Last week over 180,000 people from around the world descended onto the Las Vegas Convention Center to see the latest ideas in consumer tech at CES — the Consumer Electronics Show. CES is a chance to see what both big and small players from the tech industry are cooking up for our future (the first VHS VCR debuted at CES back in 1975). Many guesses miss the mark, but among the 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space, there are some truly life-changing ideas.
Kohler Konnect Smart Bathroom Mirror
Fixture giant Kohler debuted its new Kohler Konnect line of smart products, aimed at integrating voice-control across your kitchen and bath. The big standout was Verdera, a voice-lit mirror with Amazon Alexa integration. Embedded with dual microphones and stereo speakers, Verdera can play music to soundtrack your getting-ready moments, and listen for Alexa-enabled skills from multiple users.
One member of the house could say "start my day" to set lights at 100 percent and tilt the mirror's wings inward for perfect makeup application, while the same words spoken by another voice could trigger the lights to move to 80 percent brightness and tune in a traffic and weather report. The smart mirror will be available in three sizes and configurations (24", 34", and 40"), and is set to debut this spring.
Filtrete Smart Air Filters
Filtrete unveiled the first-ever Bluetooth-enabled air filters. The attached Bluetooth pressure sensor connects to a new Filtrete Smart app to track and remind you when your air filter needs replacement according to your lifestyle (pets? smoker? non-smoker?). Maybe even more conveniently, the app also keeps track of sizes for all the filters around your home. If you think this tech will break the bank — not really; these Bluetooth-connected filters will only cost $5 more than a regular Filtrete filter when they hit stores this spring.
LG Wallpaper TV (W8) with Google Assistant
The new W8 Wallpaper TV by LG is so thin and light that it can stick to the wall with just magnets. Really — this set's thinness literally made it look like it was glued onto the wall surface at CES. The W8 Wallpaper TV also comes integrated with Google Assistant and a new ThinQ AI processor that automatically adjusts picture settings based on what's on the screen to offer the best possible viewing experience every time. No pricing or hard delivery dates yet, but this new technology will definitely change the "How do I hide my TV?" game, whenever it arrives.
Keecker Voice-Enabled Multimedia Robot
Claiming to be the first voice-enabled multimedia robot, Keecker is a small roving robot that must take cues from Star Wars' BB-8. Designed for families with kids, Keecker can roam to any room and bring its onboard stereo sound and projector to display video content onto walls and ceilings. (One use case even showed it projecting stars onto the ceiling for a child's bedtime.) Also packed into this robot's 15" x 15" form factor is a camera for video surveillance, and an integrated Android TV operating system, so you can access content from Google Play or Chromecast. Beginning from a successful Kickstarter back in 2015, Keecker is finally here and ready for purchase for $1,790.
Nokia Sleep Mattress Pad
Nokia showed its new focus in the health and wellness space at CES, debuting a new sleep monitoring pad that tucks under your bed for passive sleep analysis and home automation. The connected app is a gateway to your sleep data and sleep score (based on the amount of deep, light, and REM sleep you get). Oh, and it also has snore detection—if that's info you want to know about yourself. The app works like a sleep coach that gives you tips on what times you should sleep, and how to budget your time for optimal sleep that keeps you restored and performing your best. The internet-connected device can also be programmed to control your thermostat and lights in your home—when the monitor senses you getting out of bed, it can turn on the lights and queue up your favorite playlist.
Laundroid Automatic Laundry-Folding Robot
Laundroid hopes to make folding laundry a thing of the past. This image-sensing robot is dressed as a closet, and will fold, sort and organize your clothes so you never have to. Read how it works: Never Fold Again: This Wardrobe Will Fold Your Laundry For You
LG's CLOi Home Assistant
While most kitchen appliance manufacturers were adding voice integration to their existing products, LG stepped it up with a standalone mini home assistant named CLOi ("chloe"). From pre-heating your oven according to a chosen recipe, to setting your dishwasher to the appropriate setting after baking, CLOi is like Rosie from the Jetsons. Read about all she can do: This Real-Life Home Robot is like Rosie from the Jetsons