The CES show in Las Vegas is where you see the hottest, wildest consumer-electronics products. One of the biggest trends this year was connecting everything to the Internet of Things, or IoT. From connected homes to health tracking, these are the everyday devices that have futuristic upgrades.
IoT Smart Home
Intel and Amazon Alexa showcased The Smart Tiny Home, a stylish, 210-square-foot unit where you could control all of the electronics with voice commands.
This demonstration included:
- A Yale smart door lock that can be locked and unlocked via mobile phone
- An August Doorbell Cam that lets you see who’s at the door and talk to them via smartphone no matter where you are. It also shows video playbacks through the Nest smart thermostat.
- Vivido Smart Lamp Dimming and Appliance Switching Modules that connect with a home-automation hub to automatically switch appliances and lamps on and off
- Amazon Echo Dot to provide voice controls
- The MiOS home automation platform
IoT technology was everywhere at this show — and it’s transforming all sorts of everyday devices — whether we think they need it or not.
My Smart Kitchen
Do you want your small kitchen appliances to be smarter? Griffin Technologies has you covered, with a toaster and coffee maker you can adjust using a smartphone app instead of those annoying knobs and dials on dumb appliances, EnGadget reports.
GE already has ovens that can be controlled via an app. Now, through a partnership with Drop, cooks can send those heating instructions from within a recipe, according to Yahoo Finance. When you get to the part of the recipe that says, “Preheat the oven to 350 degrees,” one click is all it takes.
Samsung unveiled the next generation of its Family Hub connected appliances that let you manage food and shopping with apps. For example, internal cameras in the fridge let you see what’s inside without opening the door. You can automatically add them to a digital shopping list and then order them through the Groceries by MasterCard app.
LG has its own version of this, the Smart InstaView. Both models have large touchscreens on the front that let you leave bulletin-board-style notes, browse recipes and do a variety of connected activities like playing Pandora or calling a ride-hailing service, according to PC Magazine.
Keeping Track of Your Health
Many of these IoT devices also provide information to help us improve our health or our lives. That’s the pitch of the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected toothbrush. It connects via Bluetooth to your phone, transmitting data on your brushing to an app. Not only does it tell you if you’re brushing too hard or too softly, it also generates a 3D map of your mouth that lets you know if you missed a spot, The Verge reports.
L’Oreal’s Kérastase Hair Coach measures the health of your hair and the effects of various haircare regimes, writes People. Multiple sensors connect to an app — of course — and it can even warn you if you’re brushing too hard.
How many of these devices are must-haves versus nice-to-haves? The Griffon toaster and coffee maker are expected to retail for $100 each, Kérastase Hair Coach for around $200, and the Sonicare toothbrush for around $160.
If you’re worried about gum disease, that toothbrush could be a very good investment — and hey, gorgeous hair is priceless, right?
The biggest benefit of all these products could be that connection to the IoT: many of these apps collect and analyze data, allowing you to track your behavior over time. As more devices become connected, we may be able to uncover surprising and useful information about ourselves and our habits.