Walton EMC highlights gadgets that might land in your home this year
The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show has come and gone from Las Vegas, but memories linger of the strange, cool and possibly useful products shown at the year’s biggest rollout of electric appliances and gadgets.
This year’s show featured the usual suspects such as bigger televisions, better phones and cooler gaming gadgets. And there are some true innovations in major kitchen appliances (I’ll get to that in another post).
There was no shortage of robots, either. Manufacturers showed a robot chef that can make 35 different kinds of salad and another bot that will bring you a spare roll of toilet paper when you’re indisposed. A tennis ball-shaped robot — sort of a mini version of Star Wars’ BB-8 — will follow you around the house like a loyal pet.
Head-scratchers like a $600 inkjet printer that applies makeup and an air-conditioned baseball cap were there, too.
In the I-can’t-wait-for-it category: Hyundai’s flying electric car. The automaker says it will have a four-passenger car that can fly over gridlocked roads ready by 2023.
But along with all the stuff that isn’t likely to find its way to a Georgia store near you, there were some practical winners. Manufacturers showed off technological innovations as well as improved versions of products that ensure the smart home is going to get smarter with more connected gadgets.
Here’s a look at our 10 top picks from this year’s show along with projected dates when they will be available for purchase
Phyn Smart Water Assistant (Now)
This is a smaller and less expensive version of Phyn’s smart home water monitor that detects minute changes in water pressure throughout your house, uses algorithms to pinpoint leaks or frozen pipes, tracks usage per fixture and sends alerts to your phone. The self-installed monitor is in stores now for $249.
4moms MamaRoo Sleep Bassinet (Now)
Expectant parents will want to add this to the baby registry. The MamaRoo Sleep Bassinet follows the American Academy of Pediatricians' safe sleep guidelines and has five unique rocking, swaying or vibrating motions, as well as four different white noise options. At $330, it’s about a quarter of the price of a similarly equipped product on the market.
Juno Chiller (Pre-order now)
Summer cookouts and backyard game day parties are going to be better with the Juno. The compact appliance’s thermoelectric cooling technology can bring down the temperature of a 12-ounce drink in just two minutes. Just insert your beverage, click a preset temperature or customize your own, and wait a few minutes as it spins your bottle or can around inside. The unit can be pre-ordered now for delivery in third quarter 2020 — just in time for football season.
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold (Mid 2020)
The first-ever foldable laptop display is a 13-inch device that folds like a book. You can browse the web on one side while controlling music on the other. Or, you can use it as a full screen to watch a movie or bend to read an ebook. To put it away, just bend or close it, and slip it in a bag. It’s a true innovation in computers, but still pricey for a laptop at $2,499.
U by Moen Smart Faucet (TBA)
From preparing a baby's bottle to filling a pasta pot, just tell this voice-activated faucet how much water you need, and at what temperature, and it'll dispense it on command. You can set unlimited personalized presets for specific cooking tasks, and activate water flow through voice control, a wave sensor or via an old-fashioned button. Pricing starts at $430, depending on design and finish of the faucet.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock (Late 2020)
There are dozens of high-quality smart locks on the market, but the upgraded August lock comes from a proven brand. The lock is 40 percent smaller than the August Smart Lock, so it takes up less space on a door frame. Plus, it doesn’t require a smart home hub, so installation is easy. Look for it in stores for $229 around the time you’ll be doing fall maintenance around the house.
Colgate Plaqless Pro Toothbrush (TBA)
Say hello to the next generation in electric toothbrushes. This advanced brush detects bio film buildup on your teeth and shines a light on areas where brushing is required. The brush pairs with an app to track your brushing habits. At an expected $200 price point, it’s not cheap but then neither is a dental bill.
Samsung Cube Refrigerator (Mid 2020)
It’s small, it’s cute, and it could be coming to a dorm room or office near you. Samsung’s first entry in the compact fridge category comes in a variety of decorator colors and is stackable, so multiple units can be put together. It comes with a glass door on the front, allowing you to see what’s inside, and a digital temperature indicator on the top right. No pricing information is yet available.
Olive Union Smart Ear (TBA)
Roughly 5 percent of the population suffers from some form of hearing loss, so there are a lot of people struggling to tune in. The Smart Ear hearing amplifier strikes a balance among style, function and price. At $249, it’s more affordable than a hearing aid while still offering premium features like music streaming and hands-free calling.
Lenovo Smart Frame (August 2020)
Looking more like art than an LCD screen, the Lenovo Smart Frame is meant to be a focal point in the home. It has a 21.9-inch display that can be mounted vertically or horizontally on the wall. An app allows you to load photos from a number of different cloud services. Even at a suggested retail of $399, this could be a popular holiday gift for 2020.