CES, gadgets and the home of the future


Every January for the past 50 years, innovative tech companies, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts convene in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show. This year, 180,000 attendees stepped into a candy land of consumer technology and enjoyed a glimpse of life in the future. Exhibitors explore new ideas or upgrade existing electronics and make them “smart”. Smart home, for one, refers to a residence fitted with devices that can be remotely controlled or programmed to your preference. Here are the covetable electronics you would want in your smart home.

Smarter introduced the FridgeCam, a portable camera that sticks to the inside of your fridge door and captures the food inside. The camera is, of course, wireless and connects to a smartphone app. Users can see what’s inside their fridge without opening the door. This marks the beginning of smart shopping and smart living. While frequent trips to the fridge is inevitable when watching TV, they can’t be done from a grocery store. With FridgeCam, owners will know exactly what to replenish even when they’re away from home, which also reduces food waste. The sleek camera also tracks expiry dates and suggests recipes based on what’s in the fridge.

Televisions never fail to reserve a spot in CES’ list of things that impress. LG’s signature ultra thin 77-inch “wallpaper” OLED TV from its W7 series copped the 2017 CES Best of innovation Award. The HD TV measures at an astounding 2.57 mm thick and mounts on the wall like a magnet. Dubbed the “Picture-On-Wall”, the TV is so thin that most of its processing is done in a separate unit that sits in the owner’s entertainment centre. The screen relies on organic light-emitting diode (OLED), requiring no backlight and allowing it a broader colour spectrum for that sharp image quality. When it seems like gadgets can’t get any slimmer, somehow they do.

Going back to the kitchen, Griffin Technology has unveiled the thoughtfully reengineered Connected Toaster. Equipped with Bluetooth connection, the next-generation toaster allows users to precisely control the level of toastiness to their preference. it connects to an app, from which users can adjust temperature according to the bread type (bagel, white bread, etc.) The app also records each user’s preferences separately so there is no need to worry about mixing up your preferred level of crispiness with your housemate’s. Griffin, founded in 1992, has a mission to simplify and enhance how people use technology in their daily lives. Once you make the Bluetooth-enabled Connected Toaster a part of your daily life, you can’t possibly go back.

The Kuri Robot is a digital version of a man’s best friend. Standing at 50 centimetres tall, the Kuri Robot looks cuddly with its rounded shape and eye-like details. It glides smoothly and relies on sensors to detect and avoid objects and edges, keeping its clean design intact. Though adorable on the outside, the technology inside it is no child’s play. The personal bot has facial recognition so it will alert you if an unknown person enters your house. It can also interact with people through facial expressions, head gestures and sounds. It reads stories to children and plays your favourite music. It lets you record a message to send to your significant other in the office that dinner is served. When you are away, you can check in on your home using Kuri’s surveillance camera. Kuri makes your home smart and acts as an extra personality to your family.

Falling under the “gadgets you never thought you needed” category of CES is the GeniCan. if there’s a smart fridge, smart TV, smart bot, it was only a matter of time before a smart garbage can was added to the list. GeniCan, is a Wi-Fi enabled camera that clings to the side of a garbage can and scans barcodes to add items into your grocery list. Sign up for the Amazon Dash Replenishment service and the GeniCan will be able to order the items for you. GeniCan, initially a crowdfunding success story, is proof that not everything in the trash is useless.

Another gadget that automates shopping lists and groceries is the Samsung Family Hub 2.0 refrigerator. It features a 55-centimetre-LED touch screen that replaces the old-school magnets and hand-written post-its. Family members can access the contents from the Family Hubb smartphone app to share calendar items, memos, and more. The refrigerator is also fitted with an internal camera that can capture food items to be added to a shopping list and ordered via Groceries by MasterCard app. It also connects to the Recipe app by AllRecipes that can conveniently display recipes in large fonts for the chef of the family. In addition to its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity features, the Family Hub 2.0 refrigerator also supports voice control. There’s a fine line between sane and smart when it comes to talking to your fridge. Cop the Samsung Family Hub 2.0 Refrigerator to fall on the right side of the line.

Watch out cat sitters, your job might soon be obsolete. Catspad Smart Pet Feeder allows cat owners to feed their cat through a smartphone app for up to a month. The automated feeder is a spherical unit with two compartments for water and food. it’s equipped with sensors so owners can control the weight of food and water dispensed. Mimicking health apps for humans, the Catspad app has a nutrition calendar for your furry friend. it also has an identification feature so multi-cat owners can tailor each pet’s diet from the app.

Taking wireless technology to a whole new level is LG’s gravity-defying levitating speaker. With the help of electromagnets, the all-white speaker oats above its main station and emits top-notch audio from its omnidirectional speaker. Avid music listeners would rejoice in PJ9’s 10-hour battery life. The minimalistic speaker charges itself by descending down into its main station without pausing the audio it’s playing. Though small, the PJ9 can easily be the centrepiece of a room with its flying superpower.

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Natasha Gan
Natasha is a writer with 5+ years of experience and a digital marketing professional currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can view her past works on http://nevagan.com.

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