Manufacturers At CES Offer More In Home Automation

Jan 9, 2014
Originally published on January 10, 2014 10:21 am
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How would you like to be able to operate your stovetop from the comfort of anywhere in your house? Now you can, thanks to new technology unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.

Tech journalist Rich Jaroslovsky is at the annual gadget extravaganza in Las Vegas. Good morning, Rich.


MONTAGNE: Why don't we start with that kitchen stove?

JAROSLOVSKY: The one that I spent the most time with is from a company called Dacor. And this looks to be a conventional stove except that it has a built in Android tablet, as a controller. So if you're standing at the stove, you can watch a how-to video, you can follow your recipe. If you're away from your stove and you've got your Smartphone with you, you can turn the oven on and off. You can check to see whether your food is done. If you've got a probe stuck into your roast, you could check to see what the internal temperature of the roast is while you're still at the office.

MONTAGNE: What else are you seeing there, at that electronic show, that is getting warmer, you might say, intelligent?

JAROSLOVSKY: One of the themes of the show seems to me to be connectivity being put into all sorts of devices; things like when you pull up to the house having the lights come on; the thermostat adjust; music playing when you walk in the door. That's kind of the fantasy and it is potentially achievable. But right now, these are all separate devices and they really don't work and play well together.

MONTAGNE: I'm going to guess that's the next thing to come along, something that takes all these devices and makes them whole, so to speak.

JAROSLOVSKY: That's exactly right. And in fact, a company called Revolve has a little thing that sits on a tabletop - it's a little bit bigger than a hockey puck - and it's crammed with all sorts of radios and technology to allow it to communicate with all different kinds of products. And then there is a single app that controls the Revolve device, which in turn controls everything else. And it works with things that are already showing some popularity, things like the Sonos wireless music systems; the Nest intelligent thermostat; the Philips hue-colored LED light bulbs.

But these products are proliferating so fast that I am kind of wondering how the Revolve people are going to keep up.

MONTAGNE: Well, let me ask you. I suppose the range is big but these devices that allow so much connectivity, are they terribly expensive?

JAROSLOVSKY: It's not as bad as you would think. Because the sensors and the radios that make that kind of connectivity possible are really, really coming down in price. One of my favorite things so far at the show is a Bluetooth connected toothbrush. So mom and dad can check to see if Jonny and Susie are doing a good job brushing, and to even set up competitions for whoever does the best and longest brushing job.

MONTAGNE: Tech journalist Rich Jaroslovsky speaking to us from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Thanks very much.



So, my dentist might be able to track when I brush. That is frightening. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.