CES 2016

With another year of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) completed, Inspired Dwellings have put together a selection of what caught our eye.  All types of technological devices were displayed such as those highlighting the up and coming virtual reality phenomenon; Sony has introduced a new virtual reality headset called PlayStation VR where two sets of images are produced, one for the gamer wearing the headset, and one for those watching.

Further, many wearables have been launched including the return of Quell by NeuroMetrix, which utilises wearable intensive nerve stimulation technology to enable drug-free pain relief.  It has now expanded to feature sleep monitoring capabilities.  Lastly, even the first passenger drone was debuted where the passenger would only have two commands ‘take off’ and ‘land’. 

Whilst this was all very intriguing, we will focus on smart home products that could be relevant to our customers in the future.

A more Connected Home.

1. Samsung

Samsung launched its newest fridge, consisting of a 21.5 inch high definition touchscreen.  Temperature, humidity and operation will be able to be monitored as a result, and there will be a camera to enable the user to see what food is inside the fridge.  It will be linked to SmartThings to allow control of other aspects of your home, including playing music and YouTube videos, displaying weather, photos and notes, and showing calendar entries.

This is done with the new SmartThings Extend Adapter, which plugs into the back of your TV to act as a hub for your connected home, enabling control of 200 plus compatible devices. Lights, locks and the thermostat can be adjusted from the TV.

2. Caseta

Lutron’s Caseta Wireless smart home system solution consists of wireless dimmers and switches which have the ability to transform your home into a connected one.  Caseta’s compatibility with Apple’s HomeKit enables you to speak to Siri which in turns communicates with your lighting system.  Now, Lutron’s Serena battery-powered shades can also be controlled with Apple’s HomeKit.  For simple control of the Lutron connected devices in your home when you want to go to sleep, all you need to do is ask Siri – via your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch – to turn off the lights and close the blinds.

3. Sengled

Creating a connected home has become as simple as screwing a light bulb in.  This year at CES, Sengled launched a new bulb; Voice LED bulb.  Smart home functions can be controlled by simply talking to the bulb.  Ask it to dim the lights, play music through its built-in speakers, or even stream a lullaby after it alerts you that your baby is crying.  All light sockets will be used for voice control, enabling them to ‘speak’ to one another and connect your home.

Audio-Visuals.

1. Bendy television screens

Although only in the prototype stage, LG launched its bendy roll-up OLED screen. The move from LED TVs to OLED TVs sees the removal of the need for a back panel that gives light to the screen, enabling it to bend (however not fold flat).  Whilst being rolled up, it can still display full HD and offers resolution of 1,200 by 810 pixels. 

Benefits of a bendy screen include saving room space as a television will no longer need to take up the entire corner of a room permanently as it can be rolled away when not in use.  Additionally, as the television can be moved from one room to another easily, there may not be as big a need to purchase multiple televisions for the same property.

2. HDR with Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic TVs

These TV’s now support high dynamic range video playback, also known as Ultra HD Premium.  However, a 4K TV will have to meet certain criteria before it can be labelled Ultra HD Premium.

HDR-enabled screens allow viewers to experience more colours and shades of brightness in between black and white than your regular displays.  Samsung uses LCDS (liquid crystal displays) with quantum dots – particles emitting a different colour of light depending on its size – to create an image.  LG uses OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens which does not need a backlight, but an electrical current to produce light.  LCDs cannot go as dark but can go brighter.

3. Streaming

A main focus at CES was how the TV industry has been revolutionised by Netflix, indicating the importance of streaming and how it is the future of TV.  Netflix is also now available in almost every country.  Have a look at our Streaming & the Future of TV blog for more information.

4. Speakers

Samsung has launched a new soundbar where audio comes out of forward and upward speakers to eradicate the need for ceiling speakers, whilst Sony has introduced a new set of speakers which light up in time to the type of music you are playing. 

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