Smart Home Products at the Consumer Electronics Show 2017

A woman stands and holds a smart phone in her bathroom, recording the activity of her digital Moen shower.

An app-driven programmable shower enhances your morning routine. Credit: Moen Incorporated.

How smart is your house? How smart do you want it to be? 

Every year, thousands come together at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to see what’s new and exciting in the realm of smart home technology. In years past, this massive trade event known as CES had very little to do with anything home-related beyond wall space for TVs, shelves for stereo equipment and the like. 

That is changing rapidly, with an entire exhibit hall and seminar track devoted to the house at this year’s event. Here are some of the offerings you might want to consider for your place. Not all of them may be available in your area just yet, but keep checking back for their release.

Kitchen Technology

Kitchens are a big area for smart home technology, since most people want to bring intelligence and convenience to this hard-working space.

At the moment, however, many of the offerings are in the early stages with much development needed before their promises are fully delivered. That being said, here are some products worth considering for your kitchen now:

  • One of the greatest risks to your home is flooding, which can be caused by a pipe leaking or a hose breaking. Several companies have developed water detectors to alert you to moisture where it shouldn’t be found, like the cabinet bottom below your sink, but Fibaro goes further by connecting to your home automation system and shutting down the water line entirely to prevent further damage. 
  • Many kitchens today open to outdoor living spaces with dining and cooking centers. That’s a wonderful feature to have, but as anyone who cooks and entertains frequently knows, opening a heavy sliding door while holding a tray of steaks or bowl of corn cobs is no easy feat. AutoSlide has solved that problem by turning your standard sliding patio door into an automatic opening model. It can even mesh with a pet collar to create doggy door capability. 
  • Whirlpool showed off its Scan to Cook feature for those of you who find yourself using packaged food regularly. Your enabled wall oven, microwave and range can read the barcode on the package, saving you time in programming these cooking appliances and eliminating costly errors.
  • GeniCan was one of the smartest kitchen innovations at the show. It’s a small scanner you mount on your trash can. By scanning the bar codes on packaged goods you regularly use as you toss away the empties, it can build your shopping list quickly and conveniently. It can even connect with Amazon if you buy your groceries online.

Bathroom Technology

There were some interesting offerings for the bathroom, too. Here are some to consider:

  • U by Moen the first app-driven shower system. Why might you want this system? Well, it lets you (and other users) program your preferred shower settings on your phone, start it remotely and pause the water when it’s ready, so it’s ready when you are and no precious minutes or water drops are wasted.
  • Haier showed off its Smart Bath system, which shows the Internet and your health info on its Magic Mirror, as well as offering a programmable, predictable water heater.
  • Simplehuman lets you upload your exact work environment lighting to your bathroom with its Sensor Mirror Pro. No more makeup gaffes with this technology.

Other Room Technology

Kitchen and bath technology is only part of the picture. There are innovations for the rest of your home, too. These are a few you might want to check out:

  • Whirlpool has simplified laundry with its WiFi-enabled All in One washer-dryer model. It doesn’t require venting and will let you know when your entire load is washed, dried and ready to fold. It’s not a fast process, but it is a convenient one.
  • Baldwin showed off its Evolved door lock that’s sleek and programmable. It lets you unlock the door remotely for someone you want to let in and keeps you informed of who’s coming and going at your house – ideal for parents of teenagers. You don’t have to sacrifice style for security with systems like this one. 

The world of home technology is advancing at turbo speed. Be sure to research what anti-hacking and privacy tools they include, how much information you want to voluntarily provide in the interest of convenience and how your purchases will truly benefit your life, not just their promises to do so.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCTWC is a wellness design consultant, Certified Kitchen Designer and the author of the New Bathroom Idea Book and New Kitchen Ideas That Work, (Taunton Press). Jamie can be found online at

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