Each year, CES Unveiled feels a bit like a speed-dating session. In one large convention room, some 200 exhibitors line the aisles for a media-only preview, as more than 1000 journalists and other press members go more or less booth-by-booth for a pre-show glimpse at what's new. If this year's event is anything to go by, companies large and small still see plenty of room for growth in home security and smart homes.
Companies like gloohome, Hampton, and Somfy all offered their own spins on the smart lock, including kits meant to replace an older, and likely less smart, deadbolt. Singapore-based igloohome showed off its latest line of padlocks, deadbolts, and key boxes, which include access via PIN codes, so they work without an internet connection. A booth rep said the PIN code options make it ideal for rental properties and Airbnbs, where consistent internet connections aren't always a given. Igloohome's smart locks are already available and start at about $150, depending on the model and features.
Lock company Hampton had a pair of lines on display: the Benjilock by Hampton and Array by Hampton series. The former includes smart padlocks and luggage locks, as well as smart deadbolts with fingerprint readers. Meanwhile, the Array by Hampton series boasts a whole, well, an array of smart home gear, including light bulbs, security cameras, and door locks.
Swann, one of the older players in DIY security, came to CES Unveiled with a lineup of security cameras, including its recently announced Wi-Fi Spotlight Camera. The weather-proof outdoor model includes built-in lights and the ability to send alerts based on heat, motion, and people's presence.
D-Link, another well-known connected-camera brand, was on hand to show a suite of new cameras for indoor and outdoor applications. A company rep touted the cameras' use of "edge-based" person detection -- meaning the cameras use on-board processing to determine if a moving subject is a person or a random, harmless object. Edge-based detection, he said, is generally faster than sending data to the cloud for remote computers to process the data and send a determination back. These newest models are slated for release in the second and third quarters of 2020.
It's not just about adding smarts to doors and security cameras, though. Kohler was showing off its Moxie line of showerheads with wireless speakers -- the idea there is to enjoy some tunes while you're showering. New this year is the option for an Alexa-compatible speaker, so (if you wanted to) you could chat with Amazon's AI in the morning to hear the news, sports scores, weather, and more. When it arrives later this year, you can pick up the speaker attachment itself for $159 or bundled with the compatible shower head for $229.
Elsewhere, Alarm.com, a big name in fire and home security monitoring, discussed a new venture: a whole-home leak protection system that also monitors water flow. The idea is that the system could allow homeowners to pinpoint and address leaks quickly while also monitoring consumption to lead to more efficient use potentially.
If anything, this year's Unveiled demonstrated, lots of companies still see plenty of potential in the home security and smart home space, whether it's pushing new, high-tech spins on everyday products or refining previous generations of smart gear. It should be another active, competitive year in the industry. Perhaps that recently announced alliance could help establish some easier-to-grasp standards as well.