As great as the smartphone is, it's not always the perfect tool, especially in the smart home. Once you start piling up numerous smart devices and the tangled array of apps that go with them, the smartphone becomes ... kind of dumb. Apps like Wink can help streamline that clutter, but French startup Sevenhugs believes the solution lies in better hardware. It ditches the smartphone completely in favor of a remote that finds the sweet spot between old fashioned clicker and touch-based mobile.
The car and home are typically separate domains, but Ford wants to change that by giving drivers the ability to control smart home devices from their car – and their car from their smart home devices. The carmaker is exploring Sync integration with devices like Amazon Echo and Wink.
If the launch of its Internet Refrigerator more than a decade ago didn't get the point across, then its steady stream of other smart fridges, washers and other appliances since certainly did. LG is a big believer in the connected home, and at CES next week it will showcase a new device targeted at those of a similar faith. Its SmartThinQ Hub is designed as a communication center for a home's smart appliances, while serving as a speaker and notification system at the same time.
Advancements in connected security systems have provided people with affordable, user-friendly ways to keep an eye on things when no one is home. The latest product from Amderstam-based Amaryllo incorporates robotics and smart features for enhanced vigilance. The iCamPro Deluxe camera is designed to talk, hear, detect faces, and track intruders with 360-degree movement.
Most modern lighting operation is fairly straightforward – switches flip on/off, maybe even dim. More recently connected bulbs have offered the additional benefits of wireless settings, and some even double as speakers. Now directional control is being added to the smart lighting mix. The Fluxo smart lamp is designed to cast light, directly and/or indirectly, with simple finger swipes on a mobile device.
Many smart home devices are designed to remotely control various aspects of living areas, with an added benefit of energy savings. One of the latest home automation products achieves those savings in a way that, so far, has been largely overlooked. Designed with mobile connectivity in mind and powered by solar panels, Axis Gear motorizes and automates home window shades, blinds, or curtains.
Slowly but surely, devices like Philips Hue bulbs and the Nest thermostat are making our homes smarter. But just how smart can they get? To find out, Intel has created the Smart Tiny House, which explores the future of the connected home by packing a host of smart tech into a 210 sq ft (20 sq m) "living lab."
If you've ever fancied securing your home with one of those cool invisible sensor webs that you see in movies, now's your chance. The new Xandem Home system detects motion through walls and furniture. It uses a number of nodes that plug into wall outlets and create a wireless web of sensor connections.
People looking to breathe new life into "old" tech have a new option that offers convenience and ease of use. The Nyrius Smart Outlet enables standard outlets with Bluetooth wireless for remote operation through smartphones and tablets.
Internet-connected LED bulbs offer greater energy efficiency and remote-controlled operation over their standard counterparts. As the use of mobile apps to switch and/or dim lights is becoming more mainstream, some companies are taking the next step towards futuristic sophistication. The Nanoleaf Smarter Kit is designed to provide smart lighting control through voice commands given to Siri.