Think you're not into technology? Think again.
Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 is the biggest technology show in the world of its kind, where tech heads from everywhere come together to show off their new invention ideas, launch concepts and introduce prototypes to the marketplace.
More than just bigger TVs and remote-controlled vacuums, it’s a long time since the best in technology was reserved just for big business and our households are enjoying more opportunities to embrace automation – making our lives easier every year. In fact, having your very own version of Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons might be more than just a pipe dream…
Here are the gadgets that impressed us at CES2018 and got us excited for the future in home automation.
1. The ultimate smart fridge
The Whirlpool WRFA94CIHN smart fridge comes in the new “sunset bronze” colour that Whirlpool are rolling out across their entire range, which is a nice mix of stainless steel and gold. The fridge itself has a touch screen on the front above a measured water dispenser and a “door within door” compartment for quick access.
Whilst the touch screen doesn’t run to a web browser for your recipe data base or to play Spotify, instead it focuses on kitchen duties – cleaning itself, hosting a party, marinating meat or entering holiday mode to save power whilst you’re away.
You can set it to fast chill your drink in the freezer and sound an alarm to remind you to get it out – now who doesn’t need that?!
Inside the shelving is enormous and really flexible – fold away shelves allow for bottles to stand and pull out shelves can hold platters.
Due for release in the US in March, it will retail for USD4400.
2. The techie bathtub
This incredible bathtub looks the business as far as tech goes with its marble-covered finish and under-mounted LED lighting providing a hover effect over the floor. Available in late 2018, it will set you back $24,000 but may just be the interstellar experience you’re after and still cheaper than a trip to the moon.
3. Aeolus - the home robot of your dreams
It’s really here. A robot of your own. Aeolus can hold a broom, monitor your home security and scan to pick up items around your house. Still in prototype form it has a way to go before we have our own home robot but possibly closer to Rosie the Robot than we’ve ever been.
Watch here and get excited!
4. The world’s first modular TV
Whereas this year we’ve seen The Frame come into our homes and disguise our TV addiction as art, Samsung has gone full tilt with The Wall, using cinema screen technology to create a “MicroLED” display that is indeed a wall – a 146 inch television that is modular, so you can add to or take away from it – in case you needed it to be bigger. Billions of individual LEDs powering the display, rather than the usual LCD or back-lit screen.
If you're considering it, no price has been announced by Samsung at this stage but, measuring at over 3m wide and 1.8m tall, you’ll need a pretty big house to get the full effect. Have a look at the size here:
The Sony LSPX-A1 ultra-sort-throw projector sits beautifully in your living room when not in use and could be mistaken for a sideboard with its sleek design and faux marble top. What it hides inside however, it a powerful projector with integrated glass speakers, a sub woofer and 3 mid-range speakers. At around $25,500, you might opt for a sideboard afterall.
6. A TV that rolls up
Really. LG have produced a 65inch OLED TV display that rolls into a tube of approximately 100mm diameter. So when not in use it can essentially be stored away into a box. You can also partially unroll it to display either wide aspect ratio viewing without the black bars or simply a row of apps you might use for your household, without having the whole TV screen up and turned on. It’s a prototype only now but exciting in terms of the possibilities to hide your TV into furniture or make it portable from room to room. You know when the kids kick you out of the “good TV” room? Soon you’ll be able to take the TV with you!
8. The ultimate smart toilet
Kohler is bringing technology into the bathroom and beyond voice command showers, “perfect filling” bathtubs and vanity mirrors with touch control lighting and sensors to trigger night lights, the Numi intelligent toilet might just be smarter than you. From an app on your phone, you can flush, bidet wash, air dry and warm… your feet. Then there’s odor control, music, a night light and seat warming - it almost doesn’t need you to be in the room to get things done.
9. Home scent machine
Forget candles - the Moodo scent machine is, you guessed it, voice automated and will dispense fragrance around your home with a pod system of four “scent families” to evoke a beach, rainforest or shuffle between all four. The unit is will retail from AUD189, and last for 60 hours if used continually. Replacement pods are around AUD40 for a pack of 12.
10. Robot dog
Sony’s Aibo ERS-1000 2018 robotic dog is back and it may not even challenge the notion that pets are good for your mental health – it’s adorable form belies the vast intelligence beneath the surface, perhaps like our furry friends in the real. First released in 1999, the AIBO has achieved iconic status for Sony and continues to move with the tech times. This year it’s been updated with enhanced artificial intelligence allowing it to recognise family members and operate from touch sensors – so you can pat it and get a lovely response and it will actually build a stronger connection to those who interact with it more often – like a real pet. For a two hour stretch at a time it will sit, fetch, shake hands and play, then locate it’s charging pad for a 3 hour lie down and reboot – kind of like a real puppy! Only for release in Japan currently unfortunately but, at a cost of around $2300 Aibo actually compares favourably to some breeds of pooch. It has the cutest bark too!