It’s no secret that we’ve all been trapped at home much more than usual over the past year. Because of this, making your home as smart as possible has been essential. We saw a ton of tech at the all-virtual CES 2021, but our roundup here of the best new smart home products might be the biggest deal for our home-bound readers.
Keep in mind that having a smart home at all is still a relatively new concept. We saw lots of very popular OEMs only launching their first-ever smart doorbells, lighting solutions, and smart speakers this year. However, smart lights and smart plugs are hardly exciting.
With this list, we wanted to focus on not only the best gear but also some of the most interesting. There are a couple of products here that are basically fancy prototypes, but give us a glimpse into what the smart home of the future might be like.
The idea of a smart security system is nothing new. However, there’s a whole lot new with a system called Hex from a company called Origin Wireless AI.
Hex uses Wi-Fi signal waves to detect motion throughout your home. Imagine if Wi-Fi was like water and your home was filled with it. If someone entered your home, their movements would cause ripples and waves through the liquid. Hex picks up on those “ripples” and then alerts you to them if you aren’t at home.
This is advantageous over other security systems in a few ways. First, it’s much easier to set up Hex than it would be a camera system. With Hex, you simply plug a node into an outlet, connect the hub to your home Wi-Fi and… that’s it. The app takes care of the rest.
Additionally, traditional motion sensors are very binary — they either detect motion or they don’t. Hex allows for you to have some nuance with your alerts. For example, if your robot vacuum is at work in your home, your motion detecting system might go off. With Hex, you can program it to ignore the vacuum’s specific “ripple” signature, thus preventing false alarms.
This is an approach to home security we’ve never seen before, and one of the best smart home gadgets at CES this year. Hex will be available to consumers this spring starting at $180. There will also be a 24/7 monitoring service, but that’s an optional purchase for those who don’t want the hassle of setting up their own self-monitoring.