A More User-Friendly Crop of Smart-Home Tech at CES 2020

From kitchen faucets that can pour exact measurements to video doorbells and cameras that recognize individual people, learn about the most interesting home technology that debuted in Las Vegas.
Stage at CES


CES Entrance

© Brandon Doyle

This year, I had the privilege of representing REALTOR® Magazine at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the annual event where manufactures unveil their latest and greatest technology and give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at products coming to market.

Two of the big themes of the 2020 event were using artificial intelligence to enhance user experiences and the increased connectivity of devices across multiple platforms without needing a hub—and at affordable prices.

Of course, the TVs got bigger with higher resolution; some are now even retractable or even see-through. But that wasn’t even the most mind-blowing technology being showcased—that honor goes to Delta

TV display

© Brandon Doyle

Airline’s partnership with Misapplied Sciences and their introduction of Parallel Reality, which will change the way we travel. It involves new display screens using biometric technology and GPS luggage tags that will be rolled out at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport this summer, enabling travelers to see information that’s tailored to them.

Multiple companies, including Lutron, C by GE, Brilliant, Inovelli, Sengled, Wiz, and Nanoleaf, showcased new smart lighting and switch controls that allow users to control smart bulbs from a wall switch like they normally would with a traditional switch. They’ve also come up with more solutions for older homes that do not have a neutral wire and are offering more affordable, entry-level smart-home devices. 

Both Kohler & Moen showed off smart kitchen faucets that can pour exact measurement amounts via voice commands and even preheat water to a desired temperature. They both also had options for high-end digital shower controls, which were very impressive. Flo by Moen & Alarm.com’s Smart Water Valve provide whole-home leak detection and water usage monitoring using a device installed at the water main. I’m excited to test out Kohler’s new Alexa-enabled Harman Kardon speaker that is built into Kohler’s new Moxie showerhead. (Review to follow.)

Smart Locks

© Brandon Doyle

Kwikset is releasing a door lock that can be unlocked via fingerprints and stores up to 50 different users. Other companies are adding anti-tampering features and touch-to-unlock, and Wi-Charge offers a solution that can wirelessly charge your front door lock and other devices, so you never have to worry about the lock batteries going dead again.

Video doorbells and cameras can now recognize individual people, send alerts, or trigger home automation events such as turning the lights on or welcoming a family member home. Arlo users will love the new Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera which is 100% wirefree; the light was very bright, at 2,000 lumens, when using just the battery. Ring introduced the X-Line as well as additional outdoor lighting options with battery and solar options; they are continuing to expand beyond doorbells and cameras to offer more lighting and security options.

Independent insurance agency Hippo now gives homeowner rate quotes online as easily as traditional car insurance companies. The company now offers a smart-home sensor that can detect and alert you to issues in your home and even comes with a discount—it’s basically like the good driver discount but for your home.

If you’ve never been to CES before, it can be quite overwhelming. This is just a sample of the technology on display. I tried to focus on smart-home products and was fortunate enough to meet with several different companies that are working on exciting new ideas. I’ll continue to test new products and explain how they could affect you and your clients in future articles. Stay tuned for more coverage in my Ultimate Smart Home series.