The smart home has been one of the biggest themes of CES over the past decade – and we’re expecting that to be the case again at CES 2023. Why? A big reason is because a new smart home standard called Matter has finally arrived – and it promises to be the glue that binds all of our new smart home tech together.
CES 2023 has just kicked off and we’ll be rounding up all of the latest smart home announcements that are worth knowing about here. The early headlines include a new Philips Hue-rival from GE Lighting, an AI-powered oven from Samsung and an LG Artcool air con system that’s disguised as, you guessed it, a piece of wall art.
We’ll no doubt see a wave of security cameras, robot vacuums and more flood into CES 2023 soon – and we’ll be there to separate the winners from the vaporware. For now, though, here’s the best smart home tech we’ve seen at this year’s CES so far. Plus a new ‘shower pod’ system from Kohler, just because the aromatherapy accessory was a little too bizarre to leave out.
Samsung Bespoke AI Oven
If there’s one area where we need some help from our new AI overlords, it’s with cooking – and Samsung’s new Bespoke AI Oven is promising to be that virtual chef. The oven’s smart camera is capable of food recognition and burn detection, which means it can recognize up to 80 different dishes and recommend cooking settings for each of them. Alternatively, the European model can also send you panicked message to say that your lasagne is approaching charred territory.
If you use Samsung Health or SmartThings Cooking (which lives in the SmartThings app), this new smart oven also promises to recommend meals based on your workout stats, diet goals and the ingredients you have at home. Although it could struggle with our fridge’s current stash of beer, double cream and onions. The Bespoke AI Oven is currently available in Europe and will launch in North America in the third quarter of 2023, although pricing isn’t yet known.
Samsung Bespoke 4-Door Flex Refrigerator
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The internet fridge has been a CES staple for the past 15 years and Samsung’s just taken the concept to a new, and strangely compelling, extreme. The Bespoke Flex Refrigerator with Family Hub features a 32-inch vertical touchscreen, which is twice as large as previous models.
You can use this screen to view or shares snaps your Google Photos library, control your SmartThings devices and make digital shopping lists for Amazon deliveries. Naturally, you can also use it to watch TV thanks to the 190 free channels (in the US) found in the Samsung TV Plus service. Although the vertical orientation is perhaps best suited to TikTok videos.
This refrigerator-to-rule-them-all will launch in North America in the first half of 2023, although we sadly don’t yet know pricing. Until then, we’ll have to make do with taping an iPad to our fridge.
LG ArtCool Gallery air conditioner
We’ve already seen IKEA and Sonos build a speaker into a piece of wall art, and now LG has pulled the same trick with a wall-mounted air conditioner. Its new ArtCool Gallery has a 27-inch LCD screen, which can display any photos you pick in the accompanying LG ThinQ app. That certainly makes it a bit more attractive than your average metallic rectangle.
While this extra tech will likely make the ArtCool Gallery pricier than your average air con unit (pricing isn’t yet known), it does promise to deliver some compensatory savings thanks to a dual invertor compressor, which apparently uses up to 70 per cent less power than standard AC products.
Even more importantly for your sleep, it also operates at noise levels as low as 20 decibels. Which is good news, otherwise you’d likely end up hurling a tea cup at your new humming painting.
In the future, we won’t just be buying pods for our coffee machines – if Kohler has its way, we’ll also be picking them up for its Kohler Sprig system, which brings aromatherapy to your existing shower.
The Sprig connects to your showerhead and infuses the water with scents, oils and other skin-boosting ingredients via Kohler’s Sprig Shower Pods. And yes, only Kohler’s pods, which will initially be available in six different scents, will work with the system.
Still, if you fancy a blast of lavender, chamomile or eucalyptus (alongside other skin-friendly ingredients like hyaluronic acid) in your morning shower, the Sprig could be one to look out for when it hits shelves in the first few months of 2023. The system will cost $119, not including the pods, which will set you back $21 for a six-pack of single-use pods.
GE Lighting Cync Dynamic Effects
The likes of Nanoleaf Lines and Philips Hue have dominated smart lighting for the past few years, but GE Lighting has been making some increasingly impressive alternatives. At CES 2023, it’s announced some new additions to its Dynamic Effects lineup that look like a temptingly affordable way to bring some color to your study or YouTube channel backdrop.
The four new smart lighting products include Smart Hexagon panels, which will take on Nanoleaf’s equivalents, and Smart Neon-Shape Lights that can be bent or shaped any way you like. GE Lighting has also launched new Dynamic Effects Smart Bulbs that come in Aline versions or for its indoor floodlights.
These new lights are competitively priced, starting at $19.99 (around £17 / AU$30) for the A19 Aline bulbs, and will be available in the US from March 2023. You also don’t need a bridge or hub to use them, as they’re instead controlled over Wi-Fi using the Cync app. But on the downside, these new products won’t support Matter, with GE Lighting instead bringing support for the standard to some new products over the coming year.
Lockly Flex Touch Pro
Most smart locks require the removal and replacement of your existing deadbolt, which isn’t always convenient or possible. But Lockly’s Flex Touch Pro is shaping up to be a better option for renters or Airbnb owners – it helpfully brings a fingerprint reader to your existing lock.
The downside is that you’ll need to install a pretty hefty housing on the inside of your door, as that’s where the Flex Touch Pro’s AA batteries and smarts live. But on the outside of the door you get a pretty elegant fingerprint reader, which can apparently store up to 99 prints.
Because it comes with a Wi-Fi hub, you’ll also be able to remotely grant or deny people access to the door, or also check up on it using the likes of Amazon Alexa or Google Home. The Flex Touch Pro will be available in the US from the Spring of 2023 for $229 (£190 / AU$340).