Live from CES: Our favorite innovations for the smart connected home

It’s that time again!  The Consumer Electronics Show is happening right now in Las Vegas, bringing together innovators, entrepreneurs, and techies from across the globe to showcase the latest and greatest in consumer electronics.  This is the show that gives the industry and the world a sneak peek into some of the cool technology that’s up and coming — some of it destined to become ubiquitous, some of it good for some entertainment, but all of it on the leading edge.

Zen Ecosystems has reps on the ground checking out the future of the smart devices space and keeping a finger on the pulse of the IoT landscape.  There’s a lot more to see and experience at CES than can possibly be taken in – and that’s why we’re boiling it down for you and sharing our 4 smart devices (besides home thermostats, of course!) that we’d like to integrate into our smart homes!

  1. Water Leak Detection. Just when you thought the smart home couldn’t get any smarter, here it is – a way to determine whether your home (or business!) plumbing is in tip-top shape.  For many out there in aging homes with aging plumbing, plumbing leaks are difficult to identify until they become a massive, damp and costly problem to deal with.  In the past few years, we have seen security systems, lighting controls, smoke detectors and thermostats take all the glory when it comes to better managing the home, while the water system has been largely ignored.   Enter companies like Conservation Labs, which offers the ‘H2know’ device:  after syncing it with your home Wi-Fi and attaching it to your main water line, you’re able to gain valuable insights about consumption, major water uses, and yes – whether there is a possible leak.
  2. Phone finder from Xfinity. We’ve all been there:  you’re running late, just trying to get out the door and – WAIT!  WHERE IS MY PHONE?  Xfinity Mobile subscribers won’t have this crisis again.  They will be able to use the X1 voice remote to just say “Xfinity Mobile, find my phone” into the X1 voice remote, and the phone will ring wherever it is in the house.    That’s about as quick and easy as it gets when you’re trying to get out of the house!
  3. Automated pet doors. The folks at PetWalk bring what is certainly a unique and helpful idea:  remote-controlled pet doors that sense when your pet is nearby and let them in or out!  We love the idea of letting Fluffy or Spot roam when they want to, thereby eliminating the fear of in-house accidents while you’re at work.  Operating using a simple RFID tag that attaches to your pet’s collar, PetWalk allows you to set schedules that pets can go outdoors, and even incorporates a rain sensor to prevent your pet from bringing mud into the house.   And it even has interchangeable colors!  We like it.
  4. Multi-tasking home smart devices. If you still haven’t taken the leap into smart home automation, it might be Anyware that convinces you to do it in 2018.  Their solution is smart, compact, connects to your existing Wi-Fi without the addition of a gateway hub, and packs a ton of functionality into an incredibly tiny device.  The Anyware Smart Adaptor is screwed right in between your lightbulb and the socket, making it disappear completely into any light fixture, but giving it the power to turn your light on and off.  Once installed and connected, integrated humidity, sound, and temperature sensors are the stars – these little sensors are the stars, working with the lighting controls and independently to you give you home security, climate notifications and energy savings.  If you’re already using home automation devices that are connected to a hub, chances are you already have much of this same functionality and won’t want to add an extra app.  But if you’re new to the home automation craze, this could find its way into your home this year!

There are so many more smart devices represented at CES that we are excited to try.  What did we miss that you can’t wait to add to your smart home?

Adam Paul