What Home Technology Will Look Like in 2017

During the annual consumer electronics tradeshow (CES 2017) last month in Las Vegas, a fun section to watch was the introduction of new technologies developed for the home. Forget drones and spyware; the kitchen, bathroom and even babies’ bedrooms are the hot spots to watch, with smart home technology and household robots taking center stage. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

Meet today’s version of “Rosie” the robot

Remember the Jetson’s cartoon robot, Rosie? Every kid wanted one of those (parents, too) and now it looks like we may finally be approaching the reality of helpful home robots with the debut of Kuri. One of the newest robot friends expected to enter households in 2017, Kuri (pictured here) is a 20-inch, 14-pound robot that features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 1080p camera, and full iOS/Android app control. Kuri can learn and navigate its surroundings, recognize specific people, follow homeowners around the house, play podcasts and music, and even read a bedtime story to the kids. At only $699, Kuri, available in the fall of this year, is expected to be be the first of its kind to become a truly affordable household resource. (Photo courtesy: heykuri.com)

Smart mirrors

Another bit of home tech that I think we’ll be seeing more of is smart mirrors that do much more than reflect your image. “Connected” mirrors can play music, TV shows, stream YouTube videos, display weather and news feeds, and even allow you to quickly scan calendars and emails.  (Photo courtesy: Miliboo.com)

Voice-controlled everything

When Alexa debuted at CES last year, it created a popularity and ease of access for voice-controlled devices that has permeated new technology offerings this year. Voice-activation is entering practically every household device including things like vacuum cleaners, home security systems, retractable awnings, thermostats and lighting.

Baby tech

Even technology for the baby’s room is moving forward at light speed. Hailing itself as the “safest baby bed ever made,” SNOO debuted a few months ago with a smart crib developed in collaboration with pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp that rocks babies to sleep by mimicking the rhythms of the womb. There’s also Ray, a sleep and health monitor for the digitally savvy parent that is being billed as “the first and only non-contact health and sleep monitor” for babies and toddlers. The Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-enabled monitor measures a baby’s respiratory rate, uses thermal sensors to keep track of sleep cycles, and notifies parents, via the Ray app, if the baby has a fever or shows signs of other illnesses. For those expecting, or wanting to lock in the title of Best Grandparents Ever, the Ray monitor is available for preorder via its Kickstarter page, and expected to be ready for delivery (no pun intended) in September of 2017.  (Photo courtesy: Designboom)