CES 2016: LifeStyleTech, a New Era for the SmartHome

Mano ten Napel | @Mano10Napel

Although there are those who might argue that the smart home is still 5 to 15 years away, at this years international Consumers Electronic Show (CES 2016) there are more than 700 smart home exhibitors- a clear sign of the new industry continuous growth.

Although these developments are currently accelerated by smartphones and tablets, we are slowly moving into a new era of convenience. Market-research giant Gartner‘s linear-thinking predicts that there will be up to 25 billion units connected to the internet by 2020 in comparison to about 900 million in 2009. Researcher IDC has assessed that the Internet of Things (IoT) market will reach $3.04 trillion that same year. These are good reasons to take a closer look at some of the devices that have caught our eye.

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Samsung Electronics is the jack-of-all-trades. Besides making tech products like the Samsung Gear S2 smart watch, TV’s and mobile phones, they have also been working on ways to make the consumers life a little more comfortable. At this year’s event, among new wearables, Samsung introduced us to the Smart fridge. With a huge 21.5-inch vertical touchscreen, it looks like it has been designed with a door that resembles the worlds biggest smart phone. This is not the first time that a refrigerator has been equipped with a screen.

Family Hub

Called the ‘Family Hub refrigerator’, this baby has been designed to inform you, on your smartphone, what exactly is on your shelves inside. The objective is to prompt you to order beverages and other food. The plus side of this feature is that it should save you some pennies in the long run but first it will hurt. The Family Hub refrigerator is available for a whopping $5,000/£2,700. The expensive fridge comes with three on-board cameras that can take photos of all the food that is missing. It is a great way of gaining control of the weight of the garbage bin.

Smartypans

What about a smart cooking pan and recipe app that interact with each other via bluetooth. Smartypans is a cooking system that can make the job of preparing a meal even more interesting. No more second guessing the weight of the food being cooked, because the pan basically does the thinking for you. Smartypans is at your disposal when you need it and will even school you on the right temperature and the right nutritional information of the dish you are cooking.

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The information it collects is easily integrated with nutritional and fitness apps like FitnessPal or Fitbit. Smartypans is able to sync with most of your devices already in use, streamlining nutrition tracking right from the get go. It informs you, in an analyzed way, so you know what it is that you are eating. Smartypans is a great way for quantified-selfers to increase their awareness of the specifics in the food that they eat. The product has been well received by investors and their Indiegogo campaign will start early this year.

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Wrapping it up, there is one thing that many consumers agree on and that is the most important thing that technology has to offer is improvement of safety in and around our home. French company Netatmo announced at CES 2016 their indoor camera called ‘Welcome’. It instantly recognizes the faces that it sees and will send the names of the visitors it recognizes to your personal device- a smartphone, smartwatch or tablet.

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The camera’s got full HD capability and night vision, including a 130 degree field of view. Welcome has been designed with privacy in mind. It enables the home owner to customize the experience for each family member. All recordings are restored locally on the camera so you are the owner of the footage. The indoor camera is available for €199 here.

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