REHAU: The efficient use of living space

SMART SENSE: Intelligent solution for optimal use of space

When imm Cologne takes place in January, the efficient use of living space will be a central topic. Particularly in large cities, living space is becoming scarcer and more expensive. This fact is the cause of one of the mega trends that also affects the work of REHAU. How can furnishings be designed to integrate them as cleverly as possible into the space?

Together with furniture manufacturer Röhr-Bush, a micro-apartment has been designed for the initiative’s “Let’s be smart” special exhibition, which addresses the question of optimal use of space. REHAU contributes an intelligent control system to the innovative space concept.

The idea of SMART SENSE is as simple as it is attractive: the furniture becomes the user interface. This is facilitated by a touch-sensitive polymer profile, which can be used in completely different application areas. SMART SENSE is designed such that the sensor is integrated into a continuous profile and can therefore be triggered from any position.

On this basis, the new development sets standards – no only for furniture manufacturers such as Röhr-Bush but also for architects and interior decorators. The flexibility is supported by the design, which blends invisibly into the surroundings, as it can be integrated directly into the piece of furniture. What can be controlled with the sensor is (almost) limitless.

It may be a light, a stereo system, the height of the worktop – the devices are controlled independently of the system. For the user, SMART SENSE can be employed with no learning process. The swipe movement, which is familiar from touchscreens, allows intuitive, extremely convenient control of the devices. And space is also saved: switch areas are eliminated, unused surfaces are made functional.

Three examples of application scenarios
REHAU Smart Sense Profil. Photo: REHAU

The micro-apartment, which can be seen at imm cologne 2018, shows how living space can be designed comfortably in only 20 square metres. In addition to furniture from Röhr-Bush, furnishing elements include the REHAU products RAUVISIO crystal mirror and RAUVISIO crystal magnetic, which are assembled as a design element in the form of a wardrobe. The SMART SENSE touch profile is used for example in the following application scenarios of the micro-apartment: for height adjustment of tables, for lighting control, and to control the slatted frame in the bed unit.

Smart sensor technology in kitchen and bedroom

In micro-apartments, it is often difficult to fit a kitchen unit with an adequate and comfortably sized working area. Anyone who wants to furnish in a space-saving way without foregoing comfort has to take new approaches. In the micro-apartment, a dining table has been provided with a dual function: on the one hand it is a dining table, on the other hand it extends the worktop.

The REHAU profile is mounted invisibly under the table and serves to operate the height-adjustable table legs. Consequently, the height of the table can be adjusted from either side and does not affect the elegant design of the kitchen or of the dining table. Another challenge in the kitchens of small apartments is the lighting. Kitchen units are often planned in the entrance area with no windows. LED lighting on the wall units is ideal, so that there is nonetheless enough light in the working area of the kitchen. This is then controlled by swipe movements on the SMART-SENSE profile, which is fixed on the wall unit.

The light can be switched on and off, and even dimmed. A light control is also provided in the sleeping area. People get up at night, for example to go to the bathroom or the kitchen. A bright light is not required here; low light under the bed is sufficient to reach the destination safely. As there are often no switches on the bed or – if there are any – they are difficult to find in the dark, a touch profile for the apartment has been provided directly in the front of the night console.

The bed itself can also be controlled: an electrically adjustable slatted frame is comfortable. Above and beyond the aspect of comfort, it is an essential component for a relaxing night’s sleep, particularly for older residents or people with back problems. Thanks to SMART SENSE, control is effected directly from the edge of the bed. Here, feeling for the right switch on the remote control is a thing of the past; the electrically adjustable slatted frame can be adjusted individually with a swipe movement.


The REHAU Group is a polymer specialist with an annual turnover of over 3.5 billion Euro. It is an independent and stable family-owned company.

Rehau headquarters Rheniumhaus in Rehau / Germany. Photo: REHAU

Some 20,000 employees around the world generate growth and success for REHAU at over 170 locations.

REHAU has about 12,000 employees in Europe, of which 8,000 alone work in Germany.

REHAU provides solutions in the construction, automotive and industry sectors. For over 70 years, it has been REHAU’s mission to make polymer products even lighter, more comfortable, safe and efficient, and it supplies countries around the entire world with its innovative products.

For energy efficient construction, the use of renewable energies and water management as well as for mobility and future living REHAU initiates sustainable contributions to the ecological and economic challenges of tomorrow.

Source and photos: REHAU

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