Posted: January 31, 2017
If you are into the latest and greatest in tech, there is no greater exhibition than the CES (Consumer Electronics Show). CES 2017 was hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 5 to 8, 2017. In true Vegas fashion, the show was no disappointment. Amidst the masses of autonomous robots and conversational kitchen appliances, one trend definitely emerged, the smart home.
In home automation, Amazon’s Alexa took firm hold at CES and was seen integrated in almost every part of the smart home including home security. Cars took another step forward and TVs look better than ever. Whether fantastic, futuristic, or just plain fun, the CES gave a glimpse of what may come. Let’s take a look at what technologies came out of CES 2017:
Car craftsmanship: One of the most intriguing takeaways from the CES takes the you out of the driving equation. Faraday Future revealed a self-driving car that runs efficiently on battery power. The FF91 boasts an impressive zero to 60 time of 2.39 seconds. The car can function for over 350 miles on a single charge. While this is not currently a production vehicle (and it’s unclear whether it actually will be), the car definitely awed CES attendees. The self-driving car gave a glimpse of what may come in the automotive industry.
Other interesting developments in the car world included a free-floating control screen similar to the space age movies of the future (“Beam me up Scotty”) and a handful of autonomous prototypes. Honda even has an electric car that will Uber for you by picking up passengers and making you money while you aren’t using it.
Robots: KuriKuriKuri, Pepper, Lynx, and LG’s Hub Robot made waves in the robotics department. These fun little robots amble around your home performing a multitude of tasks. Pepper, Lynx, and Hub Robot are intended to be assistive devices which can play music, read to your kids, or even possibly tend bar. The Kuri is a personable machine that acts as a security camera in your absence. While not quite the stuff of Star Wars (yet), these friendly, futuristic devices may be gracing your home soon enough.
Drones: The drone community gets a facelift with the PowerVision PowerRay Underwater Drone. This drone is a submersible version of the popular, somewhat controversial, flying device. The AirBlock provides a fun learning experience in the world of drones. You assemble the drone using magnetic blocks and launch it into the air upon completion. It’s legos meets the remote copter.
TVs: From exceptionally thin, to paperweight versions and curved displays, the latest in TVs brilliantly illuminated the show in Las Vegas. Your movie watching just got a whole lot better. This year’s show boasted a host of OLED (organic light emitting diode) TVs. LG even has an OLED version that is so thin, it is barely the thickness of a house key. The design is similar to the width of the latest iPhone.
While not currently for sale, Sony introduced its version of an OLED TV that actually uses the screen vibrations to produce sound, rather than using a traditional speaker or sound system.
Wearables: There was not a significant jump in innovation as far as wearables go, but we found a few honorable mentions. The Motiv ring, the Aira, and the Willow Breast Pump all impressed CES attendees. The Motiv ring is the latest in fashionable fitness tracking. The Aira is an intriguing device that offers assistance to the blind through the use of remote assistance and a wearable headset (of sorts). The Willow Breast Pump, hopefully self-explanatory, is a good illustration of where technology may take us in the way of assistive devices.
Home Automation: This year marked real advancement in the way of smart devices within the home. Including:
Many of these devices integrate with Amazon’s Alexa and Amazon Echo, which allows you to exercise voice control over your connected devices. “TV, play Star Wars Trilogy,” may not be as far in the future as How I Met Your Mother would have you believe. Now, I’m just waiting to see a hologram phone. Amazon Echo with Alexa competitors, including Google Home with it’s “Ok, Google” and Apple HomeKit with Siri, had connected devices on display at CES as well.
What do all of these gadgets mean for your home’s security? The emerging trend is one of integration of technology and a move toward smart homes. This means greater simplicity for monitoring and protecting your home.
ADT is already investigating how technologies like Alexa can be used to help better protect your home. You gain more comprehensive control over your smart devices, such as smart deadbolts and lighting. ADT even plans to begin offering direct sales of Alexa beginning in February, complete with setup assistance.
From showerheads to smart washing machines, there is no limit to the potential of home automation. The ability to adjust lighting and lock doors on command allows you to take a greater level of control in your home security and gives you more peace of mind.