Tech, trends and our take

home, smart home

This was the year many smart home products moved from pricey gimmicks to affordable commodities. While that’s a good thing, it has led to some intimidated consumers trying to make sense of the overwhelming number of options.


We feel the next evolution in this industry needs to be a strategic effort to make the purchase and installation experience as smart as the devices. High-end builders and integrators handled this process when smart homes were aimed at early adopters and wealthy customers, but DIY homeowners are looking for guidance on how to design a product ecosystem that fits their unique needs. The first manufacturers to figure out a way to deliver on this challenge will elevate their brand at a critical juncture in the smart home industry.



Aura has created a novel approach to DIY home security, using your home’s current WiFi network as an invisible security grid.

The smart remote finally gets a brain... Seven Hugs nails it with ease of use and connectivity to 25,000+ devices.



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Some exhibitors focus like a laser on only one aspect of the smart home, like lighting... and do it very well.

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Literally a dozen or more new smart thermostats at CES 2017... from huge, established brands down to innovative startups.



Aurora modular smart lights by nanoleaf-- officially the coolest, most fun connected home product yet. Wow, just wow.

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belkin & linksys

Belkin makes a play to improve performance of home WiFi, and add value to routers with the new  Linksys Velop...hi-speed wireless mesh to reach every corner of your home.

What do you think?

Will Alexa be the core AI technology in the smart home market?

tell us more

Petcube ensures your four legged family also feels included in your smart home.

“In all my years in design, I never thought I'd see a radiator valve designed by Philippe Starck... wonderful.” -Joel Delman, LA Creative Director



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If it seems like...

the smart home market is absolutely exploding, it is.

Household penetration is at

and is expected to hit



IN 2017

IN 2021



It all started with a smart doorbell... Ring is expanding with smart products which solve critical security concerns with DIY ease.

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shadecraft sunflower


First purchase of CES 2017 - the Nucleus wifi DIY intercom solves a lot of problems and lets kids facetime with grandma.

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This is neat... The Sunflower umbrella from Shade Craft automatically tracks the sun and moves autonomously to keep you cool.

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Coolest charging device at CES 2017 also serves as mood lighting with built-in video cam for parties and restaurant use.


Amazon Alexa voice control appeared in numerous 3rd party devices at CES 2017, like this sleek home climate monitor.


is seen as a key enabler of smart home tech, the “missing link” that now allows universal control. Alexa makes the tech totally accessible and seem like a seamless extension of technology people are already comfortable with.

3 distinct brands of connected home devices from Lutron offer homeowners a wide range of options at different price points. Smart way to differentiate among customers and their unique needs.

Ok, this isn’t a connected smart home product, but it sure is smart... bravo to Whirlpool for making composting practical and simple. The modern smart home is filled with devices that ultimately keep people on the couch, but Zera gives them the satisfaction of knowing they're making the world a better place, one banana peel at a time.


whirlpool zera



bitdefender box

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A brave new world... the intersection of tech, security and privacy was on display at Netatmo.

Smart homes need protection against hackers... all this tech raises new concerns. Bitdefender BOX has you covered.

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the good, the bad and the creepy

Robots & Artificial Intelligence

This is how you design a family friendly robot. Ling.AI's Jibo moves, speaks, and interacts with warmth and emotion



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While not as smart or connected as some of its counterparts, people were swarming around the $700 device as it is so adorable. “Adorable tech,” where the focus is on personality and friendliness, is the future as AI becomes integrated into more solutions.


This one is more than a little creepy... and raises the question - and challenge - of how to make tech truly approachable.



il robot ipal

Long way from Furbees...autonomous robots for adults and children have really grown up this year


pudding bean Q

Leka is a sweet robotic companion and therapy tool for children with autism and developmental disorders, designed to teach through play.


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About security...

We’d be remiss if we didn’t comment on the security aspects of this market. These concerns have been widely featured in the news lately, and with good reason. Whether you’re a high level political operative or an ordinary citizen, the thought of a criminal watching you through your cameras, hacking your alarm system, or even locking you out of your own home is terrifying. Smart home product developers will have to be vigilant and responsive to customer concerns in order to build confidence in their consumer base. We anticipate the security-for-your-home-security market to grow in coming years in response.



here a drone, there a drone

Most of today’s drones are in a bit of “no man’s land” … an intermediate step between radio controlled toys and autonomous devices that can truly assist people. They’re on their way to being useful but, for the most part, not quite there yet. Many are just expensive playthings that don’t do much more than take selfies, but there were a few breakouts in terms of function or design.


