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What were the top new smart home innovations introduced at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada? Well, if you’re interested in learning about the latest and greatest developments in smart home technology, just keep on reading. I’ll split the article into 5 different sections to make things easier to navigate. If there’s one particular area that most interests you, you can simply jump straight to that section.

 

Connecting Smart Devices to Your Wi-Fi Network

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One of the most exciting developments to come out of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is that of Mesh Networking. A mesh network is pretty much exactly what it sounds like—a wireless communications system whereby each connection point (or node) works to relay data for the entire network. Since all connection points cooperate to move data across the network, there are more pathways available for the data to travel across. This not only adds strength and reliability to the network, but it also enhances security (as individual node failures are more easily overcome). This, of course, is just a rudimentary explanation of what a mesh network comprises, but I’m sure you can think of many ways in which such technology could enhance your own smart home.
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If you’d like a little help thinking of an example, read Ted Kritsonis’ announcement on Mesh Wi-Fi home networking to break through in 2017, which does an excellent job of explaining not only what mesh networking is, but also how it will ultimately benefit you. As for what companies are getting involved in the mesh networking revolution, Linksys Velop has already landed, and others (including TP-Link, D-Link and Netgear) have their own offerings coming out. If you’re not already familiar with TP-Link, you can learn all about their smart light bulbs in the linked review and begin to imagine ways in which mesh networking will enhance their value within your own smart home setup. For instance, maybe there’s a room (or rooms) in your home where Wi-Fi connected devices currently do not work very well due to poor signal strength. Well, with mesh networking, this problem will soon become a thing of the past!

Controlling Your Smart Home

Are you excited by the notion of controlling the gadgets and devices in your home by voice or gesture command? If so, you’re bound to enjoy smart home innovations like Google Home, which allows you to turn on lights or change the volume of your music simply by giving a verbal command. If you’re familiar with Google Assistant (say, on your Android based smart phone), then you already know what it’s like to say “Ok Google” and follow that up with a question about the weather, a mathematical calculation, or the current hockey scores. Well, Google Home seeks to combine this type of technology with the convenience of a home Wi-Fi hub that’s connected to all of your other smart devices—for total control of your castle!

If you want to learn more about Google Home, take a look at Brad Moon’s recent CES 2017 announcement entitled Google Home: What is it and when will it be available to learn all about some of the exciting possibilities that this amazing technology is bringing us. And while you’re at it, daydream about the ways in which smart home innovations such as gesture based control (allowing you to use anything, even your favourite pen, as a remote control for your smart home) and the JIBO Robotic Assistant (a social robot that reminds you of appointments, delivers messages, tells stories, keeps you organized, and a whole lot more) will contribute to making our lives infinitely better both now and in the future.

Energy Savings

If you’re as energy conscious as most Canadians are, you’re probably only too keen to hear about new renewable energy solutions. Thankfully, then, there’s CES 2017 to bring us information about new smart home innovations from such companies as Daisy Energy, the company that has now revolutionized solar panels to include built-in energy storage.In some places you may be able to sell your excess energy to “the grid” (for a little extra cash) or replace grid energy with the electricity provide by solar panels to reduce your monthly hydro bill. How’s that for innovation?

Other developments in smart home energy savings include energy tracking devices like smart plugs that monitor how much power you’re using and help you to better control your energy costs. To keep an eye on smart home innovations in the plugs and switches realm, keep an eye on Best Buy’s hub page for these products. And, also take note that each year there are new government rebates announced that benefit users of smart appliances & other cost/energy saving devices, so be sure to keep an eye out for information on these programs throughout the year and try to take advantage of them whenever possible. You just never know how much money you might save! We’ll try to keep you up on all of these developments here on the blog. Let us know in the comment section of the blog if you hear of any new government subsidies that get announced.

Home Security Advancements

If home security is your priority, you’ve now got more camera options available than even before! All of the big names were in play this year, and of particular interest is the new Arlo Baby Smart HD Monitoring Camera. This new piece of technology combines the properties of a baby monitor with several other useful items, from a music player to a room quality (i.e., temperature) sensor. You can learn all about it in Matt Paligaru’s announcement article here: Arlo debuts a smart Baby Monitor at CES 2017. For more Arlo goodies that are currently available at Best Buy, click HERE. And for Ring products, try HERE.

everykeyAlso of interest for those with a passion for security are Bitdefender (a single product for complete protection from hacking for Windows, Mac, and Android based operating systems) and Everykey (a tiny Bluetooth device that conveniently replaces all of your keys & passwords—it’s Wi-Fi security anywhere & everywhere, even on public servers). Now you’ll be protected from external hacking threats to your smart devices, your smart TV, your router, and more. With smart home innovations like these in both home & device security, 2017 is sure to be a very safe year!

Future Smart Home Innovations?

What might the future of smart home innovations bring? Well, how about Wi-Fi tracking to protect you from burglars? It seems that there’s already a new home security system being developed that will detect intruders in your home via changes to your Wi-Fi signal. How cool is that?

In another space-saving innovation, a multi-function table serves both as a typical table and as a stove, begging the question of what’s next?

hair-brushThere was even a smart hairbrush by Withings that can help you achieve good hair health. I wonder if there’s an equally smart toothbrush on the way? Oh my, a quick check reveals that yes, indeed there is! A smart (artificial intelligence) toothbrush is also coming out.

With so much amazing, exciting, and sometimes even crazy stuff coming our way in 2017, it seems like it’s just a matter of time before we’re enjoying flying cars, tours of the moon, and maybe even “beam me up Scotty!”

So there you have it, the biggest and best of CES 2017 for your smart home. If you’d like to stay on top of these, and many other amazing smart home products, you know where to click. Until next time, have an excellent day!