Judging by what we witnessed—and awarded—at CES this year, there's some incredible tech coming in 2019. From flying taxis to room-sized TV screens to robotic puppies, there's a lot to be excited about. But how many of these products will you really find in your home in 2019?
Though everyone wants that robotic dog, these are the smart home products I can actually imagine using in real life (mostly). Not only will these assimilate well in an existing smart home—they'll do nicely even if you keep your abode a low-tech space.
1. Caseta by Lutron Fan Speed Control
Having to drag yourself out of your cozy bed in the middle of the night to turn down the ceiling fan is super unpleasant. Lucky for us, Caseta by Lutron (makers of our favorite in-wall smart dimmer) will be releasing a smart fan switch called Fan Speed Control. Even if your fan operates on a pull chain, the Fan Speed Control can switch your fan’s speed between four different settings—with one speed designated as a favorite.
Fan Speed Control should go on sale in March, and it’s expected to retail for about $80.
2. Eve Power Strip
Smart outlets are a quick and relatively painless way to give your home a smart upgrade without investing in any new appliances. While the market is largely dominated by Alexa- and Google Assistant-controlled products, we saw a surge (ha!) in Apple HomeKit compatibility this year.
One of our favorite new HomeKit devices was the Eve Power Strip. Like all smart outlets and power strips, the Eve can be controlled from a mobile device and scheduled to power on and off according to your home’s energy needs. What makes the Eve stand apart is its combination of Apple HomeKit compatibility (which means that you can power devices on and off with Siri). The three outlets can also be controlled individually or as a group, and it includes in-app energy consumption/cost analytics, too.
We didn’t get to see the Eve Power Strip in person at the show, but it has been making waves for a few months and we're excited to test it out soon.
3. Archibald Connected Garden
Last summer, my Midwestern garden gave us rows upon rows of green bean plants. They looked great, but they ended up being all stem/vine—we got about three actual beans out of the deal. Maybe it was poor soil pH, maybe it was the drought… I have no idea. If you are like me and gardening mostly means just hoping for the best, it can be a frustrating endeavor.
Luckily, smart gardening tech like the Archibald Connected Garden is here to help you. Archibald combines an air/soil sensor, an app, and augmented reality to advise you on which plants will thrive in your soil, when your plants need attention, and how to keep them healthy. It’s expected to be available for public purchase later this year for under $100, so you'll have plenty of green left over.
4. Ring Door View Cam
Depending on your personality, an unexpected knock at the door might make you feel joy or panic. But you never need to feel uncertain when you have a video doorbell.
We loved Ring’s doorbells already, but their new product, the Door View Cam, makes it possible for even renters to “install” a video doorbell since it doesn’t require any modification to the dwelling. Just unscrew the glass from your door’s peephole and install the Door View Cam over the hole. Now just about anyone can have the confidence of knowing who’s on the other side of the door before they open it.
5. Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell
Netatmo’s Smart Video Doorbell turned some heads this year at CES, but do we really need another smart doorbell? Uh, yes. The Netatmo is one of the very first HomeKit compatible smart video doorbells. That’s a big deal for people with lots of Apple devices who want to stick to the company's own smart ecosystem.
The Smart Video Doorbell also has full 1080p resolution, no subscription fees, and can store videos to a memory card. That’s a great value for those of us who don’t want to get roped into the cloud storage fees or subscriptions other doorbell cameras often require. You can scroll through a timeline of events the Smart Video Doorbell captured and simply tap on the thumbnail of any clip you want to see. The app also has a people detection feature, calling your phone so you can decide if you want to chat with them right then and there.
6. Toto Neorest NX2 toilet
We installed a bidet on our home toilet last year and it was life changing. How we went so many years “cleaning” human waste with nothing more than paper baffles me. Thanks to my new-found passion for the bidet, I was rendered speechless when I came across Toto’s Neorest NX2 smart toilet on the CES show floor.
It’s a completely ADA-compliant toilet. The lid lifts and lowers on its own, it has a heated seat (and you can customize the temperature, because why not), it has multiple spray modes, and it has an instant water heating system so you’ll never have to wait for the water to warm up. But the pièce de résistance? It has a built-in warm air dryer that makes toilet paper unnecessary. Oh, and it deodorizes as well.
All these bells and whistles will of course set you back some serious cash—$13,000 to be exact. But hey, your kids don’t really need a college fund, do they?
7. Arlo Ultra
Security footage is only as good as its video quality. If your camera can’t give you a clear picture—day or night—it won’t do you much good when you need to identify a face or make out a license plate number.
We loved Arlo’s previous outdoor security camera, but the Arlo Ultra has even more going for it—namely, 4K Ultra HD resolution and color night vision. The Ultra also packs a spotlight, dual microphones, and a magnetic mount that makes for hassle-free battery changes. The Arlo Ultra will be available for purchase at Best Buy and Amazon soon, priced at $399 for one Arlo Ultra plus the accompanying SmartHub.
8. Yale Assure Lever Lock
There are already some really great smart locks on the market that can automatically lock your doors that have deadbolts, but what about that side door that only has a lock on the knob? The Yale Assure Lever Lock has those single-hole doors covered.
The Lever Lock can be used alone as a beautiful touch screen keypad lock (there is also a model with physical buttons), or with the addition of a Yale Smart Module, it can function as a smart lock. Its smart lock capabilities allow for integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit. The Assure Lever Lock is an elegant way to make sure all the doors on your property are secure.
9. Google Assistant Coming to Sonos
An overarching theme we’re seeing in smart home right now is the ability to choose what voice assistant you’d like to interact with on your smart home products. One of my very favorite smart speakers, Sonos One, was demonstrating its new-for-2019 Google Assistant integration on the CES show floor.
Previously, my biggest complaint about Sonos speakers was their lack of ability to play nice with Google Play, and this new integration will make it possible for those who listen to music through Google Play to do so natively on Sonos speakers. They did not announce exactly when the update will take place, but the fact that they were demonstrating the integration and it was functioning smoothly is a good sign.
10. Lenovo Smart Tab P10
With the Echo Spot and the Echo Show, Amazon proved that Alexa can be even more useful with a screen involved. Lenovo’s P10 Smart Tab follows in those footsteps with what is essentially an Android tablet that docks into a Bluetooth speaker and runs a “Show Mode” app—mimicking the Echo Show's functionality.
When docked, you’ve basically got a big Echo Show (without some of Amazon’s video calling features—for now), but you can undock it and use it as a regular Android tablet or Bluetooth speaker whenever you want.