The annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) was held in January 2019 and we researched some of the most innovative home products introduced. According to the CES staff, there are three trends that are being followed.
Simplicity in design and use. Less buttons. One location controls. Voice assistants.
Comfort and security - being able to start appliances from your smart phone, security cameras and smart door bells/locks.
Energy Management - Weather forecasts tied into utilities, electrical charging stations, solar panel and other innovations helping to reduce energy usage.
Home Security Drone System
The Sunflower Labs security system combines high-tech garden lights with a camera-equipped drone to patrol your yard.The drone is called the bee, and it lives in a hub station called the hive. The hive connects to your Wi-Fi router and keeps the app up to date. You'll set the hive in your yard, but it supposedly has a strong enough antenna to talk to your router. You'll also need to connect the hive to power, as it charges the drone.
The Wellcam smart video camera connects to Wi-Fi, allowing Alarm.com subscribers to extend their security service into the homes of loved ones. It has a 180-degree field of view, 1080p resolution and the ability to make two-way audio calls. There's a call-out button on the Wellcam too for users to reach out for help.
The Savvy Mirror is essentially a giant Android device on top of a mirror. The dual vanity model we checked out at CES 2019 has a screen above each sink. From there, you can add apps from the Google Play store, including your preferred voice assistant for information and assistance.
The Altro Smart Lock combines a video doorbell and connected deadbolt controller into one handy security gadget. It links to phones and the cloud over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. That lets you lock and unlock your front door remotely, or automatically when it detects your presence.
For all of the new conveniences and capabilities that smart home products provide, one of the biggest annoyances is having to juggle a ton of different apps and constantly pull out your phone to control all of them. To solve this, the AtmosControl "smart home hub" acts like a universal remote, but with a simplified iPhone-like user interface.
Thanks to Bosch's tiny projector, you could soon use your shelves to pick outfits, check the weather, organize your clothes for laundry day and more. The BML100PI projects images of buttons that you can touch. If you move your finger over the button, a photo diode picks up a reflection of your finger and registers it as a press.
Have lots of money to burn, and crave a bathroom remodel that puts Google Assistant within easy access? Consider Kohler's smart bathroom collection. The line includes an intelligent toilet, a free-standing bath, a lighted mirror and a lighted three-piece vanity. All have accent lights you can control through voice commands put to Google Assistant.
The U by Moen Smart Shower already works with Alexa. At CES 2019 though, Moen said it will bring Apple's Siri and Google Assistant on board too. Soon you'll be able to ask all three voice assistants to turn your shower on and off, plus set to your preferred water temperature. Now that's luxury.
Somfy makes smart shade motors and a smart-home control platform to command them. Window shades can be set to gradually open, run on a schedule or be controlled via voice assistant. With Zigbee integration, you can also pair shades with other smart devices, like a smart plug, to automate both natural and artificial light together. The Scene Launcher device serves as a handy physical control point. With it installed, you can activate personalized scenes (and multiple devices) with one finger tap.
Samsung's new WF45R6300AV smart washer and accompanying dryer will come with typical connected abilities. They'll communicate to phones via mobile app, for both status and control. More interesting is a Laundry Planner that lets you schedule your loads -- not when they begin, but when they'll end. Other app-centric features include Laundry Recipe, which lets you tell the app about the clothes you want to wash -- material, color, stain details, etc. From there, it'll recommend the best cycle for your load.
At CES 2019, KitchenAid debuted the Cook Processor Connect. It's an all-in-one, small countertop appliance with a dozen capabilities including boiling, frying, steaming, stewing, kneading, chopping, mincing, pureeing, mixing, emulsifying, whipping and stirring. You can also download preset recipes straight to the Cook Processor Connect with Whirlpool's Yummly app.
Keep an eye on your family with the new Leeo Nightlight. This refreshed model senses motion, listens out for smoke alarms, temperature and humidity. It'll push alerts to your phone if anything is amiss or communicate through discrete color-changing LEDs.
If you hate folding laundry, the Foldimate might be your dream come true. Looking like a printer, and about the size of a mini fridge, the Foldimate tackles shirts, pants and other standard laundry items.
The Elecpro US:E is different than your standard smart lock. This model has a built-in camera with facial-recognition capabilities. With that it's supposed to be able to scan faces and compare them against a database you create of friends and family to decide if the door should be unlocked.
Get alerts for home water leaks in real time with this $50 D-Link sensor. It talks to the cloud wirelessly and comes with a 6-foot probe. It's also battery-powered so you can deploy it in lots of spots around the house.
The Neorest NX2 intelligent toilet from plumbing giant Toto is a CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree. The company says the rounded toilet is inspired by the “beauty of pebbles shaped by water over time,” which seems like an odd place to draw inspiration for something you sit on and dispense of waste in, but sure. The toilet features high-tech sensors that can automatically open and close the lid and flush the water. There’s a personal cleansing system integrated into the device that uses warm water, an air dryer, heated seat, and in-bowl deodorizer to make the venture to the bathroom as comfortable as possible. The Neorest NX2 also uses Actilight bowl-cleaning technology that mists the toilet with electrolyzed water to remove waste.