We expect the market to start demanding more, and are excited to see how all these manufacturers will deliver on those higher expectations.






hover camera passport

star wars propel

The selfie stick is so last year... dozens of drones designed to capture your mug from just the right altitude could be found at CES 2017

Officially the most innovative drone at CES 2017: the folding Hover Camera by Passport is a really fun, functional design.

Autel shows off a new fixed wing drone with vertical take-off and landing capabilities.

Licensed Star Wars drones from Propel WorldWide take another road, bringing quality flight and scale looks to the toy aisle.

autel kestrel

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We like it!

take a dip.



powervision powerray

PowerRay from PowerVision helps you conquer the underwater world, and (supposedly) catch more fish.

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Momma said...

playing video games would get you nowhere.

but as drones proliferate in industries as wide ranging as construction to defense, gamers are being sought  for their highly-tuned hand / eye coordination and quick reflexes to control these devices.

flying in combat zones to gather and analyze intelligence data.

monitoring issues in fields for farmers.

researching and mapping geographical information.

capturing footage for film and advertising projects.

...and much more.




to Large


bionic bird

ehang 184


In case you didn't think drones were a huge business, that's a real airplane hanging over this manufacturer's booth.

 Drones were everywhere at CES 2017, but this little guy is the first we'd seen that broke the multi-propeller mold.

And this is a human-size, one-person drone from China... thanks, we'll drive.

A flock of pocket drones are demonstrated at CES 2017 to show that bigger is not necessarily better.

zerotech dobby

virtual reality this year?

What was up with

Most people agree that VR made a disappointing appearance at this year’s show, with few new applications or devices since 2016.


We think VR is here to stay, but that it got over hyped too soon. Moreover, some of the most exciting and promising VR applications simply aren’t on display at a show like CES- training applications, medical, defense and more- are going to drive the early adoption of the tech, before prices come down sufficiently for average consumer-level uses like entertainment.



The first technology is also just now hitting shelves…. nobody knows yet how adoption will go, so people are waiting on early performance before next generation solutions will be introduced.



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bling, bling: wearables

Wearables continue their welcome march toward beauty with an emphasis on jewelry-like aesthetics, following a notable new trend: “Analog digital.” Many smart watches and monitors at CES were consciously designed to appear to be something they weren’t – traditional analog watches or “dumb” bracelets, hiding the smarts inside and wirelessly transferring user interface duties to the wearer’s smart phone. People love their tech, but don’t want to give up the opportunity to make a personal statement.




kyon pet tracker

Lots of pet tracking wearables at CES, but Kyon is the only one that helps your dog communicate with people.

According to a 2015 study among 1000 people in the UK



of 16 to 24 year olds claimed to want wearable tech

said wearable tech was

“just a fad”


So now what?

The number of wearables at CES is daunting...

and seemingly growing exponentially every year. So “why is this section not 90% of the report,” you may be thinking. Our answer is the market still seems to be struggling with what has real value, how to connect devices into larger ecosystems, what’s truly new, and what to do with all of this data. Until there are clearer answers, we’ll continue to see this dichotomy in the marketplace regarding the value of wearable technology.

martian watch

First wearable incorporating Amazon Alexa from Martian... you don't even need an Amazon device.

misfit ray


“It's early at CES 2017, but I'm ready to call the Misfit Ray one of the best looking wearables at the show," says Joel Delman.

The Smartwatch evolves... into beautiful analog designs that connect to your phone, from Fossil.

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sony e ink watch

As tech becomes more advanced, there’s a trend toward hiding its complexity rather than celebrating the tech itself. It’s about use, functionality and friendliness, not about specifications.

tracking for all our stuff

How distracted have we become?


Judging by the number of "help me find my keys" gadgets at #CES2017, people must be losing things at record rate

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What industry has the most potential for growth for trackers?

