The sheer amount of new technology on display at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show can make it difficult to be noticed. So event organizers host a pre-tour preview at the CES Unveiled press event. What’s clear from the sampling of products and services is that the Internet of Things is taking the smart home in directions not even on the radar just a few years ago by the average consumer. It is also clear that legacy companies—and in some cases, industries—need to be on their toes to prevent keep up with startup innovation.
Appliance manufacturer Dacor introduced new smart appliances featuring the iQ remote app. A recent study published by Forbes found that nearly six out of 10 Americans use their smart phones in the kitchen some or all of the time. The iQ app enables homeowners to use smart phones or tablets to remotely control their Discovery iQ cooking appliances. That is not new. The voice activation feature is, allowing literally hands-free appliance control.
Dacor President Steve Joseph notes, “The kitchen is the heart of family life, and as families evolve, so must kitchen technology. Today’s home chefs are busier than ever, and voice activation is one more feature that will help meet the needs of their demanding schedules.”
Some of the innovative products presented at CES Unveiled come from a personal passion—or personal annoyance—of the developer. Australian accountant Tas Tudor was growing increasingly frustrated with the cost of his cell phone bills when he had to travel internationally.
Tudor explains, “Fear of exorbitant international roaming charges is without doubt the major issue for travelers and nobody has been able to provide a genuine solution to avoid cost and inconvenience no matter which carrier or which country you travel to.”
His solution was STRONE (STReaming your phONE): home, a hardware device that turns GSM phone calls and messages into data calls and messages that can be accessed by any Internet-abled device. The technology eliminates the need to get a new sim card or different international number as well as the roaming charges.
“We are offering consumers the freedom to be connected on their own cell number anywhere in the world on any device they choose—a laptop, a tablet, or a smart phone.” STRONE also ensures uninterrupted lines of communication. “You can always be contacted, even with battery issues, a damaged or lost cell phone, or in a poor reception area.”
Tudor adds: “This will forever change the way we stay in touch when we have to travel overseas. STRONE gives the power back to the consumer to determine how they want to communicate.”