Roborock’s latest robot vacuum is getting closer to the Rosie the Robot of our dreams. | Image: Roborock
The devices that will be vying for a spot in your home this year
The smart home kicked into high gear at CES 2022 this week, with new products for every corner of the home making their way onto the show floor (virtually in most cases). We’ve covered the most promising products in separate articles, but we’ve collated those here, and added in a few other noteworthy launches and announcements.
The dominant theme was interoperability. Yes, 2022 could be the year the smart home finally grows up, moving from a collection of shiny gadgets that provide mostly single-point solutions towards the whole home interoperability that has long been its promise.
Case in point, we barely saw any robots. Instead, companies like Moen and Masonite debuted solutions that marry disparate products and services to create a smarter home rather than just a connected one. As Mitchell Klein of the Z-Wave Alliance said during the show, “Right now, we have a connected home. In five years, we will have truly smart homes due to the introduction of contextual awareness.”
A key part of that burgeoning awareness is Matter, the new smart home standard that wants to make all connected devices in the smart home talk to each other, regardless of who made them. Matter was undoubtedly the wind beneath the wings of many companies’ announcements this week, and we’ll have a deeper dive on what’s new there and why it matters (sorry!) later this week.
But for now, let’s get to the good part: all the new smart home gadgets and gizmos worth knowing about from CES 2022.
The video doorbell is still the hottest security camera, with at least three announced this week — including this Belkin WeMo option.
Lights, camera … and more cameras
Smart light bulbs and connected security cameras have long been the darlings of the smart home. That shows no sign of slowing down, with a slew of new products in both categories being announced this week.
The Eve Outdoor Cam
Eve’s latest security camera the $250 Eve Outdoor Cam launches April 5th, 2022. A floodlight camera designed for Apple HomeKit Secure Video, it features 1080p video, a 157-degree field of view, infrared night vision, and infrared motion detection covering 100 degrees at distances of up to 30 feet. Read more about it here.
Cync by Savant, GE Lighting’s new face, launched a plethora of new smart bulbs, plus a new thermostat with room sensors, and a new outdoor camera. The lighting line starts at just $12 and arrives in March. Cync’s outdoor camera arrives in February starting at $100, and the thermostat ($120) with room sensors ($30 each) is available in January. It seems the lighting company, now owned by high-end custom smart home company Savant, is angling to be a bigger player in the space. Get the details here.
TP-Link has a new line of smart home products under its Tapo brand. These include HomeKit-enabled smart lights, plugs, and a smart switch. The products arrive this year, starting with the Mini Plug. The company also announced four new Tapo cloud-connected security cameras — some of which can record to a microSD card. See the full lineup here.
The $80 Abode doorbell has impressive specs.
Smart home security company Abode announced a new wireless video doorbell and its first foray into smart home lighting with the Abode Color Bulbs. Neither of these require a connection to an Abode smart home security hub, but they are compatible with it. The $80 Abode Wireless Video Doorbell is battery-powered and features 2K HD video with a 160-degree field of view. It has full-color night vision and works over 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi or can be ethernet-connected. Battery life is six months, and the camera includes person detection. Recorded video requires an Abode subscription plan starting at $6 a month, which also opens up automations with Abode’s Cue automation engine. It comes with an Abode Chime, which is a Wi-Fi extender and doorbell chime in one, and launches in April. The Abode bulbs are full-color, Wi-Fi smart bulbs emitting 800 lumens with a 90 plus CRI and cost $30 for a two-pack. They’re available now from Abode.com. Abode’s products work with Alexa, Google, and IFTTT, and the doorbell can stream live video to a compatible smart display.
The Eufy Dual.
Eufy showed off a new dual-camera video doorbell, an intriguing solution for your porch pirate problems. The $260 buzzer arriving next month comes with a hub for local storage, and its downward-facing 1080p camera has a 120-degree field of view, while the main 2K camera can see as wide as 160 degrees. Another new Eufy product is the Eufy Garage-Control Cam that can keep an eye on your garage in 1080p or 2K video and also control the door. Pricing starts at $99, and two versions will launch in March of this year. More details are here.