What do you think?


“Probably shouldn't tweet this to world, but I see appeal of these Bluetooth trackers... wife lost car keys 3x over holidays”. -Joel Delman, LA Creative Director


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Bravo: Truly life enhancing wearables



Aira allows people who are blind to be safely guided via remote sensors.

The Willow breast pump is cordless, nearly silent, connected, and handsfree, integrating pumping into a mom’s day like nothing else.

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health & wellness

People have been in search of healing and health long before wearables (or batteries) were a gleam in our eye.. The prevalence of tech related to feeling better, looking better and living longer at CES is a reflection of this innate need to improve ourselves, and trackers, enhancers and motivators of every kind were visible throughout the show.


Solutions which used to require a doctor’s prescription are now within reach of anyone who can use a smartphone, and are delivering experiences superior to those once found only through physician intervention, like hearing aids.


With the good, however, comes the bad. Some products try to answer health issues we frankly can’t imagine anyone having. Do people really need a brush that notifies you if your hair is too dry, or that your skin needs more moisturizer?


Because solutions for health and wellness at CES were so wide-ranging, we’ve divided this summary into 5 sections: tracking & analysis, life enhancing, sleep, hygiene & self-care, and movement.





Headphones designed specially to wear while you sleep... good idea, well executed by SleepPhones.

Bonjour from La FRENCH TECH is a bedside companion that seamlessly integrates with your sleep, fitness & wellness. Nicely done.



la french tech bonjour

Sleep was Huge at CES 2017. The Sleep Number 360 smart bed tracks and learns, automatically adjusting to the way you sleep.


Lovely NON Wearable sleep monitor from Terraillon... elegant solution analyzes the sleep environment (temperature, brightness, humidity and noise) and helps people understand disruptions to improve sleep quality via their mobile app.


sleep number

homni sleep device

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Designed by Yves Behar, the SNOO bassinet includes tech to help babies (and parents) stay asleep and feel like they’re in the womb.

snoo bassinet

is a public health problem

Insufficient sleep

Sleep seemed to be the new frontier at CES 2017. Solutions to monitor and aid quality sleep truly exploded this year, no doubt because sleep is elusive to so many. But while some offerings do show promise to make sleep more comfortable, to encourage a restful environment and inform people about issues with their sleep, can technology address the prime cause of insomnia: stress? Ironically, technology may be a prime cause of stress for many.


A rather unique integration of health and wellness into the smart home environment: a toilet that monitors bowel movements. Wonder how guests would feel...


Wellness Works... InBody performs full body composition analysis, and tracks critical data over time.


body care smart toilet


hydration management

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First connected hearing device ("aid" sounds so old fashioned) allows immediate adjustment to any environment.

oticon  medical

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a newly coined name for various kinds of hearing augmentation devices

Life enhancing

“I confess I don't get the smart water bottle trend... I'm thirsty, I drink. I work out, I drink more.”

Want to know if those apples are fresh? If that Tylenol tablet is real? Chan Hong’s smart phone has a sensor for that.


Quell by Neurometrix takes proven electrical stimulation TENS technology to a broad market, marrying old tech with new.

An unfortunate statement about the environment... tech for a polluted world here at CES.

neurometrix quell

lianluo sleep respirator

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Hygiene & self care

Don't know if you have dry skin? Now you'll never be in the dark, or puzzled by how much moisturizer to use.

mili pure



kerastase & withings

If bad breath is not enough incentive, the well-designed Kolibree toothbrush connects to a user’s phone to optimize oral hygiene.


No need for kids to interrupt video gaming to brush their teeth. The Playbrush integrates feedback and a reward system with an algorithm that encourages kids to brush more accurately and regularly.

Track & improve hair damage, breakage and dryness with Withings Hair Coach by Kerastase. Not sure what more to say than that ad copy.

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autonomous smartdesk

Smart desk by Autonomous adjusts height and angle throughout day for health and calorie burn.

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Super smart bike from Peloton live streams classes and instruction from NYC to built in screen... best of both worlds.

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Let's get moving

of Americans

ages 6 and older are

physically inactive



million people


Physical Activity Council. 2014 Participation Report

Smart approach to fitness tech... Piq partners with leading manufacturers to create sport specific tracking devices.


