News & views

CES launches that have helped the smart home move in for good

Date Posted: 16 October, 2018
CES launches that have helped the smart home move in for good

Christmas isn’t the only ‘c word’ on the tips of people’s tongues this time of year. For anyone with even a passing interest in tech, CES is the major event at the turn of the calendar year, with the promise of more goodies than Christmas could ever possibly deliver.

To celebrate the fact that our flights out to Vegas are getting closer every day, we’re going to be looking at three different areas of tech from the show where we’ve seen some of the most exciting and downright baffling products.

So first up, we’re going to be diving into the smart home. From washers to security cameras, CES has seen it all. Below, we’ve outlined a few key CES smart home themes and some of our favourite launches that have caught our eye in recent years.

Smart security is on the rise

Using smart tech to improve the security of your home has quickly become one of its most popular features. Research we carried out recently for our client Swann, highlighted how smart security was the third most popular purchase for smart home users, only behind smart lighting and smart thermostats.

Now, CES has never been shy of a smart security camera or two. 2018’s Somfy Outdoor Camera was one of the main launches using AI to identify people as they approached your house, whereas the AR3 by Amaryllo the year before was capable of identifying up to 100 people at the same time. And could even talk.

The main trend in the smart security world recently however is the race to a full smart security ecosystem for the home. Motion-activated switches, such as the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and the August Access smart lock, showed us in January 2018 how much closer we were getting to this as a reality. A trend we’re sure will be more fully realised at CES 2019. 

See also:

Making your life more convenient one product at a time

This is really the bread and butter of the smart home and the main reason most people want to get involved. A no-hands service that can answer any question and carry out any demand. Who can say no?

As always, CES smart home launches have led the way in making your day-to-day a bit easier. 2018 really saw the dominance of Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, as the two giants went head to head. As key launches, such as the JBL Link View and the Homey smart home hub highlighted, there was a lot of crossover between the two systems. Almost a year later, not a whole lot has changed, and the debate on which is better doesn’t seem likely to end anytime soon.

Elsewhere, CES has hosted launches that seem more of a hindrance than convenience, such as the FoldiMate laundry-folding aid or the Kohler Numi smart toilet, as well as  products that feel genuinely revolutionary. The Samsung Family Hub fridge is an example of a smart home product from CES that genuinely offered something incredibly useful for our daily lives.

The problem with a lot of these products highlighted at CES 2018 is the rate at which the technology develops, which ends up rendering expensive systems, such as fridges or ovens, out of date. Producing smart products that are modular, as argued by TechRadar, is one trend we may end up seeing at CES 2019.

Smart home entertainment is seriously entertaining 

If you can’t have a bit of fun with your tech, then what’s really the point? The smart home, and smart tech in general, is never dull, and CES smart home launches have often raised smiles on the faces of consumers and journalists alike.

The recent rise of the robots (not terrifying at all, promise) at CES has particularly caught our eyes in recent years. The Aeolus Robot butler, which recognises thousands of items and stick them back where they belong, is admittedly designed primarily to make your life more convenient. We tend to think that watching a robot wheel around the house would be more fun than in use however, so it’s staying here. Sony’s Aibo, which although not strictly smart home, also stole the show last year, capable of adjusting its behaviour and respond to commands depending who’s talking to it.

Finally, CES has hosted some recent innovations in the most entertaining feature of anyone’s home: the TV. Samsung famously showed off its ridiculous 146” TV The Wall last year, which featured its own Bixby support. Elsewhere, Philips drew some attention with its 7703 Series TV. Designed for use in the kitchen, its Google Assistant and built-in mic mean that the days of dinner getting in the way of Killing Eve are long gone.


If you’re at CES and want to meet up, or if you need a hand preparing for the show, let us know!

Get in contact with us here – we’d love to set something up.


This is part of our series of content looking at CES and its innovations over the years. Check out our second article on all things gaming here, our video with The Tech Chap on influencers at CES here, and keep your eyes peeled for our final instalment later this month!