An oven with a camera that identifies food and controls the cooking process. Another digital aid that provides step-by-step assistance during frying. And a washer-dryer that’s smarter and more convenient than anything before. These are just some of the highlights that the Gütersloh-based family-run Miele company unveiled this morning at its IFA press conference.
It also provided an insight into the company’s business situation, reporting sales figures that actually surpassed those of the previous year. The information was delivered by Dr. Axel Kniehl (Executive Director Marketing and Sales) and Dr. Reinhard Zinkann (Executive Director and Co-Proprietor).
Last year, Miele introduced an oven camera which transmits live images to smartphones for the very first time, making it possible for users to check the progress of cooking or roasting on the move and even adjust settings from their devices. Now, with the intelligent new Smart Food ID feature, the camera is even able to detect which dish the oven is dealing with and suggest an appropriate program. Based on artificial intelligence, it is already able to digitally identify more than 20 dishes, from Mediterranean roasted vegetables to roast pork with crackling and streusel cake – and the system is learning more as time progresses.
Smart Browning Control, another smart aid, produces a perfect pizza by using a camera to detect the level of browning, allowing it to tell when the pizza is done and stop the oven at the right point in time. Last but not least, CookAssist for Miele induction hobs provides step-by-step guidance through the entire frying process via the Miele app. The intelligent TempControl hob sensor determines the ideal temperature and maintains it automatically – so there’s no longer any need for users to make constant adjustments or worry about food burning.
“Our new intelligent assistance systems are delivering the kind of fully digital cooking experience that you can only get from Miele”, said Axel Kniehl.
A special guest at the press conference was Max Lössl, founder and CEO of the new Miele subsidiary Agrilution, which is bringing the pioneering concept of vertical farming to the home. Vertical farming provides an environmentally, space-saving way of producing food in multi-level fully automated greenhouse units, all as close to the place of consumption as possible.
However, the fully automated greenhouse units (Plantcubes) from Agrilution, are no bigger than a standard refrigerator. Plantcubes create the perfect conditions for growing incomparably fresh and aromatic salads, herbs and microgreens – as well as forming a stylish feature for the kitchen or living space. Describing the principle, Max Lössl says, “The temperature, lighting and watering system are controlled fully automatically via an app and the cloud, so every season is harvest season”. With Agrilution, Miele is expanding its portfolio of healthy enjoyment options. Plantcubes are available from the online shop and selected kitchen studios and retailers (for ordering options and the list of retailers, please visit www.agrilution.com).
Executive Director and Co-Proprietor Reinhard Zinkann presented the latest highlights in Miele’s laundry care, floorcare and coffee preparation products – focusing on the new premium models available in the WT1 range of washer-dryers. “Exclusive Miele technology such as the highly efficient PowerWash and the TwinDos two-phase dispensing system make WT1 appliances the most convenient and intelligent washer-dryers on the market”, says Zinkann. The new appliances are able to wash up to 9 kg of laundry and dry up to 6 kg. And in situations where there’s only little time to spare, they are able to wash and dry as much as 4 kg in less than three hours with flawless results. Individual items can even be washed in a way that is fast and kind to the environment – in less than an hour, depending on the programme.
Before moving on to these features, however, Zinkann reflected on the company’s current business situation. “I am delighted to tell you that the Miele Group has coped quite well with this year so far”, said Zinkann, who is the great-grandson of one of Miele’s two founding fathers and shares the same name. He explained that sales so far in the 2020 business year actually reached a level that was 2% higher than the same period in the previous year, despite the significant slumps experienced in March and April due to the Corona situation. “As things stand”, Zinkann continued, “we have achieved respectable growth, particularly in our key markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, in most of our Eastern European markets, and in markets such as China, Japan and Korea”.