With CES 2019 wrapped for another year, it’s a good time to take a step back and look at the big smart home highlights. Sure, there were plenty of wacky gadgets and gizmos (like a dishwasher-sized pet dryer that claims to dry a small dog “in as little as 25 minutes”) but we’re interested in the more practical side of CES.
So, which smart home tech stole the show? What can smart home builders and designers expect to see trending this year? Most importantly, what’s the coolest smart home tech coming to market this year? Here’s a look at what has us excited.
Smart displays and voice assistants are here to stay
Smart displays like the Amazon Echo Show and Google Home Hub aren’t necessarily new. Neither is the voice assistant technology that drives them. But all were hyper-present at CES this year. Every new device and connected home fixture offered compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
What does that mean for smart home builders? Voice control is now firmly entrenched as the universal standard for smart homes, and smart displays are emerging as a preferred smart home hub.
Welcome to your new smart bathroom
If it feels like smart technology has infiltrated just about every aspect of our lives, it’s because it has. Look no further than one of the highlights of CES 2019, the Kohler Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet—also known as a smart toilet. It features built-in Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth speakers, and multi-colored ambient lighting (which you can customize), among other features.
In a similar vein, Moen unveiled a smart shower that can be controlled using just your voice. It currently works with Amazon Alexa and will soon support both Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri.
The coolest bathroom innovation unveiled at CES was perhaps the Savvy Mirror from Electric Mirror. The dual vanity mirror they unveiled features a pair of overlaid digital screens above each sink. You can add your own apps and control the experience using only your voice, so you can check the weather or your route to work while you shave or brush your teeth.
Clothes management, smart home style
Do you pull bundles of clean clothes from the dryer, toss them on the bed, and tell yourself you’ll fold them later, when it’s more convenient? Then you’ll love the Foldimate. A little taller than a washing machine, the Foldimate takes your jumble of clothes and spits them back out one by one, each perfectly folded. It can fold a full load of clothes, towels, and even pillowcases—all in under 5 minutes.
What about the other side of the clothes coin? Do you find yourself staring at your closet full of neatly folded clothes, wondering what to wear each morning? Stay tuned to the progress of the Bosch BML 100PI projector. While it’s not planned for consumer-release yet, it has a lot of potential. This smart device projects an interactive display onto the edge of your shelves in your closet, which you can use to choose your outfit, check the weather, and organize your clothes. The projector uses photo diodes to pick up your finger’s movements and detect when you’ve “clicked” a button.
Smart home security goes next-level
Smart home security is one of the most established categories in the smart home space, but some new innovations caught our eye at CES this year. The first was the Parcel Guard smart mailbox, which aims to protect you from doorstep parcel theft. The 40 lb. steel mailbox is about the size of a mini-fridge. It has a Wi-Fi connected camera inside so you can check on deliveries from anywhere, and can be unlocked using a digital code from an app on your smartphone.
Finally, there was Sunflower Labs’ security drone system. While not for everyone, this will surely appeal to owners of luxury and high-end homes. The system includes a camera-equipped drone (called The Bee) and a hub recharging station (called The Hive). The Bee connects to your home’s router and patrols your property, returning to The Hive to recharge when needed.