Press releases

Home, smart home – with Miele

Gütersloh/Berlin, August 30, 2017 No. 076/2017

Miele significantly expands its web applications and sounds out needs for future scenarios in project studies

At breathtaking speed, digitalisation is making inroads into ever more areas of life. On the domestic appliance front, Miele is this year presenting applications for greater pleasure and convenience at the IFA trade show. Current highlights include the Miele@mobile app with an improved recipe feature, an interactive guide to stain removal and a robovac which sends live images to a smartphone. And the tradition-steeped Gütersloh company is also testing the waters with regards to voice control and new pay-by-use concepts by gauging acceptance among consumers.

It is now more than 15 years since the first Miele washing machines communicated with a small hand-held receiver; several years later, machine data from the kitchen and the laundry room were relayed to the oven display. In the meantime, Miele cooker hoods are now controlled automatically by hob units. Connecting domestic appliances to a rooftop PV array reduces the burden on the wallet and on climate. The web-enabled TwinDos dispensing system saves detergent and simplifies both operation and re-ordering. 'With its interconnected domestic appliances, Miele has been at the vanguard of developments', says Peter Hübinger, Managing Director of the newly formed Smart Home business unit, 'and we will further underpin our pioneering role at the forthcoming IFA'. The importance attached to digitalisation at Miele, Hübinger continues, is further evidenced by the formation of Miele Venture Capital GmbH. With this subsidiary, Miele aims to promote young startups and to incorporate them into its own development work with a view to keeping one step ahead with respect to future-oriented topics and new trends.

App update for even greater fun and pleasure during cooking

Since 2017, the Miele@mobile app – known for its wealth of applications to manage domestic appliances – has also become a useful source of culinary assistance in everyday kitchen life. The cooperation partner for the recipe feature is the highly acclaimed startup Kitchen Stories which has already received multiple awards. Kitchen Stories has contributed inspiring recipes and food videos to the Miele app. In total, the app includes more than 1,100 recipes and over 120 food preparation videos. Further updates for even greater fun and pleasure in the kitchen are set to follow. New, too, are detailed nutritional facts. This is further enhanced by headings such as 'Good for immune defences', indicating that ingredients have a high vitamin content. Users in search of inspiration on particular topics can search for titles such as 'The perfect dinner' or 'Steam cooking'. And the new rating option has a contemporary feel to it: Up to five stars can be awarded to favourites, providing useful feedback for both other users and for Miele.

Miele has also come up with a unique function specifically for its new dialog oven. This innovative unit opens up hitherto unknown opportunities in the preparation of food and guarantees excellent results in the simplest of ways and in the shortest of times. The recipe feature which is part of the Miele@mobile app is the ideal platform for experimenting and trying out new ideas. Firstly, new recipes for the dialog oven are continuously being developed in the company's laboratory kitchens and added to the database, and, secondly, all programme parameters can be transferred directly from the app to the machine and, if required, saved as a personal favourite (cf. Press Release 072-2017).

'Alexa, ask Miele …' set to be launched at IFA as a project study

Always au fait with the status of your domestic appliances and able to use voice commands to control them? This is now possible using the Alexa voice service from Amazon, as Miele is to prove with a project study at IFA. For this application, Miele has developed a skill (similar to an app) which defines the functional range. In response to 'Alexa, ask Miele whether the laundry is finished’, the answer is, correspondingly, 'The dryer is still running and needs another 13 minutes'. So with Alexa, voice control has become reality. Miele is to demonstrate this using a cooker hood which will become the company's first product which is entirely voice-controlled. Further Alexa content includes the ability to call up cooking times for vegetables which are guaranteed to tally with their preparation in Miele appliances. This application in collaboration with Amazon will be limited to German in the initial stages.

Domestic appliances relay voice messages to hearing aids

Everyday life is full of perils for persons who are hard of hearing. Domestic appliances such as tumble dryers and washing machines often signalise the end of a programme with a ringtone. Interconnected domestic appliances can relay this information as an additional text message to a smartphone. Unfortunately, though, these signals often go unnoticed. In a joint project study, Miele and the leading hearing aid manufacturer ReSound are to show how text messages can be converted into spoken language and relayed to a hearing aid. Alongside status reports, messages can also include warnings ('Freezer door left open') or important reminders such as 'Please turn roast'. Miele and ReSound will be demonstrating this application at the IFA exhibition at the companies' booths based on the example of a tumble dryer.

