CES 2018 Home Automation

Unveiled Tells a Brief Story at the Start CES 2018

ces-iceTwo nights before the CES show floor opens there is an event called CES Unveiled. It’s the unofficial opening of the biggest consumer technology event of the year. It’s typically a good place to spot forthcoming trends, and there’s always at least a couple out-of-this world new product ideas.

Let’s start with the most fun things we saw! The very first thing we saw was a short story dispenser. Yes, you read that correctly. You push a button on the Short Edition dispenser indicating whether you have one, three, or five minutes to ready a story. It then immediately prints out a short story on a ticker tape. We have no idea what the practical use cases are for the device, but it sure was fun! The other item that completely caught us off guard was a new brand of men’s underwear…modeled live at the show. The idea behind Spartan underwear is that cell phones and Wi-Fi networks produce radiation that is harmful to male genitalia. These boxers have been designed with silver woven into the fabric. Theoretically it should keep some of that radiation at bay while also fighting off odor.

blink-video-doorbellIn terms of gadgets that we might want to actually purchase some day, the  show was a little empty. Fortunately there were a few devices that looked interesting. We got to go hands-on with Blink’s latest cameras. They just released the Blink Video Doorbell that can be had for as low as $99. It uses the same battery saving technology that has made their wireless cameras so attractive. It also displays the camera feed in the app far faster than some of their leading competitors. It’s weather proof, and can run for up to two years on two AA batteries. Last month the company was acquired by Amazon, so we fully expect to see Alexa integration soon. It will also be very interesting to see where the new leadership and funding takes them.

The price is really what sets Blink’s Video Doorbell apart from the crowd. On top of the low entry cost, they don’t require a monthly subscription. Blink includes two hours of video recording for free.

The other device we found especially intriguing was the Onelink Safe & Sound. We actually saw this device last year and were very excited about it then. It didn’t get released though. Instead, they spent the year further refining it. It’s a smoke detector that works as an Alexa speaker. The idea makes so much sense! You can check out our full article about it for all the pros and cons.

Many of the largest companies in the industry including, LG, Samsung, Panasonic, TCL, Qualcomm, and Sony, have press conferences today. We’ll be on hand for them, so keep an eye out for all our CES coverage.

 

 

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About the author

Josh Pollard

Josh has been writing software since his parents brought home their first computer. His love for gadgets and technology eventually spurred a passion for home theater technology. After starting the DMZ, he received Microsoft’s MVP award for Windows Media Center. Even though the beloved home theater PC platform is all but dead he continues to tinker with consumer entertainment technology. He’s a life-long gamer and DIY smart home enthusiast. He co-hosts the Entertainment 2.0 podcast with Richard Gunther and the DMZ’s gaming podcast, Story Players, with Joe DeStazio.