Last week, the highly anticipated Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place, and — like many other trade shows — it was delivered via a virtual platform. However, that was no deterrent for the premier international showcase for consumer goods and one of the most widely anticipated events each January.
Clearly there has been a considerable shift in the behaviors of consumers due to the pandemic. As people spend more time at home, they are interested in improving health, wellness, efficiency and connectedness within their living spaces. Consumers are focusing on indoor air quality, air and water purification, healthier cooking and even pet stations.
Following are just a few of the innovations — focused on the home — that grabbed our team’s attention.
Health and wellness were major themes seen among CES 2021 award honorees. Created to improve air quality within the home, the AerHome indoor air quality monitor by AerNos features a breakthrough design that includes nano-gas and environmental sensors controlled by an AI operating system. The system’s apps can be set to auto-adjust for regulating the air quality in each room, thereby avoiding dangerous air quality issues. As we spend increased time in our homes, the ability to monitor air quality is more important than ever.
The Design Flex Air Purifier by Coway features self-regulating patterns that change depending upon interior conditions… and even includes a wireless charging pad on top of the unit. The design-conscious aesthetic complements any decor. And the magnetic front design panel can be replaced with alternate styles, making this innovative device as beautiful as it is practical.
You Are What You Eat (and Drink)
Another concept that was explored by this year’s CES Innovation honorees was improving efficiency within our homes. After months of lockdowns in 2020, people began cooking more meals instead of eating out — a trend that is expected to continue as more consumers realize they actually enjoy cooking.In response to the need for kitchens with more streamlined functionality, appliance makers are continuing to bring to market multi-purpose cooking tools. Cuisinart’s CompleteChef™ is a multifunctional food processor that can also cook a homeowner’s favorite recipes. The 18-cup food processor bowl doubles as a cooking space… eliminating the need to empty prepped food into a slow cooker or Dutch oven. Home cooks can choose from functions such as sauté, simmer, slow cook and steam.
The LG PuriCare Dual Water Purifier is the epitome of efficiency in the kitchen. This sleek double-headed faucet boasts multiple features that suit any water purification need — while optimizing space — and adding a touch of modern design to a home.
Home Automation Rises to the Next Level
It’s evident that smart home products are here to stay, but keeping track of multiple gadgets can be challenging. To help improve connectedness throughout the home, Samsung has introduced its Digital Butler… a smart home platform that detects, links and controls other Bluetooth or Infrared (IR) enabled devices. This feature will be available on 2021 Samsung Smart TVs — allowing users to conveniently manage and operate security cameras and smart locks from a single source.
Samsung also introduced at CES a series of experimental AI-supported robots for the home. The head of Samsung Research, Sebastian Seung, said AI is “about being more personal and predictive.” The line-up of home bots can perform a wide range of tasks — ranging from health monitoring to air purification. There is even a bot that can prepare your dinner and pour you a glass of wine. Another of Samsung’s bots — a smart vacuum with a built-in security camera that will simultaneously clean and surveil a home – is scheduled to be available later this year.
The Paws Have It
And for those with four-legged friends, companies such as Chamberlain are offering ways to better keep track of them. The company has introduced myQ Pet Portal, the latest addition to its myQ Smart Access Ecosystem that is used to secure and monitor a home.
The Pet Portal features a hidden smart panel that is installed on an exterior door… giving pets the ability to easily move throughout the home and let themselves out to use the bathroom while preserving security. The Pet by myQ app offers live streaming and two-way communication — perfect for doting dog (and cat) parents.
And, for those who don’t already have a pet, well, look no further than the MOFLIN AI Robot Pet. MOFLIN adjusts its mood and movement based on information received from its surroundings. It can recognize different people based on how they interact and it responds with movements, cute sounds and noises inspired by real animals.
Doing Double Duty
If we have learned anything from CES 2021, it’s that multitasking products are continuing to evolve… and are here to stay. One of our favorite discoveries is a self-heating lunchbox called Heatbox. This clever device is controlled by an app that will heat your food — whenever you desire — using steam and smart technology. Pretty nifty if you ask us.
As we adjust to our new normal, we can expect to see many more products that help maintain health and wellness, promote efficiency and allow us to stay connected to the world around us.
Want to learn more about incorporating wellness innovations into the home… and how to get the attention of the growing number of designers and consumers embracing this trend? Check out our agency’s KBIS Virtual presentation: Invigorate Your Business by Elevating Healthy Kitchen & Bath Design. Available on demand from February 8 through March 31, 2021.