Every January the tech industry descends on Las Vegas for CES, the worlds largest consumer electronics show. This year Smart Home took centre stage with 56,000 sq ft of smart appliances, security systems and even hi-tech home brewing here’s our pick of the best.
Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
With a huge 21.5″ touchscreen tablet Samsung’s new SmartThings compatible smart fridge lets you get online, check e-mails, send texts, manage the family diary, even listen to music and watch TV while you cook.
But the really a smart feature is the built-in web cam that allows you to look inside via a smartphone app so you can see precisely whats inside. So simple, but incredibly useful, you’ll be able to check and see if you need to pick up any essentials from inside the supermarket.
Whats more you can virtually tag ingredients so you can remotely see how old food is and what needs replacing, which helps cut down on food waste.
Smarter Mats and Fridge Cam
Samsung weren’t the only brand snooping inside the humble fridge. British company Smarter also launched a simple wireless Fridge Cam and monitor smartphone app that should mean you never run out of milk again. Smarter has also revealed Mats, a range of internet-connected pressure-sensitive pads designed for the pantry. These pads monitor whatever you place on them and you input details, such as a 330ml bottle of ketchup, into the app and it will alert you when you need to stock up.
Bluetooth has brought simple wireless streaming to the mainstream, but its short 10m range is limiting and frustrating. The Cassia Hub may just have come up with the answer by extending the Bluetooth range to around 300m. It can also sync with up to 22 separate devices and connect to your homes Wi-Fi, allowing you to control your Bluetooth devices even when you’re out of the house.
There are dozens of internet-connected smart cameras available, designed to keep an eye on your home and family, but the vast majority are for indoor use only. The Netatmo Presence, however, combines an outdoor security light and motion detection that can tell the difference between a car being parked, a dog running around or someone standing at the front door.
Presence connects to your Wi-Fi and sends video clips instantly to your smartphone as well as storing images on the built-in SD card reader.
Thanks to a phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign you’ll soon be able to brew craft beer from your favourite breweries as simply as using a breadmaker. PicoBrew is a countertop-sized micro brewery that, thanks to the app-controlled steam-injection heating system, can brew 5-litre kegs (10 pints) in just three days. Just choose the pre-mixed hop and grain recipe packs, mix, sit back and enjoy.
Video credit The Japan Times 2015
And finally Laundroid, the world’s first automatic laundry folding and sorting robot wardrobe. Utterly bonkers, but totally brilliant; just chuck an item of clothing inside and sensors identify what it is and how big and folds it perfectly. We assumed it was a prototype, but the company behind it Seven Dreamers, expect it to launch in Japan as early as next year.