Consumer Electronics Show regulars reported that this year’s show was pretty similar to last year- no real standouts. CES buzz somewhat predictably centered around drones, cars, wearables, tracking technologies, oculus, and home innovations. Here’s the skinny: Drones drones drones. Embracing the millennial attitude, Lyft has partnered with GM to bring us self driving cars, because do we really need to own a car when we can simply pay a subscription fee to drive one? Wearables are expected to “disappear” in 2016, meaning that they will morph from clunky to fashionable. Tracking technologies and cameras will be everywhere, so you better behave.
Now, onto home innovation standouts, here and on the way:
The buzz on TVs is HDR, making them brighter. Lowes is launching a program that will allow you to design a kitchen in 3D using Oculus. New for the laundry room, and said to be “the Tesla of home appliances”- the intelligent Marathon all in one washer/dryer will connect to your wifi, learn your preferences, and operate during the most energy-efficient times. Home safety technology continues to evolve: the motion detecting, night vision Ring Stick Up Cam can be mounted anywhere, allowing you to receive alerts and wirelessly communicate with your guests. Trips to the dry cleaner may become unnecessary with LG’s Styler, in home steam-based system that can clean up to six garments at a time, removing wrinkles and odors without the harmful chemicals. Appliance maker Bosch is positioning itself aggressively around the Smart Home category, with the launch of a mobile app that can connect to and control the smart home appliances. Samsung has incorporated a 21.5″ touchscreen to the Family Hub Refrigerator which will stream music, call up recipes, and even order groceries – and if you are already at the grocery store, you can peek into your refrigerator via your phone to see what is running low. Zephyr stays ahead of the pack on ventilation hood design, innovation and technology with the Luce Island vent hood, featuring HD LED lighting and ICON Touch™ Controls for easy control of the surprisingly quiet 5-speeds, delay-off function, and auto reminders. These vent hoods can be programmed to automatically clean the air periodically, so if you forget to take the trash out before you leave for the weekend, you will still return to a fresh kitchen. While we are on the topic of quiet appliances, Honeywell’s new Cool Moisture Humidifier quietly and inexpensively protects household investments such as antiques, art, wine collections and wood floors from the perils of the dry heat of winter months.
If you are going to upgrade your home, by all means take advantage of these innovations to get the most for your money.
For those who are out and about, there are a few gadgets on the way that might be of interest. The Light L16 camera is the world’s first multi-aperture computational camera. If Light L16 is everything it aims to be, it will be a game changer for photography, and likely get bought by Apple or Google. Boomstick offers a pocket-sized sound boost to existing earbuds. TrackR will keep you connected to the things you value most, via your iPhone or android, so you never lose anything again.
Stay tuned and we will see what SXSW has to say about what’s hot and what’s next.