Looking forward...

We couldn’t help but call attention to the irony of all the green energy advancements featured in CES North Hall, juxtaposed against the megatons of future landfill showcased in the South Hall. While many companies at CES are developing unique solutions which add genuine value and enhance people’s lives, far too many exhibitors focus on creating products that are destined for the garbage dump of novelty and ultimately harm the environment and quality of life for everyone on Earth.

health & wellness

movement without the calorie burn

For those looking more for

Great to see Segway with amazing new "One". Now that's a Personal Mobility Device... $599 on Amazon, mine next Xmas.


segway ninebot one

The next generation HoverBoard from Jyro... the Roll actually looks like a lot of fun, and you won't look like a dork riding it.

jyro roll

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This guy is definitely ready to take on the world with his PMD (personal mobility device)... I'm from LA, we just drive.

xyz board

tech for adventurers

So here’s the question we asked ourselves at CES, perusing the array of devices geared toward “adventure” … are people really engaging in more extreme outdoor activities than ever before, or are we just making a lot more movies of ourselves on bikes and surfboards? Either way, the tech at CES was designed to make those movies easier to record, edit, share. And hey, if a new action cam encourages people to get out there and do something exciting, that’s probably a good thing.





The GoPro Omni takes an innovative approach to 360 video, using multiple Hero cams in a cubic frame.

gopro omni

outdoor tech

sunnycam hd video eyewear

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From branding to ID & packaging, Outdoor Tech impressed with a fantastic line of electronics optimized for the outdoor lifestyle.

The Sunnycam eyewear integrates HD action video into your sunglasses. Makes a lot of sense.

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Well designed new line of solar panels and high capacity batteries for serious outdoors people from EnerPlex.


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Polar partnered with GoPro to tie fitness monitoring with action video... really smart, really cool.


polar + gopro

tom tom bandit

GoTenna Mesh and similar “smartphone antennas” address the problem of keeping in touch when the environment, or an emergency, makes your smartphone not so smart.

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Motion sensors in the TomTom Bandit action cam identify all exciting scenes, then automatically create video of best moments.

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caught our eye

Screens that

In terms of TVs, LaserCast by Hisense kind of steals the show. World’s first laser projection TV, image is incredible.


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Impossibly thin?

How on earth are manufacturers making televisions 30% thinner than an iPhone? By moving the guts off the screen. Components are housed in a box or speaker beneath the set, which is then connected to the screen with a single cord for elegant installation.


The biggest problem in flat screen TV finally solved by Samsung ... bright, clear picture from any viewing angle.

HD streaming antenna permits one click access to local TV channels… solves the last mile problem of cord cutting



mohu airwave

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Thinner than an iPhone, this TV mounts to the wall via magnets


lg wallpaper tv

neonode airbar

The Ultimate gaming laptop, with 4 sliding screens. Just a concept this year from Razer.


razer gaming laptop

Turns any Apple laptop into a touchscreen device, simply plug in to your USB port. Remarkable magical tech, for just $99.



a third dimension

Now  that the 3D printing market is reaching critical mass, the original leaders seem to be taking a back seat in finding particularly useful capabilities for their technology. Printing toys and chess pieces is no longer sufficient to build a business around, and those that thought beyond these early adopter uses have become the truly interesting players at CES 2017.


3D printing for medical uses, architectural vision and on-demand component printing (for automotive, marine, defense and aerospace) seems like the next frontier. We expect these areas to continue to evolve, making 3D printing a truly invaluable asset for some industries.








This is 3D print of a brain tumor... using the tech to save lives with full color hi-res output. Whiteclouds is impressive.

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A dollhouse? We think not.  Whiteclouds also brings detailed 3D printing for many architectural needs.

In 3D printing, this is the year of the pen... amazing technology that opens a new world of free-form creativity.

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How is your company currently using 3D printing?
For prototyping
To manufacture final components
Experimenting for future use
A combination of these
We're not leveraging 3D printing yet

What do you think?

tell us more

markforged metal x

The Metal X 3D printer makes it possible to print complex metal parts- think custom molds on the fly and at a low cost.



