It may have been a smaller CES this year due to the ongoing and evolving coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t stop developers from going big on innovation. The annual affair is a smorgasbord of high-tech gadgetry—some conceptual, some on their way to market—and 2022 was no different.
And as happens each year at the convention, smart-home products take center stage, giving us a glimpse of what the home of the future may look like. Here are the in-home, intelligent devices that caught our eye.
Kohler PerfectFill Bathtubs
Once merely a CES concept, Kohler is finally ready to roll out it’s PerfectFill bathtubs. As you might have guessed these are tubs built to alleviate the worst part of the bathing experience—waiting for the basin to fill at the appropriate temperature.
PerfectFill technology allows users to dictate—yes, you can speak the command to your tub—your ideal temperature and depth, and the Kohler bath will begin filling, alerting you when the ideal settings have been achieved.
For owners who feel awkward talking to appliances, the same features, and additional monitoring, will be available via the Kohler app.
Getting out of bed on a cold morning may be more acceptable if you knew you could slip right into a warm bath.
Toucan Video Conference System HD
As the ongoing pandemic has made work from home the new norm, video conferencing has grown in importance, and for workers who are looking—finally—for a decent setup, Toucan is coming to the rescue.
The Toucan Video Conference System HD is a desktop smart speaker with removable 1080P camera attachment that allows users to present themselves in professional quality video and audio, wherever they may have set up to work in the home that day.
The Toucan System features four built-in echo-canceling microphones and a camera with an 89-degree field of view, allowing for multiple, socially distanced, parties to be captured on screen.
Toucan makes connecting to your computer a breeze, with a simple plug-and-play interface, as well as the option to connect the speaker via Bluetooth, or the removable camera via USB, if you’d like to try out some different angles.
And while Toucan can’t do anything about the piles of laundry or screaming children in your background, it can ensure that they are faithfully rendered to all your co-workers.
Of course, it’s not just the realm of work that has been transformed by the pandemic—trying to find some downtime while surrounded by family every moment of the day can also be a tricky affair.
Fortunately, Samsung is bringing forth the ever-flexible Freestyle. Looking something like a stage lamp, the Freestyle is an ultraportable mini projector that lets you turn any surface into a TV screen.
The Freestyle’s cradle stand provides 180-degrees of rotation (yes, you can turn your ceiling into a TV), while the device itself can project anywhere from 30 to 100 inches at 550 lumens, complete with 360-degree sound.
Best of all, however, the Freestyle is outfitted with Samsung’s smart TV platform, allowing users to stream Netflix (or dozens of other services) directly from the device.
And at under two pounds, you won’t find the Freestyle cumbersome to lug around your home to whatever space is empty at that given moment.
Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni
CES is never complete without a new crop of floor-cleaning robots—and this year’s class shows promise, particularly the Deebot X1 Omni from Evovacs. Not only does the Deebot compose intricate and detailed maps of your home’s floor plan, but you can tell it to focus on those especially tricky spots, like the hard-to-reach patch under the couch or a stretch beneath the cabinets and refrigerator.
In addition to the standard robo-vac features we’ve become accustomed to (voice command, on-demand cleaning, app control, scheduling), the Deebot features one potent new addition—it vacuums and mops. And it takes care of itself.
When the Deebot is full of dust and debris it will take itself back to its charging station and unload.
When it’s finished mopping, it will return to the dock and have its mop heads washed and its dirty water replaced with clean water (thanks to built-in water reservoirs) so it’s ready to go for the next job.