“Home sweet home” is not a cliche anymore. Homes have become really sweet with the addition of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Your home can open the garage for your car, open the door for you, switch on the lights when you are home or away, adjust the thermostat the way you like it, play your favorite music, and even open the lid when you approach the toilet. You can talk to your home when you are bored, ask it to order food, and even make it book you a cab while you are getting ready. Machine learning is reshaping the world of interior designing, and smart home devices have become an inevitable component of modern houses. New devices are being rolled out every year and gadget enthusiasts end up with more features than knowing how to actually use them. Here is a list of seven such super-cool gadgets unveiled at CES 2019.
RoomMe is the first smart home solution to provide person-specific automation. RoomMe is also the first consumer product of Intellithings. Earlier, the company was more into offering original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The device is installed at the entrance of every room and knows when a person is there by detecting their smartphones. RoomMe uses a mobile app and a unique combination of sensors to detect the exact location of the smartphone in the room. RoomMe adjusts the temperature, lights, and other smart devices according to the preset personal preferences. All the detection decisions are done locally by the sensors with no cloud involvement.
2. C by GE Lighting products
GE stands neck and neck with Philips in the smart lightbulb game by launching its own line of intelligent light bulbs called C by GE. These C by GE bulbs can synchronize with the switches via Bluetooth. You can also link and control your dumb bulbs with the switches using WiFi. GE’s color-changing bulb series includes a $40 A19 traditional smart bulb, a $45 BR30 smart floodlight, and a $75 light string. It is possible to control these bulbs using Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. An update will add Apple HomeKit to the mix later this year and allow iOS users to control these bulbs using Siri. In the first quarter of 2019, GE will roll out two variations of C-start dimmer switches with built-in light and motion sensors. These devices will cost about $50 and $75 each. In the second quarter, the company has plans of unveiling a $25 smart wall plug and basic $40 on/off C-start model for users who prefer less expensive stuff. A battery-powered motion detector will hit the market in Q4 but the price is yet to be disclosed.
3. Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell
The French manufacturer has launched over a dozen products in the smart home space and this smart doorbell is a significant addition to their growing lineup. Unlike most of its competitors, all of Netatmo doorbells come with all the features included without any subscription fees or additional costs. Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell comes with a 160-degree lens, infrared night vision, 1080p HD resolution, person detection, built-in video storage, and motion detection. The video can either be saved locally on the micro SD card or automatically backed to the user’s Dropbox.
The product is the first of its kind to be compatible with the Apple HomeKit and it can be voice controlled using Siri. It also comes with a weather resistant case and two-way speakers that help users to communicate with the people at the door. The Netatmo app fires up an alert when somebody is trying to remove or deactivate the doorbell. Netatmo’s people-detection technology gives you a customized alert when it recognizes a face and tells you that a particular person has arrived. The device will hit the stores in the second half this year and the prices are yet to be disclosed.
4. Lenovo Smart Clock
Lenovo Smart Clock is very different from the Lenovo full-size smart display as it is designed to do only the things that you will need from the bed. You can whack the top of the clock once to snooze the alarm and twice to turn it off. Once you dismiss the alarm, it turns on the lights and triggers your “good morning” routine through Google Assistant. The 4-inch touchscreen can remind you of your appointments, check the weather, tell you about the traffic, and give you all the information relevant to your day. You can also use it to search the web, listen to the news, play music and even control your smart home devices. You can sync this device with your smart speakers for louder music. It can play your smart camera feed too.
The size is tailored just enough to fit on your nightstand. Also, it is a way more affordable than the full-size smart displays. It just costs $80 which is really less pricey compared to the $250 10-inch Lenovo smart display. The device is quite similar to Amazon Echo Spot except for not having a camera, which itself is a convincing reason to go for it. The smart clock is expected to go on sale this spring.
5. LaMetric Sky
Color-changing LED wall panels are a novelty in the smart home space. People really care about the things they surround themselves with and this is why the global home decor market is going to hit a whopping $664 billion by 2020. Though people splurge on interiors, home decor was always a bit underrated in the tech industry. But not anymore! LaMetric Sky comes with a set of triangular panels with built-in LEDs. Every panel has 32 triangular portions and each portion can be set to a different color. This produces an elegant stained glass effect on your wall. This one feature alone makes LaMetric outstand most of its rivals that only allow one color per panel. Rumors suggest that the kit will come with eight panels. However, the company hasn’t given any information on the number of panels and the price of the device.
6. Simplehuman Sensor Mirror Hi-Fi
Simplehuman announced two mirrors at CES 2019: Sensor Mirror Hi-Fi and Hi-Fi Assist with Google Assistant. The devices use a special illumination system called true-lux. Tru-lux simulates natural light with cutting-edge color accuracy. This helps you to pay more attention to details that may otherwise go unnoticed. These mirrors come with options to transform themselves into makeshift lamps. The mirrors come with acoustic speakers that can automatically adjust the volume depending on the how close you are to the mirror. Sensor Mirror Hi-Fi is priced at $350 and Hi-Fi Assist sells for $400.
7. Kohler Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet
This product from the wilder side of CES 2019 comes with features like seat temperature and ambient light adjustment, foot warmer, and automatic deodorizer. Numi has created the ultimate luxury experience in your bathroom. The $6,000 intelligent toilet comes with a smart lid that automatically opens as you approach the toilet. A stainless steel wand sanitizes using UV light and helps you keep your bathroom super-clean. It is also possible to integrate Numi 2.0 with Alexa and control your smart home devices from your bathroom. You can also make the smart toilet play the news or your favorite music.
Smart home devices: Getting smarter
Voice-controlling your house was only a thing of fairy tales until IBM brought the Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) to homes in 1998. Smart faucets saved water, smart lights saved electricity, voice-controlled systems were like a boon to the specially challenged, and automated floor cleaners became people’s best friends. Users were able to remotely control their smart home devices and this caught the attention of millions of working mothers. Smart home technology slowly started to get off the ground. Later on, smart home devices evolved from being a necessity to a luxury. But with this IoT luxury comes its fair share of security risks. Millions of smart home devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks. So besides focusing on making the devices extra cool, the gadget makers should also reinforce their ability to resist cyberattacks.
Featured image: Pixabay