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The CoLiDo 3D printer’s form factor is a departure from the typical printing ‘box’, looking more like an erector set.

If you were patient enough to wait in a long line, you could get a 3D print of yourself by stepping into their camera array, which then creates a 3D model of you.

brands that stayed true

Let's give a nod to

Maybe the coolest booth at CES 2017... American Greetings promoting old school paper cards as the right tech for many occasions.

american greetings

Awesome to see the Kodak brand back again, looking forward to seeing products that truly build on its heritage of innovation.


Gibson- always the happiest booth (building) at CES... beautiful instruments and rockin bands to close the day.

gibson guitar


Cars used to be a place where you could hop in, take a drive and “get away from it all” for many people. With the advent of super-connected autos, one of the few remaining havens of personal space is becoming part of the larger ecosystem of home, office etc. you can’t get away from.





It's super clean and super quiet, not sure about the practicality of central steering for the driver.

A breath of fresh air? This autonomous driving vehicle is made with breathable material.


denso persuasive vehicle

This little city slicker can endure 120km on a full charge. Designed for those crowded urban areas.

This slick 3.5 liter EcoBoost engine powered supercar received attention at CES 2017 for its best in class torque for a V6 engine, beating its gas & diesel powered competitors.

eli zero

ford ecoboost

faraday future


Leaving viewers in awe, the FF 91 learns and adapts to its environment with autonomous features. Now if they can just get the funding to actually make some cars, Tesla will have some serious competition.

Despite their “Dieselgate Scandal”, VW goes electric with a futuristic look and personalized settings.

A car that, through AI and other technology, expresses and develops an “emotional connection” with its owner. The more you drive, the better “she” gets to know you. Creepy or cool?


toyota concepti

Bosch's concept car's interior is filled with LCD screens from corner to corner, moving away from traditions of auto interior design that many car lovers would miss.


bosch concept car

chrysler portal

The Chrysler Portal has “Zoned Audio”… the driver can listen to different music than the passengers. Tech is now allowing for more personalization, privacy… and perhaps isolation.

So many of the cars in North Hall were high tech, but totally unattractive. Not the Honda NeuV… the most beautiful concept car at CES, with real practicality as well as all the expected bells and whistles.


honda neuv

Flexible touch-screen dashboard tech from Royole Corporation really caught our eye. Interior surfaces like this will be common soon.


royole touchscreen dashboard

Smart rear-view mirror may be safer than playing with your phone, tries to get around "no phone" laws states have enacted.

mobvoi rearview mirror

Taking 3D to the streets, the ‘Blade’ is a fully functional 3D printed car.

A scooter inspired by the flexibility of aircraft landing gear. A good way to zip through traffic.

Along with the ‘Blade’, the ‘Dagger’ cuts through the 3D world of driving.

divergent 3d blade


divergent 3d dagger

a few last thoughts

Before we part...

“Black Stainless” was a cool trend in appliances this year. And you can get that fridge with built in interactive family information center screen (full color only)


From cables to chargers to cases, Belkin offers cohesive color palettes that tie various products and categories together.


materials & finishes

curved glass



Curved glass is becoming the norm on smart devices... feels good, looks great. Adds lots of perceived value.

Will stainless finally see some competition from these rich lacquer finishes? Not sure how well they hide kids’ fingerprints.

Samsung is promoting its new "black stainless" finish as a fresh alternative to basic silver.


Kudos to the USPS for designing "precious cargo" boxes specifically to ship electronics, and coming to CES 2017 to show them off.

why, thanks!

I want that.

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LEGO does it again with “Boost”, bringing tech to play in a genuinely creative and educational way.

Razer’s Project Ariana is a  beautiful projector designed to expand the reach of your gaming screen to the walls around it. Makes for a fabulously immersive experience.

Love sticky notes but hate writing on paper? That’s what the Nemonic printer—created by Samsung spin-off Mangoslab—is for. Pair your iPhone or Android phone via Bluetooth, download the app, write your note and hit print!

lego boost

I should not find this novelty levitating speaker as enchanting as I do, but I do.


razer projector


The Beehive headphone amp by Gibson pairs a vacuum tube with modern electronics in a magical package... on my buy list.

gibson amp


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