For a tech geek like myself, one of the most exciting weeks of the year is the second week of January, when the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes over Las Vegas. With multiple venues and more than 180,000 attendees, it is the world’s largest technology show. And this year was awesome!
I’ve been attending CES for years, and this was the first time I saw brands showcasing more than just “gadgets.” Instead, we’re finally starting to see real smart-technology integration. One of my first stops at the show was the Haier booth, parent company of GE Appliances and their Smart Kitchen Solutions. New for 2019 is the GE Kitchen Hub. It’s a 27-inch touch screen with a recipe assistant, a fan and two built-in cameras mounted over the range.
Because it is equipped with both voice and gesture commands, you can access the recipe database hands-free and at eye level, make a frantic video call to mom to have her walk you through her secret family recipes, or for the social-media savvy, post a picture of your latest culinary creation to Instagram.
KitchenAid is ready to make your oven work smarter, not harder. The KitchenAid Smart Oven+ comes with a variety of attachments to expand your cooking options. Included are a grill, a steamer and a baking stone. That's not all: the Smart Oven+ also comes with the Yummly recipe app. Say you don't like spinach or nuts, but do like gluten-free options with a bit of a kick. Yummly can filter all the recipes and make the perfect suggestion.
Also highlighted in the booth, KitchenAid’s parent company, Whirlpool, introduced its limited-edition WLabsSmart Oven, This countertop oven has automatic food recognition, which can recognize the food you put it in and cook it to your exact preference. It can even tell the difference between beef or chicken, fish or even pizza. The company plans to produce only 2,000 of these ovens.
Question: What is a common denominator for kitchens and baths? Water? Correct! Moen has partnered with Flo Technologies to monitor water flow throughout the house. The #1 insurance claim comes from water-related damage—whether it’s a broken water heater in your basement, mold under your sink, or a pin prick in your pipes. It's really important to know how the water is flowing, preferably through the pipes where it belongs. But when it's not, the ability to stop the flow is top priority. Flo by Moen will protect your home.
The all-in-one washer/dryer has been a staple in the RV community for quite some time. Whirlpool has upped the ante with its new full-sized unit. Boy, does my family need one of these! I have three boys and my wife and I do a ton of laundry.
This full-sized 28-inch all-in-one washer and dryer features a “load and go”tank for the detergent. It holds enough detergent for 40 loads. Not sure what wash cycle to use? A touch screen lets you make the selection based on fabric or clothing type, and picks the perfect setting for the load. Like many other connected devices, an app on your phone will alert you when a cycle is completed and lets you start the dryer cycle. Now that's useful in the real world.
Finally, my favorite product at CES may not be for everyone, but it certainly caught my attention.The PicoStill by PicoBrew elevates craft brewing for professional distillers and lets you distill your own spirits. Cheers!
The NKBA Insiders are a select group of design professionals chosen by the NKBA because of their thought leadership in a specific area of expertise that impacts the residential built environment. Ryan Herd is the CEO of 1 Sound Choice.