The world has spoken, we demand our ovens, locks, garage doors, and small appliances be connected to the Internet at all times. And here’s a look at the slew of companies hoping to make that happen and demoing their ideas at the huge 2014 International CES tech trade show in Las Vegas this week.
Dacor’s smart ovens
Maker of high-end appliances, Dacor is at CES showing off its new connected double decker Discovery iQ oven, which features an Android tablet built into the interface. The company told me everything can be controlled from the tablet itself, but there is also a new app for both Android and iOS that will let you control things from afar. Basically, the goal is for you to be able to check progress on a dish you’re cooking without actually having to “slave” over it. (At the very least, you’ll be able to stay more focused on the ball game without having to sacrifice the quality of your meal.)
Belkin’s WeMo / connected lights & appliances
Prior to attending CES, I really couldn’t imagine a situation where I’d need my crock pot to stay connected to my smartphone. Then again, I’ve overcooked many a meal because I left the house and didn’t return in time to lower the temperature — (thus turning my pulled barbecue pork into a soupy mess). Enter Belkin’s WeMo tech, which is what’s powering the new Crock-Pot Slow Cooker. In addition to being able to toggle the cooker on and off, I can also adjust the temperature and get text reminders for when I should check on my meal. The cooker — along with Belkin’s WeMo smart lights and WeMo connected gadget kit — can be controlled from your smartphone.
If you’ve got a large family and lots of upkeep, Okidokeys‘ new smart locks are definitely worth checking out. The product is actually more than just a smart lock, making its keys smart as well. Yes, you can control locking and unlocking your doors from your smartphone, but the interesting thing about these locks is that they also allow you to give other people temporary keys to your place. (Need to give the cleaning lady access to your house once a week? Done.)
Lowe’s Iris home automation
While Lowe’s home automation system Iris has been available in test markets over the last year, the company is making a new push at CES. And Iris is offering you the ability to add water sensors to the piping in your house — useful for making sure a pipe doesn’t burst and flood your home. The company is also debuting a line of products from manufacturing partners such as First Alert, Honeywell, Schlage, and Whirlpool.
Allure Energy – smart thermostats
Smart thermostats are growing in popularity thanks to Nest, but Nest isn’t the only game in town. Allure Energy‘s Eversense thermostat helps you keep track of and control your temperature from afar. At CES, the Austin, Texas-based startup is debuting a new NFC/iBeacon device called Aura that allows you to better control the temperature within a single room. VP of business development Jim Mills told me that the Aura panels have a battery life of about two years.
Alarm.com’s Wellness solution
Primarily focused on home security, Alarm.com is debuting a new Wellness service that will help people keep track of elderly loved ones who might need some extra care. The company’s technology already collects data about the activities within the home, and now it’s able to track that behavior and notify you or a caregiver if there are any unusual changes. “My parents are not quite ‘help I’ve fallen and can’t get up’ alerts, but our new wellness solution is a good in between,” Alarm.com’s Matt Zartman told VentureBeat. Alarm.com’s Wellness service also gives you the ability to lock doors, turn off appliances, etc. from afar.