Each year the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas offers a glimpse into the world’s future technology with the smart home a prime area of focus.
This year’s CES was no different, with a wealth of new smart appliances, hubs, fixtures and fittings unveiled between January 8 and 11.
From shoes cleaners to app-controlled artworks and whole array of helpful robots, here’s a guide to the weird and wonderful smart home gadgets of CES 2019.
Robots, robots everywhere
They’ve long been predicted but this year robots made a big impression at CES, with handy little home helpers that could do everything from cleaning the floor to serving as a rolling personal butler.
Among the standouts were Temi and Trifo.
Featuring Alexa support, Temi the 3-ft tall personal butler, rolls about the house behind you and offers a hand’s-free way to help you out with daily tasks while accessing vital information.
Featuring a head that’s a 10.1-inch monitor, Temi accesses services like the news, Uber, Youtube, Google and Yelp.
Meanwhile Trifo is a robotic vacuum cleaner. While that’s nothing new, Trifo uses GPS positioning, 3D mapping and AI to create a detailed plan of the home and a corresponding cleaning routine. It will soon also access both Google and Alexa.
When it comes to the smart home, there’s always a big push to make things easier in the kitchen, and this year’s CES saw a wealth of kitchen innovation.
Among the new ideas attracting the most attention was a concept kitchen by GHSP, which features smart screens as the backsplash.
Digital Trends explains: “The display can do a lot of the same things a smart assistant with a screen can do — play music, show you the view from your smart doorbell camera, let you add items to your shopping list — just on a much larger scale.”
On the cooking front, Suvie is set to release its smart robotic oven which will allow time-poor families to come home to a ready-made dinner.
Suvie uses water to cook meals that have been pre-prepared and delivered to the customer’s door. Users can schedule the meal’s cooking time via their smartphone app so it’s ready when they arrive home.
Meanwhile KitchenAid is making greater inroads into smart tech with an all-new kitchen display. Designed to offer cooking tips, and access to recipes and personalised meal plans, the counter-top screen is also designed to be compatible with 10,000 smart home devices that work with Google Assistant.
From smart toilets to smart mirrors, the push for a more intelligent bathroom also continued this year.
Plumbing giant Toto unveiled a toilet that opens and closes using sensors, and also has a self-cleaning feature, Kohler previewed a toilet with voice control and the ability to play music, and there was also an array of pet toilets on offer.
On the smart mirror front, Capstone Connected Home showcased a smart mirror with both voice and touchscreen ability. The mirror allows users to check their emails, daily schedule, the weather and even access Youtube as they go about readying for the day.
You can also now start your shower by voice and turn it to the desired temperature courtesy of a smart shower known as U by Moen. It can be added to smart home groups so it automatically activates as part of a routine.
Meanwhile, even the lowly toothbrush wasn’t immune to innovation, with French company Fasteesh revealing a Y-Brush featuring a mouthguard and moving bristles that can clean your teeth in as little as 10 seconds.
What would CES be without some serious leaps and bounds in the world of home entertainment? This year saw bigger, better appliances revealed along with a touch of the retro.
In the ever-evolving television sphere, forget the superb resolution of 4K TVs, now we’ve doubled that to 8K, with both Samsung and LG rolling out top-of-the-line 8K OLED TVs.
LG also introduced a roll up TV, that unfurls out of a TV cabinet when you want to start viewing and discreetly rolls back in when viewing has concluded.
Meanwhile, turntables were everywhere as a touch of the retro took hold. House of Marley brought some wireless innovation to analogue record players by introducing Bluetooth, and Crosley Radio rolled out a teeny tiny 3-inch turntable.
The mundane chores of washing and ironing are ripe for improvement, and this year CES aimed to please.
Foldimate is looking to take care of all that extraneous laundry folding by enabling users to feed their clothing into machine only to see it emerge neatly folded 10-15 seconds later.
Meanwhile, Haier was keen to clean shoes. They unveiled a modular sneaker cleaner that uses airflow, ozone, UV light, and carbon to keep your sneakers disinfected and prevent discoloration.
Smart wood and app-controlled artwork
On the pretty side of smart home tech, one of the most memorable gadgets of this year’s CES was a plank of wood that just happens to be a smart display.
Created by Mui, the display houses a touch-sensitive interface on its surface. This allows users to access information like a clock, weather, lighting controls, voicemail and text messages or even slogans.
Tech Radar notes it even has Google Assistant built in, with the option of having the voice assistant’s responses displayed in text or read aloud.
LaMetric was also all about aesthetics, revealing a collection of triangular LED lights that act as a changeable wall mosaic.
Digital Trends explained users can download LaMetric’s dedicated app to perform design operations on Sky or use digital assistants, including Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, to display different colour configurations or even metrics from the Internet, such as how many subscribers you have or how many people are viewing your live stream on YouTube or Twitch. app controlled artworks.
The big issues
Gadgets may be the drawcard of CES, but each year it also highlights serious incoming trends. And a major one at this year’s event was the ongoing battle between Google and Amazon to claim poll position in the voice-activated market.
Although Alexa still leads the way, this year Google Assistant was found in more and more devices, indicting the late-comer to the smart home market is making a serious play.
That’s good news for Australia, where Google tends to be the assistant of choice.
And the truth is both voice assistants are finding their way into more and more smart home features, from voice-controlled ovens, to showers, toilets, robots and wearables.
About Lera Smart Home Solutions
Lera Smart Home Solutions is a leading installer of smart home technology in the greater Sydney region. Our team boasts over 20 years’ experience in IT networking, programming and the electrical industry.
We have sourced the most reliable and cost efficient solutions from around the world to provide the very best in smart home solutions, and work with our clients to understand their needs.