There was a time when making something “smart” meant it had an app. At last year’s CES, we saw a lot of smart-home products that basically just let you control the device with an app. At CES 2016, we saw a lot more companies that went beyond just making an app-controlled device, and started including thoughtful features that actually take advantage of those capabilities. The image gallery above displays quite a few of these innovative devices, together with a brief description of each.
Halo is one of them. It’s a connected smoke alarm, like several others we’ve seen, but it also has a weather radio built into it. That means it can also monitor for tornado warnings, natural disasters, and other alerts that are broadcast over the radio. You can get the notification on your phone, so you know if there’s a threat, even if you’re not at home. While it’s hard-wired for power, its battery backup lasts seven days, so that even if your power is out and your phone’s dead, you will be able to receive NOAA information.
Bosch is planning on bringing some of its connected appliances to the U.S. in the next couple of years, and these include a smarter way to do laundry. You can use the related app to tell the machine exactly what you’re loading into it, in case you need some guidance on how best to wash and care for your garments. It’s not something you’ll use every time you do a load, but it’s meant to be a little easier and more customized than searching Google for “how do I wash delicates?”
There were also some non-connected items that were really impressive. At NGHTV’s smart home, there was an iTouch Faucet. It replaces the handles on your sink with a control panel. You can preset the time and temperatures for cold, hot, and warm water. Set the cold button, and it will shut off automatically after, say, three seconds. That’s enough to wet your toothbrush. Pick the perfect temperature for warm, and it will always be ready to go for hand washing, without you waiting for the water to heat up.
Toto toilets are always cool, and the one we saw had a remote control, heated seat, and UV light to help kill bacteria. No app necessary, but still high-tech nonetheless.
We’re still waiting for one standard to connect and control everything in our smart home, but at least CES 2016 has revealed some cool devices that can keep us company in the meantime.