21 Tech Gadgets That Will Make Homeowners’ Lives Easier

A plethora of kitchen gizmos, security tools, and smart-home accessories debuted during CES this year.
CES 2021 virtual anchor desk


Behind the scenes of the CES 2021 anchor desk.

Demand for high-speed internet and robust home networks, flexible living spaces, sustainability, renewable energy, and electric vehicles were among the major trends driving the 2021 virtual Consumer Electronics Show, which all have implications for real estate.

“Work from home is here to stay in different ways for every household member,” said Patrick Lo, chairman and CEO of Netgear, computer networking that presented at CES. “Wi-Fi keeps on growing at a fast pace, [as does the] need for more speed, coverage, and reliability. AV (audiovisual) over IP growth is accelerating.”

BowFlex, which produces fitness equipment, also had a presence at CES this year. With more people choosing to work out at home over going into public gyms, BowFlex manufacturer Nautilus Inc.’s CEO Jim Barr said equipment with integrated technology where consumers can get personalized training is in demand.

“Based on what’s being written, as well as what we hear from our customers, we think more people are experiencing the benefits of working out at home, including the flexibility and lower time commitment because you aren’t commuting,” he said.

JRNY, BowFlex’s new digital fitness platform, shows that consumers can be entertained during their workout, or join classes, all from the comfort of their home. This coincides with more home shoppers seeking flexible spaces that could be used for a home gym.

On CES Media Day, LG announced a phone with a rollable screen, updated appliances (including a refrigerator with a window), and TVs with mini-LED technology.

Samsung unveiled its bespoke refrigerator system, showed off some robot assistants, and previewed a new upcycling program that allows customers to repurpose old Samsung phones around the house.

Bosch discussed further development of what they’re calling the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT), and the interconnectivity of smart-home devices that will be able to anticipate homeowners’ needs.

General Motors’ keynote presentation on the future of transportation focused on electric vehicles. “There are moments in history when everything changes. Moments that become the dividing line between what came before and a new way forward. EVs are about to have a moment,” said GM’s CEO Mary Barra. “At General Motors, believe we have the expertise, scale, and ingenuity to be at the forefront of this transformation.”

Audi also showcased its e-tron GT electric car. Mark Dahncke, Audi’s director of communication for the U.S., said, “We believe that the expansion of electric vehicles will necessitate all new buildings to include charging capabilities going forward, and likely add to the various local, city, and state building codes,” he said.As electrified transportation expands, it will become a common purchase among customers when they buy or rent homes equipped with charging stations.


21 Products for Homeowners From the CES 2021 Virtual Expo

  1. Adurosmart, known for smart lighting, has expanded into home security with devices that are compatible with its smart hub as well as others’.
  2. Airthings showed its new Wave Mini sensor that can help detect potential mold in addition to its current lineup of air quality monitoring systems, which includes radon, humidity, temperature, and TVOCs.
  3. Arlo released its Essential Wireless Security Camera with privacy shield.
  4. Beermkr is the world’s first all-in-one homebrewing countertop appliance.
  5. Benjilock showcased a new fingerprint smart lock, which I plan to test out later this year as part of my ongoing technology series for REALTOR® Magazine.
  6. Caregiver Smart Solutions is an app that uses sensors that allow caregivers to see if their loved one has gotten up, moved around the house, eaten, and more. The proactive technology gives family peace of mind without being overly intrusive with cameras.
  7. Coldsnap is a rapid-freezing appliance that produces single servings of frozen confections and frozen beverages in less than two minutes.
  8. Cleer Crescent is an elegant smart home speaker that uses Google Assistant.
  9. D-Link debuted a new outdoor security camera, indoor water sensors, and Wi-Fi 6 routers.
  10. Fixbid is a free mobile app that allows customers (e.g., your homeowner clients) to upload a project and receive multiple quotes from pre-qualified contractors. Different from Angie's List, Home Advisor, or Amazon business, it’s kind of an “Uber for home repair” solution. Plus, there are plenty of business collaboration opportunities in smart-home tech arena, since Fixbid can provide qualified electricians to potential IoT customers who can't or don’t want to DIY.
  11. Flic is the original “smart button” that can control your smart-home apps and business systems in the simplest way possible: at the push of a button.
  12. Kohler featured hands-free devices for kitchen and bathroom—they also have a new DIY water monitor.
  13. Leviton’s Decora Smart Voice Dimmer has Amazon Alexa built-in—they also have a four-button Wi-Fi controller option available.
  14. Lutron added an outdoor smart plug to its Caseta lineup.
  15. Moen expanded its smart app, which includes the U by Moen faucet, and Flo water sensors and shutoff—and now a sump pump monitor.
  16. Razer, known for their colorful computer gaming accessories, previewed a mask with speaker, microphone, and RGB lighting built in, as well as a gaming chair concept.
  17. Roborock unveiled the new S7 robot vacuum, which has a scrubber built into the sonic mop that vibrates 3,000 times per minute, an improvement over the S6 model.
  18. Splitvolt Splitter Switch allows homeowners to share an existing 240V dryer socket with an electric vehicle charger, enabling seven-times faster charging without having to install a new circuit.
  19. Toto added more sensors to its high-end line of toilets, that allows it to analyze your bowel movements and provide recommendations via the Toto app.
  20. Twinkly showcased its smartphone app that lets users customize Twinkly’s line of LED lights by creating color patterns and effects.
  21. Yeelight launched its LED Screen Light Bar Pro, which provides both bias lighting for gaming but can also be used as a desk light to light up your workspace.