10 Cool Smart Home Assistants At CES 2018
Smart Assistants At CES
CES-goers saw a bunch of new smart home products on the show floor this year – and smart assistants are critical for seamlessly controlling these Internet of Things products.
Smart home assistants, which came to CES in the form of speakers, digital clocks and even refrigerators, are slated to dramatically grow in popularity. According to research from CES sponsor the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), 44 percent of U.S. adults plan to purchase a smart assistant in the next year. While last year many assistants were compatible with Amazon's Alexa voice control system, this year competing platform Google Assistant was on many devices.
Here are the 10 coolest smart home assistants CRN saw at CES this year.
Toshiba's smart home offering, Symbio, squeezes together multiple functions in a small, sleek hub. The 6-in-1 smart hub acts as an security camera, intercom and Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speaker that can control multiple functions in the house including fans and air conditioning. Symbio has a 1,080p full-HD camera for security, and features a security siren in case it detects a stranger, as well as alerting the user's smartphone. The Symbio is now on Amazon and costs $249.
Kuri is a robot for the home that acts as a home assistant and recently hit the market in December for $799. The robot can be voice-controlled, but it communicates only in a robot language of beeps and bloops, along with through facial expressions and head movements. Kuri responds affectionately to being petted, for instance. The robot is being developed by Mayfield Robotics, a Bosch-owned startup in Redwood City, Calif.
Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge
Samsung is bringing its Bixby voice assistant to the kitchen in its Family Hub Smart Fridge, which the company showed off at CES.
The third generation of Samsung's Bluetooth-enabled smart fridge packs in Bixby and audio technology, making the product a voice assistant that sticks in the kitchen. Samsung's new product also connects with other third-party IoT devices, so users can speak with the smart fridge to control their various smart devices around the house. Samsung didn't announce pricing or availability.
LG ThinQ Smart Speaker
LG showed off its new smart platform and speaker, ThinQ, which the company said could power smart devices in the home from refrigerators, TVs and washing machines. The ThingQ is Google Assistant-powered and features artificial intelligence at its core – so smart home products can better understand users' behavior and base their actions on these behaviors. The lineup of ThinQ compatible smart home products include LG OLED and LG Super UHD TVs, which can do anything from order an Uber to ordering a pizza when triggered by voice command.
HomniI Smart Sleep Solution
Terraillon's Homni is a lamp that acts as a smart sleep solution for consumers. The small lamp, which can change colors and play music, connects to a sensor, called "Dot." Dot sticks on a pillow and tracks the sleeper's movement, sending that data to a complementary app so that users can see how well they slept. The lamp itself also tracks external conditions like humidity and temperature so users can see that information and how it impacted their sleep. Homni and Dot will be available at the end of the first quarter for $199.
Lenovo Smart Display
Lenovo's smart display puts a voice-activated assistant into a HD touch-screen display. The smart display, which uses Google Assistant, can remind users of meeting schedules, traffic and weather, and is capable of calling friends with Google Duo and managing connected devices throughout the day. The display, which looks like a sleek tablet, comes with options for an 8-inch or 10-inch screen and is powered by Qualcomm's new Home Hub platform. The display, which will be available this summer, comes in varying prices – with the 10-inch device starting at $249 and the 8-inch model starting at $199.
JBL Link View
The JBL Link View is essentially a speaker, with an 8-inch touch screen in the middle flanked by two 10-watt stereos. The speaker features Google Assistant for voice commands and a 5-megapixel camera so users can make video calls. JBL Link View features Google Cast support for multiroom audio, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity – and it has IPX4 splashproof protection, so users can bring it to the pool. The speaker will go on the market in the summer at an unspecified price.
iHome's smart speaker comes in the form of a Google Assistant-powered smart clock radio, the iGV1. This small, gray device features the traditional smart speaker capabilities, including smart home controls, music steaming and voice control. The iGV1 is a small rounded speaker with the display showing the current time and alarm. iHome said its device would be launched in the near future for $139.
Kevin Smart Speaker
Smart speaker Kevin, made by Swiss startup Mitipi, has one unique function – it wants to scare off would-be robbers from the home using lights and sounds. In a reference to Kevin from "Home Alone," this speaker is equipped with smart LEDs and simulates the noise of someone being at home – including sounds of a TV or someone taking a shower – so that potential burglars won't dare to enter the home. The smart speaker will launch on Kickstarter in 2018, with an earlybird price of $150.
Hogar Controls showed off Milo at CES, a smart speaker that runs Google Assistant and includes support for smart home protocol Z-Wave. Milo has a glass top and rounded design, with color options of light gray and black. In addition to voice commands via Google Assistant, the speaker comes with a companion app that users can utilize to control other smart devices. This means users can talk to Milo to control the smart devices around their house, including lights and shades. Milo will be shipped in March 2018 for $149.