Smart homes are becoming the trend in both new construction and home refurbishing. This year the CES initiated a new gathering place for those interested in the growing trend of consumers wanting and creating smarter and more efficient homes. The Smart Home Marketplace covered everything from smartphones to connected devices and customized security monitoring, as well as home automation.

The smart home market is expected to grow over 29% between now and 2020. The growth could be higher, except the high upfront cost of integrated smart technologies is an issue, as well as the perceived value versus the cost. Energy efficiency has become the need of the hour as it is expected that energy demand would increase by 40% by 2040.

Wireless home automation is finally showing signs of going mainstream and Bluetooth Smart technology is making it happen. Bluetooth Smart enables companies to develop devices and applications that can securely connect with the billions of smartphones, tablets and computers consumers already own. 

Over 15 years ago, it was theorized that people would connect wirelessly. Classic Bluetooth provided the means for device communication and manufacturers built hub devices like PCs, smartphones, cars and tablets to take advantage of these connections.

Many homeowners are looking for the convenience of new technology, including customized access to appliances, lighting and heating, window coverings, irrigation, and entertainment systems.

Amaryllo International Inc., Amsterdam, displayed the world's first wireless IP camera featuring plugged-into-Skype technology.

Their iCam HD cameras come with a built-in speaker and a megapixel lens that is capable of 1280 x 720 HD video. With the night-vision feature the iCam captures video in complete darkness. It will ignore your pets, but notice human intruders. The lag time is less than 0.5 seconds, making what you see real time.

As the leading source for efficient and convenient solutions for the home and mobility, Bosch has a smartphone integration solution that produces an ideal device/vehicle link, allowing users to use their existing iPhone or Android smartphone apps as they have previously without jeopardizing safety.

Users can use the navigation app to guide them by the fastest route to their destination, using the appointment in a personal calendar, while listening to music on the Internet radio, and booking a hotel room en route all at the same time.

An Alpharetta Georgia company, Sengled, has the world's first LED light and dual stereo speakers in one.




Simply screw the bulb into an existing lamp and download the app to your smart phone. Integrated with a JBL® Bluetooth speaker, Pulse Solo combines dual 3 watt speakers to provide stereo sound. Just insert the Pulse Solo into any standard light socket and adjust both the lighting and sound from almost any Bluetooth enabled device, such as the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices without needing speaker wires, power cords or an independent remote control. 

Netgear won six CES innovation awards, including a new family of switches, the ProSAFE® Click Switch, in 8-port and 16-port Gigabit Ethernet models. The new Click Switch is extremely flexible with its 1-2-3-4 “click” mounting system, designed to improve cable management and reduce unsightly cords in connected homes.

The NETGEAR ProSAFE Click Switch (Photo: Business Wire)

The unique 1-2-3-4 click mounting system of the ProSAFE Click Switch enables optimal placement and cable management in locations where other switches will not go. They can be attached to a wall, under a table, or even to a pole and “click” the switch into it, like a ski boot onto a ski. The switch bracket offers both vertical and horizontal orientations so that the ports can face either outwards or sideways, creating four mounting options: (1) vertical/side mount, (2) vertical/rear mount, (3) horizontal/side mount, and (4) horizontal/rear mount.

Now, you can talk to your visitors and open the door using your smartphone or tablet, With DoorBird you never miss a visitor. You will receive an instant alert when a visitor pushes the button, so that you can talk to them securely from anywhere in the world.


With the DoorBird video doorbell, you can always take control of your parcel, whether you're in your garden or across town. No need to arrange your life around a delivery schedule. Your kids locked out? Just open the door from your office. You can also connect your standard in-house door chime.

Zipato's Rule Creator allows customers to use the full potential of their connected device. It's a graphical tool that makes online programming easy and fun. Using Zipato Rule Creator customers can easily create or change any automation process in their home without any previous programming experience.

The intuitive graphical programming tool eliminates the need for complex programming or cryptic computer code while a powerful library of control functions provide the flexibility to develop simple or complex control sequences. Control algorithms are easy to understand. The Rule Creator is an online tool that allows the user to add or change something in the configuration whenever you want and from anywhere in the world.

UniKey’s access control technology powers the first smart lock with its Touch-to-Open technology, which allows secure access via your smartphone without removing it from your pocket or purse.

You don’t even need to take your smartphone out of your pocket or purse. It’s as simple as walking up, touching the lock, and walking in. 

Droplet is a reinvention of the way plants get watered, using the latest technology in robotics, cloud computing and connected services, Droplet transforms the way sprinkler systems function. Droplet keeps plants healthy without wasting water by drawing upon a vast system of data to intelligently determine how best to care for your plants. By being smart, precise and frugal, Droplet can lower your sprinkler water consumption by up to 90%.

Installation is simple and takes less than five minutes. Hook the sprinkler up to the garden hose and plug in. Then, find the nearest smart device to input the types of plants in the yard and where they are located so that Droplet knows where to distribute the water. The state-of-the-art robotic sprinkler understands each plant and disperses the proper amount of water to ensure even and efficient watering. 

IC Realtech, a global leader in surveillance, and ALLIE, a software company, specializing in immersive video technology, have created the ALLIE line of 720 degree surveillance cameras. The cameras are designed to offer a 720 degree view with no blind spots or moving parts.

By incorporating many software sensors and synchronizing both front and rear camera lenses together, the ALLIE collection cameras are able to capture 360-degree x 360-degree video that puts the viewer completely in the center of the action.

LUCIS Technologies introduced a cloud-based smart home lighting and safety console, NuBryte, which is very user friendly. Users just need a screw driver and basic wiring skills to replace any light switch with the NuBryte console.

Once the NuBryte console is installed by users in their home they can control and protect their home via a touch screen control pad or the amazing free NuBryte iPhone app. The console also helps people to reduce their energy usage which helps in lowered bills which saves money. 

The NuBryte warns the user with flashing lights when an intruder enters and alerts the user through their smartphones which allows them to activate the NuBryte’s built in camera. The console also provides intercom communications, gives weather updates and alerts and even a family calendar.

Smart homes should be able to automatically adapt to your wants and needs, so you don’t have to think about them if you don’t want to. Homes will become intelligent enough to distinguish between family members and guests and adjust to individual needs based on biometrics like fingerprints, or body temperatures. Companies are already pouring millions of dollars into developing technologies that seamlessly integrate our digital and physical worlds. As we saw from the Smart Home marketplace, the future of the smart home looks bright.


Len Calderone – Contributing Editor



Len contributes to this publication on a regular basis. Past articles can be found in the Article Library and his profile on our Associates Page

He also writes short stores that always have a surprise ending. These can be found at


Len Calderone