Last weekend, CES 2017 was in full swing, debuting the newest technology to come to the market; everything from rideable gadgets, wearable devices, self-driving cars and smart home technology! Now that the Las Vegas convention is over, we have the five smart home technology trends you are going to want to watch out for
Amazon’s A.I assistant, Alexa, is everywhere!
Amazon had a strong year within the smart home department thanks to the release of the Echo and Echo Dot devices, and they are not ending there! Amazon opened up Alexa to developers and CES showed everyone that developers embraced this open door opportunity.
Lenovo showcased their own Alexa-enabled smart home speaker. It looks and acts similar to the Amazon Echo only it is a quality speaker. The Lenovo Smart Assistant Harmen Kardon Edition will be available in May for the same price as the Amazon Echo - $179. The company promises high-quality sound for all your audio-based media, including music and podcast. This may not reinvent the technology, but it is a start.
There was also a 4K television that can be operated by Alexa remotes, washers that will keep your informed on their cycle times via and Alexa-enabled device, a vacuum you can control with your voice, and ovens with temperatures you can set by talking to the Echo.
Many of the devices that could incorporate A.I assistance seem to include Alexa, which is a concern for Google’s Home.
Life with Kuri
Despite the many years filled with science fiction movies and books telling us that robots will be dangerous, many robots were introduced at CES 2017. Mayfield Robotics introduced a dangerously cute home robot with a cheerful personality!
Kuri is a mobile machine that is under two feet. The R2-D2-like machine was designed by a Pixar’s animator and is equipped with an HD-camera that recognizes family members and has a series of blinking and squinting facial expressions. While right now, it will not have a ton of third-party integrations, you can pair Kuri with IFTTT to control a few of your smart home products and keep tabs on your house. Kuri also has a built-in speaker, allow him to follow you around the house while playing music, podcast, and audio books.
Kuri is available for pre-order now for $699 and the company plans to begin shipping for the 2017 holiday season.
Smart Kitchen Keeps You Connected
This seems to be the case year after year that the kitchen inspires the greatest range of smart home products; 2017 was no different. This year, we got to see the competitor to the Samsung Family Hub with the LG Smart Instaview Refrigerator.
The fridge is equipped with internal cameras so you can keep tabs on your food from anywhere. The smart fridge has a 29-inch touch screen that if you knock twice on the smart screen, it will become translucent, allowing you to see the contents inside. The LG Smart Instaview refrigerator is also Alexa-enabled, meaning you will be able to order groceries, play music, and more all by just talking to your refrigerator.
There was also a smart garbage that was debuted at CES by Simplehuman. The Sensor Can with Voice Control responds to voice commands “open can” or “open sesame”. The garbage-only version will cost $180 while the garbage and recycling combo will be $280. In May, a Wi-Fi version of the cans will be released, which will track your trash bags and pair with Amazon’s Dash Replacement service to order more!
Speaking of Amazon, again, their Alexa is pairing up with Whirlpool to make a number of kitchen appliances that will communicate with the digital assistant. Command controls will include setting the precise temperature of your refrigerator, oven’s temperature and the echo updating you on how much time is remaining until dinner is ready.
Wi-Fi’s Dead Spot Solutions
Wi-Fi security will become a more pressing concern with all the smart home and internet based appliances. BitDefender, Intel, and Symantec all announced router systems and/or partnerships at CES that will be built to beat hackers from trying to access your network.
Along with the increased security, Wi-Fi router makers are fighting to put an end to dead spots in your home with mesh systems: multiple routers spread throughout your home that overlaps and extends the network to provide complete coverage.
The Eero has already been successful in this market with their easy-to-use system; Google debuted their mesh solution at Made by Google event with Google Wi-Fi late last year; Now, Linksys, Asus, and TP-Link announced that they are joining the mesh market at CES, making it possible that we may see the end of poor home Wi-Fi cover in our lifetime!