While giant 8K TVs might be the most visually striking thing to see at the Consumer Electronics Show, you don't have to look far to see a maturing and evolving smart home and home security landscape. We roamed the show floors at CES 2020 in Las Vegas last week and here are some of the trends we discovered.
Traditional Home Security Companies Look to Adapt
In the home security field, we saw some longtime companies showcasing new products and services, potentially in an attempt to compete with a growing list of startup competitors offering more flexible pricing, packages, and options.
One of the biggest examples was ADT. The 146-year-old company showed off its new Blue by ADT line of DIY home security products. The lineup includes a selection of indoor and outdoor cameras and a door chime, but there are plans to expand to door/window sensors, keypads, and more in the future. Blue by ADT shows how the company is looking to leverage its purchase of LifeShield last year, and offers both self-monitoring and no-contract professional monitoring for those who don’t need or want a more expansive (and expensive) traditional home security system.
Longtime home security company Alarm.com is also diversifying by adding whole-home leak detection and water flow monitoring to its portfolio that also includes fire and home alerts. The idea is to provide homeowners with early detection of leak issues and provide efficiency suggestions based on usage patterns over time.
Smart Home Tech Makes Itself At Home
Judging from the plethora of WiFi cameras, smart door locks, and video doorbells on the show floor, smart home tech continues to evolve from the tech-heavy realm of early adopters to become more natural fits in modern homes.
We saw more stylish smart locks, for example, that aim to coexist more seamlessly with your home decor. And there was no shortage of entryway devices with multiple inputs, including fingerprint readers and assignable PIN codes. Igloohome touted its locks could function just fine without internet connectivity, a feature that could be useful for rental properties, Airbnbs, or other locations where steady WiFi isn’t always a given.
Meanwhile, brands like BenjiLock by Hampton have taken successful smart lock tech and applied it in new and interesting places, including a bicycle u-lock and a drawer lock to secure medicine, jewelry, or other valuable items.
Big-name brands like LG and Samsung continue to dream big when it comes to smart home tech and both companies used their respective keynote events here at CES to lay out their plans for the smart homes of the future.
For LG, it’s not just about adding smart home features to more appliances; it’s about being able to leverage all that data to actually improve our lives. So in addition to a claimed 1 million devices and appliances boasting its ThinQ tech this year, LG’s planning for the long-term with a framework for future artificial intelligence development.
Samsung’s also betting on more capable, more beneficial smart home tech and provided a glimpse into that future with Ballie, a sphere-shaped robot assistant that made an appearance on stage at its keynote. In a concept video, Ballie could interact with a homeowner, help with calendar reminders, and even call in a robovac when the family dog accidentally knocks a bowl of food over.
An Evolving, Competitive Landscape
Overall, the worlds of smart homes and home security are continuing to evolve, with more mature, reliable technology replacing buggy first-generation tech. Consumers should still be vigilant, of course, especially considering the multiple stories in recent months of user data being recorded or handled in questionable or outright inappropriate ways. While the refined tech on display at CES is encouraging, we’ll likely still see plenty of growing pains moving forward.