CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, is an annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association held in Las Vegas. This year it was held January 9th through the 12th. I’ve written and spoke about this before, but it needs saying again that we aren’t moving away from the conveniences of more automation within our home (including our pets!). CES is a show I watch very closely being the creative director of Sound Kitchen and Bath, an interior design company, while prepping to launch Pet Decorator! It’s no surprise that my favorite products from CES are home and pet related. Read along to get the scoop.
I’m leaning into the the concept of the smart home as a homeowner who very much enjoys the time saved and conveniences offered by connecting common home devices with smartphones, tablets, computers, and other “smart” platforms such as the voice-controlled assistants flooding the market.
KOHLER Konnect. The first thing to catch my eye was the KOHLER Konnect smart fixtures. KOHLER debuted not just one, but seven smart bathroom and kitchen products. KOHLER has apparently been studying bathrooms in order to identify ways of decluttering and managing chaos (an idea I can get behind). The star of the line is the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror featuring Alexa voice assistance so you can play music, listen to the news, and control the lighting while getting ready.
The KOHLER Konnect line also has an app-controlled heated toilet seat, an intelligent toilet with touchless flushing (great for germaphobes), a voice-controlled shower, and a hands-free, voice-controlled faucet. There’s one app for everything! KOHLER says, “From your ideal post workout shower settings to perfect lighting levels for applying makeup, your family’s personalized experiences are just a tap away.” Is the entire line overkill? Probably! However, I have at least a couple of the products on my wish list.
LG Refrigerator with InstaView ThinQ. Yes, a refrigerator made my list. Yes, there are several refrigerators with touchscreens out now but this one is different! This fridge pairs cameras and voice platforms like Alexa and Google Home and can send you photos of your food inventory to your phone as well as keep track of food expiration and send reminders when items are running low or going bad. I bet my husband wishes he could check the contents of our fridge while at the grocery store. To set this fridge even farther apart from the rest, if you knock twice on the large touchscreen, it will become a transparent window. Très chic!
ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO 930. I’ve written about cleaning robots before. However, I haven’t been the biggest fan of many of the floor cleaning ones. A huge problem in the market has been robots that clean where they’re not supposed to. This new ECOVACS DEEBOT is equipped with a mop that automatically activates when it reaches hardwood. How cool is that? There is also an app that will let you map out your home so you can choose which rooms get cleaned and which rooms get skipped.
FIBARO Wall Plug. FIBARO has a new product coming out called a ‘smart plug’. It’s a wall plug with Z-Wave technology for monitoring and managing devices. While I can’t tell you what Z-Wave technology is, I CAN tell you that the plug displays different colors as energy consumption changes. If the device being charged increases temperature, the plug will flash a warning purple light. With the plug and FIBARO’s technology, you can identify which devices are using the most power, set power limits, and shut down a device automatically if it crosses a power threshold. The importance of how this can improve home safety cannot be exaggerated!
Moving on from smart homes to smart pets! You may be wondering what exactly is a… “smart pet”? Smart pets have technology that are connected to phones and other devices that help monitor their care and wellbeing. More and more pet owners are coming into the mindset of being a pet ‘parent’ and will do more to provide their pet with the best and most comfortable life possible. I’ve compiled my favorite pet products before but I wanted to give a little refresh to that list.
Pebby. Pebby is marketed as a smart, robotic pet sitter. The system allows pet owners to monitor and interact with pets from anywhere in the world. The system currently includes a smart collar and ball with a high definition camera to watch and play with your pet remotely through the app. The app will notify you of motion or if your dog starts barking so you won’t miss out on any important events.
Petrics. Petrics is a pet health technology company launching a smart pet bed, activity tracker, and nutrition app ecosystem. The pet bed will track the pet’s weight, rest, activity, and offer climate control with its built-in scale and thermost features. The bed is available in three sizes and has a washable, durable, and replaceable cover (which is a must). The bed will pair with the waterproof activity tracker to track your pet’s caloric burn rate and rest levels. The app will collect all this data to help you easily monitor your pet’s health and trends and can even give your pet food and diet recommendations.
PetWALK. PetWALK doors are fully connected, high-end pet doors which can be controlled remotely through a smart phone or computer. The currently available door is completely air tight and burglar proof. The upcoming release, demoed at CES, will feature configurable alerts to keep pet owners informed about important events during the day. The door is automatically triggered through RFID pendants worn by your pets. In addition, it will integrate with Amazon Echo for voice control and the logistic company DPD for a secure parcel delivery system.
Can I also just say I love how beautifully designed these doors are? I mean look!
Litter-Robot III. Cat centric products weren’t forgotten at CES. Litter-Robot introduced the Litter-Robot III, a WiFi-enabled, automatic self-cleaning litter box for cats. A cleaning cycle will start automatically as soon as your cat exits the unit. Waste is deposited in a carbon-filtered drawer to heavily reduce odor. You’ll even get a notification when it’s time to empty the waste drawer. Overall, you’ll save time and money by the clean litter it preserves.
That’s it for this year! I’m really curious – have you incorporated any smart home or pet products in your home? Are you hoping something in particular comes out next year? Do you think the market is already too full of “smart” devices? Personally, I can’t wait to see what the 2019 show has to offer!