Belkin WeMo launched its first smart doorbell camera. The $250 Wemo Smart Video Doorbell is a wired doorbell with a 178-degree vertical field of view and 4MP high-resolution camera designed exclusively for Apple’s HomeKit and is available now. Go here for more details.
The Sengled Health Monitoring bulb.
Sengled announced a slew of new smart lighting products, including an intriguing Smart Health Monitoring bulb that can track your sleep, heart rate, and other biometric measurements using radar. It also has new Wi-Fi Video-Sync TV light strips ($120), Wi-Fi Outdoor String Lights ($80 to $90), a Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-connected portable LED Lamp ($60 to $70), Wi-Fi LED Essential Oil Diffuser Light, a Zigbee window and door sensor, and a motion sensor for controlling all those smart lights. Lots more details are here.
Arlo’s new security system uses all-in-one sensors to monitor your home.
Smart home security steps it up
Another huge space for the smart home in 2021 that is getting even more crowded in 2022 is home security. And we’ve got some new, innovative security systems and safety gadgets to check out.
Arlo’s newest product isn’t a camera. The smart home camera company revealed its Arlo Security System, a DIY smart home security system featuring all-in-one multi-sensors with eight different functions, plus NFC integrated into the hub so users can tap their phone to disarm the system. Arlo says the system will be available to buy in the first half of 2022. More details here.
Smart security gets cute with this teeny, portable solution from Bosch.
Bosch’s Spexor is a mobile security “assistant” that can monitor for break-ins as well as measure air quality and temperature. A tiny, 4.7-inch high device, the Spexor uses air pressure, noise, and motion sensors to detect an intrusion and alert you to changes in air quality. It can run on battery power for up to three weeks and can work with an eSIM card as well as over Wi-Fi. This could be a handy device for camping or RVs, or for monitoring a hotel room or other place you’re staying temporarily. We also like that it doubles as an air quality monitor, giving it usefulness beyond just when something nefarious is going on. It’s currently available in Germany for €250, but there’s no information on when it might come to other markets.
The Ring Glass Break Sensor
Ring has finally caved and introduced a glass break sensor to its Ring Alarm smart home security system. While Ring Alarm owners have been able to call on the power of Alexa using an Echo speaker for this key security feature (Alexa Guard, when enabled, can listen for the sound of glass breaking), a dedicated device for this purpose is something Ring Alarm users have been clamoring for. A glass break sensor can help detect when someone breaks a window to get into your home, and the Ring Alarm Glass Break Sensor detects the sound of glass breaking up to 25 feet away. It costs $40, is available for preorder now, and starts shipping February 16th.
There is now another smart smoke alarm option, although it’s not all we hoped it would be. Kidde’s new Smoke + CO Alarm with smart features costs $90 and is available now at Home Depot and Kidde.com/smart. It features Wi-Fi connectivity to alert you via the Kidde app to any alarms in your home. You can also use the app to hush nuisance alarms and connect them to Amazon Alexa and Google voice assistants from the app. But there appear to be no other smart home integrations beyond using voice to check on alarm status and connection. And the promised HomeKit integration with Kidde’s RemoteLync system that was teased at CES 2018 seems to have fallen by the wayside. The new alarms, which are hardwired with a backup battery, can make existing Kidde alarms smart when you add one to an existing interconnected system.
Can Thread solve the smart blind connectivity problem? Eve thinks so.
Can you follow this Thread?
Thread, a key protocol in the upcoming smart home standard Matter, got a lot of airtime this week as companies announced new products that use this low-powered, IP-based smart home mesh networking protocol.
Eve’s first Thread-enabled smart blinds went on sale this week for the first time. Announced earlier this year, the MotionBlinds start at just under $400 per shade and can be ordered through any Coulisse reseller, including selectblinds.com. The MotionBlinds will be available first as smart roller shades and are compatible with HomeKit and Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, at launch.
