CES 2019 highlights: The innovations taking the Smart Home industry by storm
For over 50 years, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been one of the top events in the international technology sector calendar. From 8 to 11 January, over 4400 companies and start-ups convened in Las Vegas to present the next generation of smart solutions. Nestled among smart cars, virtual reality (VR), 5G and Smart City innovations were a number of pioneering new products designed for the Smart Home.
8K home cinema system with voice control and unique new features High-resolution TVs were one of the biggest trends at CES 2019. Samsung and Sony’s new 98-inch, 8K-compatible QLED televisions are setting new standards in home entertainment. For the first time, these huge screens will support Apple AirPlay.
Samsung has developed its own virtual assistant – named Bixby – to enable users to flick through the channels without a remote; its devices also support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
LG has also launched a new range of high-end devices for the living room of the future. In addition to its 8K-compatible OLED TV Z9 with a generous 88-inch screen, the luxury LG Signature OLED TV R model is one of our CES 2019 highlights: Its ultra-thin 65-inch screen automatically retracts into a speaker unit when not in use. The user can decide whether all or just a part of the screen is hidden away: If the screen is left partially exposed, the visible section can be used as a display to show the time, weather report or music playlists.
LG Homebrew: Capsule system for Brewery 4.0
Although its TVs were a major crowd-puller, it was LG’s latest “kitchen appliance” that really stole the show among the CES highlights. The Homebrew capsule system is designed to make it easy for anyone to brew their own beer at home. The single-use capsules containing malt, yeast and aroma hops oils produce delicious craft beer on draught at the touch of a button.
The five varieties already on offer – including American IPA and pale ale, English stout, Belgian wheat beer and Czech-style pils – represent just a small selection of what the system can do. An algorithm controls the temperature and pressure during the brewing process, creating the perfect conditions for brewing, fermenting and maturing beer at home.
Bend and fold: The first foldable smartphone by Royole
First, smartphones went frameless with edge-to-edge screens, and now they are going foldable: For years, the major smartphone manufacturers have been working on perfecting flexible, foldable displays. Samsung is spearheading this new technological development, having presented a prototype of its foldable Galaxy F phone last year.
However, the South Korean company did not unveil the final version of its product at CES 2019, and it was actually pipped to the post by a relatively unknown name: Californian start-up Royole has been quietly working on the FlexPai, which has now become the first smartphone with a foldable display to hit the market.
Space Monitor: Samsung cleans up the desk
Samsung surprised CES attendees with a minimalist monitor design for desk-based workers: The Space Monitor comes with an adjustable bracket so that it can be clamped onto the edge of the desk
with the straight and flat monitor resting up against the wall. The space-saving screen is one of three new monitors that Samsung presented at CES 2019. The other models, the CRG9 and the UR59C, are designed to satisfy the needs of gamers and designers.
From refrigerators to lawnmowers: CES innovations from Bosch
The Smart Home is also a core focus of the Bosch products showcased at the CES. The company’s exhibits included networked fridges with internal cameras to help users manage their food storage, shopping and meal planning.
The PAI projector uses a 3D sensor to transform any kitchen surface into a touch screen, enabling you to view recipes and other online content wherever you need it. In the Smart Garden, the Bosch Indego lawnmower robot uses machine learning technology to improve its recognition of obstructions and can now also communicate with Amazon Alexa.
KitchenAid Smart Display: The kitchen gadget with Google Assistant
The KitchenAid Smart Display is one of an increasing number of devices that can be operated via Google Assistant.
Using the water-resistant 10-inch display, users can watch Netflix, check the news and consult their schedule for the next day while they cook. And to really make itself useful in the kitchen, the KitchenAid is also compatible with the Yummly recipe service.
A clear trend: Voice-controlled virtual assistants take over the Smart Home
Many of the CES 2019 highlights have one thing in common: An increasing number of smart products can be controlled by voice, using virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
This seemingly unstoppable trend is taking over not only in household appliances like washing machines, refrigerators and robotic vacuum cleaners, but across entire room set-ups and even those parts of the home traditionally associated with relaxation and peace and quiet. Last year, bathrooms expert Kohler demonstrated the concept of a smart home spa with its Kohler Konnect collection. The range was given yet another intelligent upgrade for CES 2019, with the addition of the voice-controlled high-tech Numi 2.0 toilet.
As usual, this year’s CES in Las Vegas included a comprehensive programme of over 250 meetings, presentations and expert talks to place the innovative new products in context. Smart Home related topics were top of the agenda here too, covering everything from the new Smart Home platforms and applications to enhance comfort and convenience through to home building trends.
Whether they are designed for the kitchen, bathroom, home office or the living room, the CES highlights for 2019 all point in a clear direction: Our homes are getting smarter thanks to the combined power of connectivity and smart controls via phones, tablets and voice assistants.
Which CES highlights are you most impressed by? Tell us which innovative new products you plan to add to your Smart Home.