Wednesday 18 January 2017

CES 2016 – Your home is about to get much smarter

Emma Clark

Published 05/01/2016 | 09:45

CES 2016
CES 2016

The connected home is one of the big things at CES this year with a number of companies showing off smart and connected products and appliances.

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CES 2016 is underway and smart home technology is one of the hot topics this year.

One of the more intriguing products on display was Parrot’s self-watering pot for houseplants, which should help those who aren’t known for having green fingers. The pot holds 2.2 litres of water and automatically waters your plant when it detects that the soil is too dry. There’s no guesswork required.

There’s a companion app with a database of around 8,000 plants, so the pot knows exactly what your plant requires. The pot also includes an acidity sensor, a temperature sensor, and a light sensor to make it even harder for you to kill your plant accidentally. Parrot’s Pot will start shipping in April and retails for $100.

Apple’s HomeKit is attempting to connect your house and a number of products were shown off for the system. Hunter Fan Company introduced two smart fans, Symphony and Signal, that feature built-in WiFi. They can be controlled using Apple Watch or Siri, and can be set to turn on automatically when you get home. That means there’ll be no more messing around with remotes or finicky pull strings.

For the environmentalist, or cost-cutter, Hydrao demonstrated a connected shower head that can alert you when you’re using too much water. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to lose track of time and enjoy a long hot shower.

Smarter, meanwhile, was focused on the kitchen with its trio of HomeKit systems. It announced the SmarterMat, which you can leave in the cupboard or fridge and have it tell you how much of something you have left; the Smarter Fridge Cam, which lets you see what you have in your fridge when you’re out shopping without a list; and the Smarter Detect, which keeps an ear out for the telltale sounds of a ready meal by learning the sounds that your oven, microwave, and kitchen timer make.

Our homes are becoming more connected. Soon, any home product or accessory will be smart, letting you control them from afar or learning patterns and habits for themselves.

Stay tuned for more news from CES 2016 this week.

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