Smart lock makers Schlage have announced the first lock with a Thread radio. Its Schlage Encode Plus Smart WiFi Deadbolt is also the first Apple Home Key lock, and its Thread radio specifically supports HomeKit over Thread. Check out this article for more.
Wemo revealed its working on Thread versions of the Wemo Smart Plug, Wemo Smart Light Switch, and Wemo Smart Dimmer to be released later this year.
Photo by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy
Nanoleaf Lines can now be a Thread border router for your HomeKit home.
Nanoleaf, the makers of seriously fun smart lighting products, announced its Nanoleaf Shapes, Elements, and Lines products will become Thread border routers for all Thread over HomeKit devices. Border routers act as a bridge between Wi-Fi and Thread products. But unlike the traditional white plastic boxes we’re accustomed to, border routers can be cool, useful products like these light panels. The update will come in the first quarter of 2022. Previously, these Nanoleaf light panels were able to act as border routers for Nanoleaf’s own Thread devices, but now that functionality extends to any HomeKit-enabled Thread-based products, such as the Eve Room or Eve Energy smart plug. While you will still need a HomePod Mini or other Apple Home hub for HomeKit control, now you can create a Thread network independently of those hubs, should you wish.
Aqara will release a new version of its motion sensor and door and window sensor with Thread technology built-in in the second half of 2022. Aqara’s products work with HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home through its Zigbee-based hubs. The company also confirmed it will bring Matter support to its existing Zigbee-based products by pushing an over-the-air update to its M2 and the M1S hubs. This will allow all compatible connected sensors to connect to other Matter-compatible third-party devices when the standard launches later this year.
The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra cleans its own bottom.
Keep it clean, please
Robot vacuums that can also mop have largely been disappointing. They basically drag a wet rag around your floor, which you then have to clean, dry, and reattach, and then refill the tiny tank. But Roborock and Ecovacs announced two new competing products at CES this week that want to change that. These fully automated cleaning and mopping and vacuuming bots are inching us closer to that Rosie the Robot dream.
The new Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra features sonic mopping (i.e., scrubbing rather than just dragging) plus an automatic mop-lift that raises the pad when going over carpet while still vacuuming. Its compatible Empty Wash Fill dock can also wash the mopping cloth and refill the tank with water, as well as emptying the vacuum and cleaning the dock — taking away almost all the manual maintenance required to keep a mopping robot operating. The S7 MaxV Ultra costs $1,400 and is coming in the second quarter of 2022.
The Ecovacs’ Deebot X1 OMNI can also self-empty and self-clean.
Ecovacs has also designed a docking station for its new Deebot X1 OMNI bot vac that can clean the mopping pad and refill the water tank whilst also emptying the bin. The Deebot features carpet avoidance, so it will go around any rugs and miss the carpet. But unlike the Roborock, you’ll have to manually remove the mop to vacuum the rug. But the XI OMNI does have its own onboard voice assistant, so you can tell it what to do without having to use a third-party smart speaker. Called YIKO, it’s a natural language processing technology that takes direct speech commands, so you can tell it to start, stop, and where to clean without getting out a phone or talking to a smart speaker. The Deebot X1 OMNI will be available in March for $1,549 at ecovacs.com and Amazon and at Best Buy in April.
The M-Pwr Smart Door is wired for power.
A smarter front door
Masonite debuted the first residential smart door. A collaboration between the door manufacturer, Ring, and Yale, the M-Pwr Smart Door is the first residential exterior door to integrate power, lights, sensors, a video doorbell, and a smart lock into the door system. It’s only available in new home construction initially, and no pricing or release date is available for retrofit applications. Read about the technology here.
Schlage announced the first Home Key compatible smart lock for North America. The Schlage Encode Plus Smart WiFi Deadbolt is an updated version of the popular Schlage Encode WiFi smart lock, adding an NFC chip for the Home Key function, as well as a Thread radio to support HomeKit over Thread. It will be available in spring 2022 for $300, and we have more details here.
