If you like to know what the future holds, there's no better place to look than at the worlds biggest tech exposition. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the biggest coming together of innovators and lovers of all things technical and the variety of wares on display at CES 2017 certainly hasn't disappointed.
As ever, the products featured range from the ambitious and futuristic to the quirky. The Faraday Future FF 91 intelligent car may be out of the price range of most, and perhaps you don't actually need a fitness tracker for your dog, but there's an undeniable fascination in finding out just what's out there.
Technology in the Heart of Your Home
CES is also the place where products that you might soon incorporate into your own home are unveiled. Top brand manufacturers use the show to display their latest security, home entertainment, and kitchen appliances. Many of the major technology trends of 2017 center around integration and connectivity:
Ovens that cook for you
GE have followed Bosch in developing a partnership with Drop connected kitchen scales. Drop offers users a step-by-step recipe app, soon your smart GE oven will receive instructions telling it to preheat to the correct temperature at the right time. As if getting the oven switched on automatically wasn't enough, GE has gone a stage further in their partnership with the Nest Protect smoke detector, Your connected oven will switch off if it detects that the roast is overdone, or let you know if you leave the appliance on when there's nobody home. Whirlpool are also moving into the smart oven world, with a scan-to-cook feature. Use your phone to scan the barcode of your prepacked meal and the cooking instructions are sent direct to the oven.
Dishwashers that order their own detergent...
The Whirlpool smart dishwasher allows you to do all the things that, by now you're almost expecting. Of course you can pre-program it to start it day or night, and of course your can monitor, start or stop it remotely using the app, but this model can even be set up to do its own shopping through the Amazon dash program. and get the dishes cleaner...
LG also offers a fully integrated dishwasher, but the company has also focused on making the unit more efficient in its primary function. The high-temperature steam setting is up to the task of removing even stubbornly dried on food, while the combination of 'quad wash technology'and multi-motion arms offer a saving of around 15% on cycle times.
Washing machines with build in flexibility
If connectivity is the name of the game for ovens, when it comes to washing machines the watchword of the year seems to be multitasking. After the success of the LG Twin Wash last year, Samsung have responded with the FlexWash and FlexDry Laundry System. These fit side by side and allow for two different loads of washing and drying to be run at the same time. In each case the 'normal' load goes in the main unit while delicate items are dealt with separately, in the smaller unit. It goes without saying that the whole system can be controlled remotely via your Samsung Smart Home app.
Innovation and Consolidation
Criticism has been leveled at the manufacturers at CES 2017 for the proliferation of 'me too' products, variations on a competitors successful model. While there's some truth in this, it has to be said that consolidation is as important in technology as innovation, having several similar products on the market is always good news for consumers. It's exactly this sort of competition that drives down prices.