If you've ever been to CES in Las Vegas, you'll know how much of a whirlwind it can be. If you've never been, just imagine an entire convention center — that's the second-largest convention center in the U.S. ranked by available exhibition space — filled to the brim with thousands of vendors showcasing the latest tech. Oh, and don't forget that most of the hotels on the Las Vegas strip also have exhibition space that's also being utilized to showcase the latest electronics of the year.
On top of that, the smart home space has been a mess for a long time, with the newly-minted Matter smart home standard finally coming to fruition after years of turmoil. The result is a slurry of products that are finally starting to look smart instead of just connected.
We found a bunch of great smart home products that we can't wait to use this year and think you'll also find to be worth your while. Everything from smart lights to the breakers that power your home are looking smarter than ever at CES 2023.
Schneider Electric wants to make your entire home feel smart
Schneider Electric is a company you're likely familiar enough with. While it's not commonly found in the smart home category, the company makes a swath of other electrical products like Square D. This CES, Schneider is doing what no other company has quite experimented with before: making your home's entire electrical grid smart.
Schneider Home is the app at the center of the entire new ecosystem launched by the company at CES 2023. It combines the powers of the Schneider Pulse, Schneider Boost, Schneider Inverter, and Schneider Charge into a single pane of glass so you can control your home's electrical system at the base level from your phone.
Schneider's snazzy presentation showed how Home could help during a power outage, utilizing the Schneider battery system to most efficiently keep the lights and your favorite devices on while shutting off the ones that use a lot of power. It's beyond impressive and, while there's little doubt that it'll cost a pretty penny to get the whole system in your home, it's probably the smartest smart home device I've ever seen.
Nanoleaf's new switches really turn us on
Nanoleaf has had a remarkable CES, to say the least. I interviewed Nanoleaf CEO Gimmy Chu way back in June 2021 and Chu told me the company had a lot up its sleeve for whenever Matter eventually launched. Now that the new standard has finally been finalized, Nanoleaf's new products are ready to wow us all over again.
While the new Skylight, 4D TV lighting, and Matter upgrades for Essentials Bulbs and Strips are fantastic-looking, few things felt as futuristic as the Sense+ series of products from Nanoleaf. Sense+ Controls encompass two new smart switches — Smart Light Switch and Wireless Smart Light Switch — and pair them with the rest of your smart home via the Nala Learning Bridge.
Nala is short for Nanoleaf Automation Learning Assistant and can be found inside either Smart Light Switch product or in any existing Nanoleaf product that features a Thread Border Router once Nanoleaf ships Nala in Q3 of this year.
In short, Nala and the Smart Light Switches combine to create the beginnings of the proactive smart home we've wanted for years. Nanoleaf Smart Light Switches are equipped with motion sensors and other tech that's designed to detect human presence and respond by turning lights or other smart home gadgets on and off.
But it doesn't do it automatically at first. Instead, Nala will analyze the data fed to it by Nanoleaf Smart Light Switches to develop automation routines and suggest new ones to you based on your historical behavior.
It's the beginning of the concept for Nanoleaf and the company says it wants to get it right from the onset. So, instead of incorrectly adjusting smart home products automatically based on assumed data, Nanoleaf wants to put you in control. Just in a more effortless way than current concepts allow.
ADT brings Google into the Nest
As the concept of the smart home continues to evolve and mature, we're seeing more and more companies working with each other to make things easier for the consumer. ADT is launching a brand-new app that doesn't just give it a much-needed redesign. It also directly integrates Google Nest cameras which we think are the best wireless cameras these days.
Having the ability to bring all your Google Nest cameras into the ADT app is such a great value proposition for ADT and customers that want to get an upgrade on their home security system without actually upgrading the hardware they've already spent good money on.
Not only that, but the integration goes so far as to include Nest Doorbell Cameras and the Nest Thermostat, further tying into the larger smart home ecosystem. Here's hoping we see more of this in the near future!
Matter finally begins to matter
Matter 1.0 launched in October 2022 but, as expected, it's going to take a little while for smart home device makers to implement the new standard. Samsung isn't wasting any time trying to be the center of attention, though, as it debuted the Samsung SmartThings Station to be the literal center of your smart home.
This square wireless charging puck doubles as a way to Thread all of your Matter devices together (get it?) with essentially zero configuration needed. The one is a quick one-touch setup for Samsung Galaxy phone owners and just an app download away for everyone else.
In essence, SmartThings Station is designed to connect all your Matter devices to one physical spot and help them stay connected both to each other and to the internet. It also makes management a breeze since SmartThings handles all the tasks.
To go along with that, Govee announced a new line of Matter-enabled lights at CES that can be fully controlled through the matter protocol. Right now, Govee lights are largely controlled by the Govee app and only simple commands — like on and off or basic single colors — can be issued from Google Home or whatever your smart home app of choice may be. Matter changes all that, allowing substantial customization through Google Home first, with other smart home apps to follow.
Likewise, TP-Link is bolstering its lineup of products with next-generation offerings, all equipped with Matter compatibility from the start. From outdoor Wi-Fi cameras to robot vacuums, TP-Link's new lineup should work seamlessly with all your other Matter-enabled products once they launch in the near future.
Taking a peep at Ring
One of my all-time favorite Ring devices is coming back and it looks better than ever. The Ring Peephole Cam is the video doorbell that you don't mount to a wall. Instead, you'll just unscrew that peephole lens in your front door and slide it through the slot, instead.
It's perfect for anyone who doesn't want to mount a doorbell to their wall, needs a video doorbell that's more securely mounted, or is just a renter that isn't allowed to put holes in the wall or wire things up.
But it's not just a boring old video doorbell. It's got knock and motion detection so it can alert you when any of those things happen. Personally, I think knock detection is one of the more brilliant things any video doorbell has ever implemented because there's essentially no way for someone to come to your door without alerting your video doorbell.
Better yet, it's already available on Amazon so you don't even have to wait to experience it!
Forget wiring or messy installation. Ring Peephole Cam installs in minutes, replacing your existing peephole lens with something a lot more intelligent. It's even got knock detection.
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