Miele tracks down dirt and wages war on stains

It is hugely aggravating when a new pullover is defaced by an unsightly stain. In such a case, the stain-removal assistant integrated into the Miele@mobile app is just the job! This application provides tips on the treatment of stains and soiling on textiles and proffers the right wash programme and detergent. And should a particular soil not be immediately identifiable, simply use your smartphone to take a photograph of the stain and an unsoiled area of the fabric. Then enter the type of fabric and colour and the stain-removal guide will suggest a matching wash cycle. If required, programme data can be transferred directly from a smartphone to the washing machine. The stain-removal assistant to be presented at IFA 2017 is a prototype.

Wash with flagship technology and pay by use

Consumers who only wash infrequently, never live in one place for any length of time or simply value peace of mind may not want to invest in their own washing machine. For these, Miele's BlueHorizon rental model may well be an interesting proposition. BlueHorizon represents a cooperation between Miele and selected specialist dealers: The latter broker the rental contract and deliver and install a high-end washing machine with automatic TwinDos detergent dispensing. The UltraPhase 1 and 2 detergents, specifically formulated for these machines, are shipped to customers to replenish depleted stocks. If required, even service constitutes part of the package deal. For BlueHorizon, Miele has set up its own online portal. This gives customers full cost control and access to their own project-specific service number. BlueHorizon pricing takes account of individual needs. 'Infrequent users' is a pay-by-cycle tariff. In a second tariff, a basic charge reduces the price per programme. And, finally, there is a flat rate (limited to 250 cycles per year) for households contending with mountains of laundry. Miele is due to launch BlueHorizon in October 2017 as a pilot project involving a limited number of appliances available through selected dealers in Germany.

Robovac relays live images to smartphone

The new Scout RX2 robotic vacuum cleaner to be presented by Miele at IFA has everything in full view. Not only can the robovac be controlled by a proprietary app, the flagship Scout RX2 Home Vision also features an exciting additional function: One of the two front cameras used for navigation transmits live images to a tablet PC or smartphone. This allows the user to keep track of where precisely a robovac is going about its work at any given time. It also allows a remote view of the home to check if everything is OK at any time: Did I close the patio door? What is the dog up to? Is there an unwanted visitor in the home? All this information and more is never more than a few clicks away - from the office, the supermarket or from on holiday. All data is reliably protected as images are encrypted before they are sent and only decrypted on arrival (end-to-end encryption) (cf. Press Release 073-2017).

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Company profile: Miele is the world's leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances including cooking, baking and steam-cooking appliances, refrigeration products, coffee makers, dishwashers and laundry and floor care products. This line-up is augmented by dishwashers, washer-extractors and tumble dryers for commercial use as well as washer-disinfectors and sterilisers for use in medical and laboratory applications (Miele Professional). The Miele company, founded in 1899, has eight production plants in Germany as well as one plant each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China and Romania. 2016/17 turnover amounted to approx. EUR 3.93 bn with sales outside Germany accounting for 70%. Miele is represented with its own sales subsidiaries and via importers in almost 100 countries. The Miele company, now in the fourth generation of family ownership, employs a workforce of around 19,500, 10,900 thereof in Germany. The company headquarters are located in Gütersloh/Westphalia, Germany.

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Whetting the appetite for cooking: The Miele@mobile app with over 1,100 recipes, a host of food preparation videos and step-by-step instructions.

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With the help of the Miele@mobile app, everyone can cook by following easy recipes. The current update adds nutritional data to all recipes.

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Good to keep abreast of what is going on: Countdown times and messages from Miele domestic appliances can now for the first time be relayed to a hearing aid as this study by Miele in cooperation with ReSound shows.

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Keeping track of things at home 'on the fly' is an interesting additional function offered by the Scout RX2 robovac from Miele.

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