Schlage’s new lock can use an Apple Watch as a key.
Kwikset released its newest Z-Wave lock that is the first to feature the Z-Wave 700 series chip. The Home Connect 620 uses a traditional key and a keypad and can connect to a smart home using Z-Wave. The new 700 series chip adds Z-Wave SmartStart (QR code scanning) and increased wireless security features. It also helps the device to use less power (more than 50 percent less). But the most exciting part about Z-Wave 7000 is the expanded range, 250 percent greater than the Z-Wave Plus 500-Series, according to the company — making this entry-level lock a good option for a garage or shed door. The Home Connect 620 will cost $149 and comes in a traditional and contemporary style.
The Kohler Suspend takes kitchen faucets to new heights.
The smart bathroom (and kitchen) goes bigger
Kohler’s PerfectFill technology, which can fill your bath with a simple voice command, finally arrived this year after being announced at CES 2019. PerfectFill consists of a drain kit and digital valve that work together to draw the bath to your preferred temperature and depth. Pricing starts at $2,700. Kohler also debuted a kitchen faucet that’s suspended from the ceiling and controlled by a waterproof, battery-operated Bluetooth puck.
Moen’s latest smart faucet — the Moen Smart Faucet with Motion Control — adds completely handle-free operation to its connected tap. Now, alongside voice control with Alexa or Google and waving to turn it on and off, you can use gestures to control temperature as well. The company also announced integrations between its smart faucet and other smart water products and its new Smart Water Network, a residential smart water ecosystem centered around Moen’s Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff. We’ve got more information in this article.
Samsung Family Hub Bespoke edition
The original smart fridge, the Samsung Family Hub, got a makeover at CES. It joins Samsung’s Bespoke line — a selection of modular, configurable appliances with a clean, modern look and customizable colors and finishes. The fridge with a tablet built in also has an updated, bezel-less design for its signature 21.5-inch touchscreen, support for Samsung TV Plus, and upgraded internal camera technology that can scan food labels. Read more about the new model here.
Whirlpool announced an over-the-air update to some of its smart, Wi-Fi-connected ovens that will deliver an air fry mode. The feature will arrive on its Smart Slide-in Gas and Electric Ranges and Smart Single, Double, and Combination Wall Ovens. The ovens are also getting the ability to connect with Whirlpool’s Yummly smart thermometer, which will let you start preheating the oven from some of the app’s recipes. More on this over-the-air (fryer) feature here.
The Homey Bridge is the newest smart home hub on the block.
Yes, smart home hubs are still a thing
Samsung Home Hub.
For those who don’t want to default to Amazon, Apple, Samsung or Google to run their smart homes, there’s now another open source option for managing your smart home. The Homey Bridge Smart Home Hub finally arrives in the US this month. Already available in Europe, the Homey Bridge is a smart home hub embedded with Zigbee, Z-Wave Plus, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 433MHz, and Infrared. It’s controlled by the Homey App for creating automations with devices connected to the bridge, and the app can also be used independently of the bridge. Shipping now, Homey Bridge costs for $69. The app-only solution for Homey has a free version that controls up to five devices and a paid tier for $2.99 a month for unlimited devices.
Samsung announced a new Home Hub controller for its SmartThings platform. The tablet-like device is designed to be a central place for a household to control and monitor their SmartThings smart home without having to buy a $4,000 smart fridge. A portable, 8.4-inch touchscreen tablet with Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant built in, the Home Hub also has AI functions, two microphones and two speakers for hearing notifications and giving voice commands. Its global launch is slated for later this year. More details are here.
Image: Mui Lab
The Mui Hub Board.
The Mui Hub Board is a smart home control hub that filters out the “noise,” only displaying what information you need on its minimalist display. Made entirely of wood, the Mui hub works with Amazon’s Alexa and offers both touch and voice control options. Its minimalist look makes it a good option for those who don’t want anything too techy looking in their home but still want the convenience of connected devices. It’s not available to buy yet. Mui also announced the hub will work with Matter.