffees for the machine to create one by one – very useful when you have friends over and everyone’s gasping.

One central app for your whole home

Bosch don’t intend to stop with just your kitchen. They’re already looking at how Home Connect can make your life easier in the rest of your house. Bosch are looking to integrate heating, lighting, smoke alarms and more into the connected system, and this includes compatible devices made by third party manufacturers, so you won’t only have to use Bosch appliances.

Check out all our CES 2016 coverage here