CES 2019 is all wrapped up in Las Vegas, and the world’s most popular consumer electronics and technology event didn’t disappoint. From mobile tech to pets built around artificial intelligence, there was indeed something for everyone. Perhaps the most exciting area, however, was the smart home exhibit, which demonstrated that a technology centred home doesn’t have to be all gimmicks and “nice to haves.”
The centre of the smart home – at least currently – is the doorbell, and Amazon-owned ‘Ring,’ has set a high bar for competitors. The company has introduced a doorbell which not only attaches to an existing peephole, meaning that renters and other temporary occupants can use it, but also senses when there is a knock on the door. This means that when somebody ignores the doorbell and chooses to knock, it rings anyway.
Sticking with Amazon, they have now launched a separate smart key for the garage. While this may appear at first glance to be a bit pointless, it is designed for things like deliveries and pickups where the owner isn’t home and doesn’t have a smart camera. The system will allow for access to the garage only, and has the ability to be connected with other smart devices such as security systems.
Both Whirlpool and GE came up with some interactive solutions for the kitchen. Whirlpool’s concept oven tells you where to best position your food, and has a built-in display for recipes. GE opted for integration with a tablet. Basically, you attach your tablet to a docking port above your stove and you can listen to music, watch TV or check recipes while you cook. The tablet also integrates directly with your oven so that you can ensure you don’t get distracted by whatever you’re watching.
Perhaps the most bizarre product was Kohler’s smart toilet. It will open automatically, links to Alexa and will give you a more relaxed bathroom experience. Using voice activation, you will be able to turn down the lights, play relaxing music and even activate the lighting at the base of the toilet, which is supposed to help you relax.
With CES wrapped up for another year, it will be interesting to see how many of these products go mainstream.