With the holiday marathon about to hit, CES 2023 will be here before anyone knows it, so now seems as good a time as ever to dive into the recently announced 2023 Innovation Awards honorees. Given the trends of the past year, it’s no surprise that a plethora of wellness and sustainability-themed technologies made the cut. In fact, the list of human-centric smart home innovations is pleasantly long, and gives a good insight into the current state of wellness as it does with the current state of smart technology.
Wellness is a concept that has existed long enough in public discourse for people to be a lot more scrupulous of the term, similar to what constitutes ‘smart’ technology. To say that this year was a breaking point for many people surrounding wellness would be an understatement. Given the continual build-up of stresses and conflicts from events like the invasion of Ukraine and ongoing economic struggles, consumers have finally hit a point where they are demanding accessible, inclusive, science-backed wellness solutions and 2023’s innovation award winners do a great job at addressing that demand.
Without further delay, here are the CES 2023 Innovation Award Honorees that I believe will have the most relevancy to integrators in the wellness and sustainability categories.
Tapo Video Smart Door Lock
Security installs must make up the largest number of installs for integrators today, and it goes without saying how much of a relief it provides to homeowners. Tapo, by TP Link, has upped that level of security by entering the realm of biometrics for its residential smart lock.
Equipped with a 2K QHD wide-angle camera and financial-grade fingerprint and face detection encryption module, it also supports an incredible amount alternative access control measures while also providing up-to-the-minute activity monitoring no matter where the user is located.
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In a growing list of smart farms, the MineFarm Showcase serves a twofold purpose: give homeowners control over their own food sourcing by making it easier to grow food with limited space and cut down on the resources required to produce said food.
Once a crop is planted, the technology literally runs itself until harvesting time. This, according to the company, leads to 55% reduced LED power consumption and 99% reduced water consumption, all while opening the option for food production to those who either lack a green thumb or lack garden space.
ANSSil sleepinbody Mattress
This high-tech mattress seems ready to learn from the past mistakes of earlier harvesters of sleep data. By now, consumers and experts alike have come to find that an abundance of sleep data can lead to sleep loss in people, just through sheer anxiety.
Now, this smart mattress still collects data, but it’s all in the interest of fueling its own decisions. Rather than leave it up to the consumer, the mattress takes all the information it collects and uses it to adjust through temperature control and firmness to deliver an ideal night’s sleep without the problems that come with users overthinking the data.
Developed by AirDeep Co., Ltd., the AirDeep is an indoor air quality (IAQ) sensor powered by AI that arrives baseline with IoT connectivity. It sniffs out the usual culprits in unhealthy environments—dust, fine particulate, smoke, abnormal chemicals, etc.—but it’s also able to ascertain potential sources based on composition.
For instance, the device can differentiate between cigarette smoke and e-cigarette fumes. It can also detect abnormal air conditions generated from a fire or car exhaust, allowing it to potentially detect household fires ahead of smoke detectors. Then, the IoT connectivity allows it to relay that information back to whatever connected device/system, is available.
Entering into the smart water category, Hydraloop Concealed is a decentralized, filterless water recycling solution designed for apartments and retrofits. The device combines six different filtration processes from sedimentation to an aerobic bioreactor before treating the last bit of water with UV. The result is an easy-to-install, space saving device that helps slash water usage in the home.
The device is able to save up to 45% on fresh and waste-water usage through reuse and is connected directly to the Hydraloop platform to monitor performance. When abnormal behavior is detected, the device automatically switches back to the back-up line and notifies both homeowners and the installer making potential follow-up and maintenance a breeze.
KOHLER Stillness Bath
The Kohler Stillness Bath is a long-awaited wellness product for many reasons. It offers an intelligent, therapeutic spa experience that draws inspiration from calming Japanese Shinrin Yoku (otherwise known as Forest Bathing) while being able to maintain that feel with little to no input from the user.
From the drawing of the bath to the steam, the aromatherapy and the lighting, the technology within the tub guides the way, creating a wholly unique residential bathroom experience. Clearly priced for luxury clientele, it may not be something that’s going into every project, but it will certainly be the defining feature of whatever space it ends up being put in.
Traditionally, the sink has been the only water source in the home that has had an at-the-source filtration method. But, if there’s enough impurities to warrant a water filter, those impurities are still in the shower water, potentially affecting hair, skin and getting aerosolized in the steam generated by a hot shower.
The Water N sidesteps these issues without resorting to a whole-house filter, providing an at the source, connected water filter that filters out metals, chemicals and other impurities in the shower. Once installed, the device is self-powering and communicates water quality information directly to the user while sending updates on filter replacements and more.
At the recent CEDIA Expo 2022, energy management played a massive role in discussions on and off the show floor. The only issue is that it’s a burgeoning category, and as such, its associated smart systems can be complex and cost prohibitive for the average consumer. Schneider Electric’s Wiser App, however, is offering a more entry-level solution to the idea.
While it’s unable to actively manage energy loads like some of the higher end offerings, it can analyze, report and develop schedules of use that best fit homeowner patterns based on data gathered through a network of smart plugs (that don’t even need to be by Schneider). Recently, the app even received an update to guide users on when to charge their electric vehicles (EV) to avoid utility tariffs.