It's a new year, and so that means a whole new crop of smart home devices pointing to our collective futures and revealing the items we'll all want to get our hands on over the next few months. The annual Consumer Electronics Show is where many of the biggest companies reveal their up-and-coming gadgets, and the event has just wrapped up for 2022.
A huge amount of exciting products were unveiled over the course of the show, but there are a few key trends that we're keeping an eye on. From ways to make our sleep more restorative and smart kitchen appliances, to home security and baby care, there's a lot to get excited about.
Head on over to our rundown of the best TVs at CES if you're looking for an upgrade to your entertainment system, and keep reading to see what we think are the biggest smart home trends for the year ahead.
Technology to optimise our Zzzzzzs
Sleep tech is set to be huge in 2022, whether that's helping you nod off in the first place or keeping you healthy while you sleep. Want to stop snoring? Can't get comfortable at night? No matter the issue, there is now a product that can help.
The Motion Pillow 3 (opens in new tab) was one of the coolest things to launch at CES this year. This is a pillow that can detect when you are snoring, and then inflates to optimize the position of your head. It does this with built-in airbags and an air pressure sensor. Similarly, the Zerema Smart Pillow (opens in new tab) uses AI to automatically adjust its height, feeding data into an app that lets you know your 'sleep score' each morning.
The T-Pillow adds massage and temperature control into the mix - perfect for those with neck pain or who just run hot at night.
It's sensors all around! The Anssil Mattress (opens in new tab) similarly uses them to measure your body proportions and weight, and then that information is used to control the mattress' firmness. And if you roll over? The sensors detect this and change again for ultimate comfiness. Sleep Number also unveiled an upgraded 360 mattress and smart furniture set, all designed to help us sleep throughout different life stages.
Most of us would admit that we don't get the amount of natural sunlight that our bodies need, and this can wreak havoc with our sleep. The Olly S Smart Sleep Solution wants to step in with its app - tracking things like sunlight exposure, exercise, and caffeine intake - and a light therapy lamp. The latter aims to increase melatonin levels, thus helping you sleep better.
Making the everyday smarter
Sustainability was the buzzword of CES this year and looks like it will continue to dominate the smart home world in the coming years as we all try to be kinder to our planet. The best places for eco-friendly options to pop up, of course, are in the things we use every day - making our lives easier as we reduce our energy expenditure.
The Aguardio G2 (opens in new tab) can be installed in an existing bathroom and, according to studies, can actually reduce the time you spend in the show by up to 30%. The RainStick Shower (opens in new tab) integrates more into the actual system, pledging to save 80% on water and energy use despite twice as much water flow.
Working in a similar way towards less water waste is the Oasense Reva (opens in new tab), which is a self-powered showerhead that reduces consumption by more than 50% with embedded sensors. This means that when you're not actively rinsing, the flow drops to 10% until you need it again.
Garbage and waste might not be the most thrilling things to think about when it comes to improving our homes, but investing in better use of it can make a huge difference. The Sepura Home (opens in new tab) composting system was a standout at CES, promising to intelligently separate food waste from everything else that goes down the disposal.
The OMO Smart Trash Can (opens in new tab) also aims to revolutionize how we throw things out, with Alexa and Google Assistant capabilities and an internal thermal sealing mechanism to make our mess less, well, messy.
Easier to use, streamlined, smart homes
It's been a while since smart home technology has been the domain of tech-heads only, but there are still some devices and gadgets that don't fit into the average home as well as we'd like. 2022 looks set to progress this transition further, with several devices from major brands that aim to streamline the management of a smart home.
Flic Twist (opens in new tab), for example, has designed a wireless device that can be used to control elements of your home such as lighting, entertainment, routines, and pretty much anything else - just by pushing or rotating the device. The mui platform (opens in new tab) has a similar idea of putting the controls for your smart home devices onto more natural materials such as wood.
But if you don't mind screens, then Samsung has unveiled its Smart Home Hub. The screen is designed to sit centrally in your home, making things like cooking and cleaning, or keeping an eye on the nursery cam, all possible in the same place. This is a major upgrade on the former, screen-free, model.
It also goes well with the brand's bespoke fridges and kitchen appliances, which are being expanded.
Continued focus on security
Security should be at the forefront of all of our minds, protecting what we love the most with a few well-placed devices. And the good news is that smart tech has made kitting our homes out with the best home security systems, cameras, and more, easier and cheaper than it's ever been. And, of course, CES was full of new offerings.
One of the biggest announcements was the Arlo security system, which will work with the company's existing doorbells and cameras to provide a lot of extra coverage. Even better, it uses a single sensor to perform up to eight duties (e.g. leak detection, motion), getting rid of the clutter that often comes with DIY systems.
Never one to be left out, Ring also unveiled its Ring Alarm Pro (opens in new tab) kit, which now includes an eero mesh Wi-Fi 6 router for reliable connectivity. Even more flashy is the Ring Always Home Cam (opens in new tab) - the autonomous flying camera that was first revealed in 2020 but honored again in 2022.
Treat yourself, but make it smart
It's easy to forget that technology doesn't always have to be used for convenience. As we settle into our homes for another year, it's comforting to know that even pampering ourselves can be made better by cleverly-designed smart devices.
Our favorite example of this was the smart bath system from Kohler, which is designed to create the perfect tub with depth and temperature options you can control with your voice (or the Kohler Konnect app). No more hanging around the bath waiting for it to fill, checking the temperature every few minutes.
You can even create pre-sets based on the preferences of different household members.
Get them early
We're all learning to live in a new automated world, so why not get the next generation ready for it as early as possible? Well, it's not so much about getting the babies ready as it is keeping them safe, comfortable, and well using the latest innovations for tired parents.
There's a similar focus on sleep as there is with adults, with the Babysense Cloud mattress (opens in new tab) that will see the little ones through the toddler age-range monitoring movements, sleep patterns, and feeding the data into an app. For younger tots, there's the Cradlewise smart crib (opens in new tab) (suitable for ages 0-2) that automatically rocks a stirring baby back to sleep, learning their patterns over time.
Really, technology aimed at new parents covers a lot of the same ground as the other trends on this list, focusing on information and data as a way to keep everyone as healthy as possible.
Caroline is the smart homes ecommerce editor for Livingetc, covering everything tech for the home, from smart speakers to air purifiers and everything in between. She is passionate about the role that technology and smart devices can play in daily life, enhancing the home without sacrificing personal style and carefully chosen interiors. In her spare time, she can be found tinkering with bulbs, soundbars, and video doorbells in an effort to automate every part of her small home. Previously, she lent her expertise to the likes of Expert Reviews, IT Pro, Coach, The Week, and more.
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