CES 2018

Jan 20 2018

News - CES 2018: Coros OMNI smart cycling helmet

I would love to be able to listen to music while cycling, but I don’t think it’s safe to wear headphones. There are too many potential hazards out on the road to have that level of sonic isolation. This is one of the use cases that the Coros OMNI “Smart Cycling Helmet” addresses.

Jan 20 2018

News - CES 2018: Humon Hex advanced fitness wearable

Humon: “Are you an athlete?” Me: “I pretend to be…” was how our conversation started about the Humon Hex, a fitness wearable intended mainly for runners and cyclists. As an aging someone who fits neatly into both of those categories, anything that promises to help me get more out of a workout and minimize injury is an item of interest.

Jan 19 2018

News - CES 2018 - RHA headphones

Not ashamed to admit that I ended up in the RHA suite mostly due to some clever marketing, so even if I hadn’t had a chance to listen to some amazing headphones it still would have been worth it. Funny thing, is that the main focus of the evening were the MA650 & MA750 Bluetooth wireless headphones with 12 hours of claimed battery life.

Jan 19 2018

News - CES 2018 - MySmartBlinds Bluetooth retrofit kits and bridge

I love the concept behind MySmartBlinds { https://www.mysmartblinds.com/products/automation-kit} solar powered $99 2.5” automation retrofit kit. I would love to have automated blinds, but the cost of a complete replacement is prohibitive. Especially considering that the blinds we have are in great shape. If rollers are more your thing, a kit should be available in a few months for $149.

Jan 19 2018

News - CES 2018 - ZLINK $20 Z-Wave USB dongle

Installation cost is one of the major barriers to home automation. In addition to the cost of your switches, bulbs, etc. you also need to purchase a home automation controller (HAC) in most cases. The other major issue is complexity, which is where the development budget of large companies like Amazon and Google help immensely. They have the $ to make UX not suck. With the release of the Amazon Echo Plus, it seemed like Amazon was trying to help on both counts; that is until the world discovered that instead of going for the largest device ecosystem with [mostly] guaranteed compatibility (<cough> Z-Wave) they opted to put a Zigbee radio in the hub.

Jan 17 2018

News - CES 2018 - Guardian by Elexa

Near the end of the last day of CES, we stumbled into the Guardian kiosk in the Z-Wave pavilion. Having seen quite a few leak detection/water control devices over the previous week I wasn’t holding out much hope. As it turns out, what they have to offer is a really neat approach to solving this problem.

Jan 17 2018

News - CES 2018 - Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF)

Interoperability is one of, if not the biggest, challenges to adoption of home automation (HA) in the non-geek market. In order to get to this segment, or most people, we need to solve the “how do we get devices to talk to each other” problem. The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) is trying to solve exactly this via an open source implementation as well as a certification process.

Jan 16 2018

News - CES 2018 - Axiim & WiSA

It would be impossible to tell the WiSA and Axiim stories separately for CES 2018, so we are going to have to combine the two here. From a straight technology perspective, not much seems to have changed with the WiSA standard. Aside from Axiim there have only been some minor changes to the available consumer hardware. Although some major brands have recently joined the alliance so we could see additional speaker options before the end of the year. They had an interesting demo available however, where an LG TV output stereo PCM audio to a WiSA USB dongle. Removing the need for a separate AVR.

Jan 16 2018

News - CES 2018 - SVS

I wasn’t surprised at all that SVS puts on a good audio demo. Naturally both the SB-4000 and Ultra 5 speaker system I got to listen to briefly sounded great. But, I was not prepared to as impressed as I was by their “coming soon” Prime Wireless DTS Play-Fi enabled speaker.

Jan 15 2018

News - CES 2018 - LifeDoor

In every conversation I’ve had since returning from CES ’18, LifeDoor has come up near the top of my list of interesting products that we saw at the show. And, the response has been universally positive as well. After all, what’s not to like about a simple, easy to install, device that listens for a smoke alarm, illuminates the room, and collaboratively closes the all the doors they are installed on - potentially protecting your family from smoke and oxygen depletion. LifeDoor costs $100, the battery (2x 9V) lasts 2-3 years, and for the Z-Wave home automation crowd you can use it to close the door even if it’s not a life-or-death situation.

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