ces-logo.pngCES carries on, and I’m sure you’ve seen some of the great things to come out of it so far.  Everything from belts that automatically loosen to the next step in intelligent appliances.  There have been some great things in the growth of Smart Home too.  I already spoke about some of the first steps Apple’s HomeKit is taking, and what else NEST was up to. Let’s round out some of the other great innovations CES has brought to us from trusted product lines that you know and have already seen at Best Buy.


Parrot can be your green thumb

ParrotH2O.jpgA couple of years ago, Parrot paused from their crazy assortment of drones and headphones and released the Flower Power.  It went over well with gardening fanatics, and I can’t link it here any longer because they’re long gone.  Parrot’s back this year with the H2O flower sensor, which has a lot of similarities to the Flower Power (including the fact that it’s still bluetooth communication,) however, it comes with one more important factor – A spout at the top which you can pop a water bottle into that will allow the device to water the plant for you.  All those years of my non-gardening are finally paying off!  Parrot also announced a self-watering pot where your plant sits above a watering reservoir that releases whenever necessary.  Look for these devices in the near future, though it’s not yet known when.


Kevo goes worldwide


KevoPlus.jpgThe Weiser Kevo is one of my smarthome devices closest to my heart. It was extremely easy to install, they have amazing customer service and the bluetooth activated touch has got me out of a jam a few times when my arms were too full to unlock a deadbolt by hand. Weiser’s American arm Kwikset announced the Kevo Plus. The Kevo Plus plugs into your router and allows you to lock and unlock your Kevo from anywhere in the world via the app. The widget itself looks like it can fit in the palm of your hand, though it’s a bit bigger than just pocket sized. It’s not known how much the hardware itself will cost, but it requires a monthly service fee, and you’ll receive the device free if you purchase a year of service up front when it does come out later this year.


D-Link channels the Smart Home


DLinkHomeHub.jpgBack in the day, D-Link made one of the best routers I’d ever had at home until I accidentally dropped and shattered it. They’re now getting involved in the Smart Home market, and coming out with a hub-based setup similar to Insteon.  The D-Link Connected Home Hub will serve as a gateway for some of their introductory products, like a leak sensor, an alarm and various motion sensing devices. These are all things that are already out in a crowded Smart Home market, however, so D-Link will have to hope their name, or ease of use and integration can carry them into Smart Home safely. Otherwise, it’ll be hard for anybody with these devices in their home already to make the leap.


Chamberlain will watch the door for you


ChamberlainNotifi.jpgThe Chamberlain MyQ was the first Smart Home gadget I ever installed.  So amazing is it that the sensor unit fell off my makeshift mounting (silly me didn’t use the included hardware) and I ran it over by accident.  It sat under my wheel for a painstaking hour while my baby took a nap in the backseat and when I finally freed it from under my SUV, it worked perfectly, chime and all. So needless to say, I’m excited about the Chamberlain Notifi, a new LED bulb led front door security system. Featuring a doorbell, security camera and LED light, this system communicates with your WiFi and doesn’t require you to have to tap into your home’s wiring at all. Like Dropcam, you can expect some sort of paid recording service options as well when Notifi comes out later this year.


Samsung aims to enter the Smart Home market


SmartThings-Samsung.pngLast year’s Samsung acquisition of SmartThings was (pardon the choice of words,) a smart thing for them to do. By purchasing an established brand, Samsung was able to jump into the market head first without having to start from scratch.  While the parent company’s long term vision of Smart Home in general is still a bit murky but curious in the sense that I’ve heard that they want everything to be “smart” somehow as part of their Internet of Things program, SmartThings powers on with a new hub and updated versions of many of their existing sensors. It might sound a tad blasé to smart home fans, but there’s a lot to consider in this upgrade.  Here’s an interesting thing about the new hub for starters – It comes with a battery backup so things will keep functioning in the event of a power outage. I didn’t think much of that until I realized that a lot of Canada suffers winter storms and power outages a lot worse than I do, so that’s definitely something for you folks to keep in mind on the other side of the Rockies-East. SmartThings will also be offering Home Monitoring services that allow you to set up a network of contacts for both self-notification, and even remote notification in the event of certain emergencies (ie. calling your plumber in the event of a leak.)  Lastly, their hub will partner with Samsung’s smart electronics, and they too will begin to build their network of affiliates, with Honeywell and their smart thermostats being one of them.


Of course, this doesn’t touch upon Samsung’s major appliance announcements.  For that, Shelly already has you covered.  Click here to visit her blog on the announcements.


It’s been a pretty action packed CES, and it looks like you can look forward to a year jam packed with goodies.  Look forward to a busy 2015 where you can add these, and many more juicy gadgets to your home.  In the meantime, please feel free to check out the great selection of Smart Home devices already for sale at Best Buy and online at BestBuy.ca.  Check back with me here again too in a couple weeks when I discuss the beginning of a Smart Home makeover for 2015.

Matt Paligaru
Emerging Technology
A technology nut at heart, I'm always interested in what makes our lives easier and helps us tick day to day. Whether Home Automation, toys, games (board and video) or everything in between, I'm always looking around the corner to see what drives us in today's day and age.


  1. Ouch on the garage door opener! I still have mine and it’s never (cross fingers) fallen off. I use it daily, so I can’t imagine life without it.


    I’m loving the Wi-Fi door camera.

  2. I think the Parrot flower power Part 2 will be a huge hit! Never forget to water your plants again. Never overwater again. I can’t wait to test it out.

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