Some of the CES 2018 honorees in the smart-home category, including lighting controls, security systems and this year’s class of home automation hubs.

by Julie Jacobson · November 24, 2017

Each year, specialists in consumer electronics, smart-home, IoT, vehicles, robotics and other technologies review thousands of entries for the CES Innovation Awards. It’s a tedious task and many (most?) of the “winners” never make it to market. Even so, the honorees do at least give us a glimpse into the near-future of technology.

Here we look at some of the CES 2018 honorees in the smart-home category, including lighting controls, security systems and this year’s class of home automation hubs. For each one, I share my thoughts about the product and its prospects, including: Do I want it? and Will it make it?

The CES 2018 honorees in the smart-home category include some usual suspects like:

  • Amazon Echo Look
  • Arlo Pro 2 wirefree camera system
  • Nest Thermostat E
  • Ring Spotlight Cam

There are some other recognizable products from the past, like WooHoo from SmartBeings – one of the darlings of CES 2017, and yet another smart thing that tries to do way too much. In that same vein, we have another honoree, Ensembl from Ashley Chloe Inc., that tries to pack every single home-automation, audio, video, lighting and surveillance application into one tiny package.

And then, of course, there are the obligatory home automation hubs that profess to do everything, like Beak/IoT and SmartBeing’s WooHoo — ZigBee, Z-Wave, BLE, AI — and promise to “surely redefine the concept of Smart Living” (Beak) or deliver the “world’s first AI based interactive and affordable Smart Home Hub and Platform” (WooHoo).

Register for the Ultimate CES 2018 Preview Webinar

There are other more interesting and realistic products that we have talked about in Webinars but have not given a thorough writeup, like Samsung Connect Home ProBrilliant Home and Aura Home.

There’s this weird one called Ugo from Otodo, a “smart and soft pebble” that you tap against various surfaces to enact pre-programmed commands. Tap it on the door to unlock it. Knock it on the end table to turn on the light. It’s the “magic wand” accessory for Otodo’s home-automation hub.

In this installment, we look only at home-automation hubs and related smart devices. Later, we’ll take a look at award-winning cameras and other smart-home categories.

SEE THE SLIDESHOW to learn more about the smart-home honorees for CES 2018 Innovations, plus my own opinions on their prospects.

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