Many CES Gadgets Focus on Home Energy

January 09, 2011

If you are reading this from your Chicago home, chances are you didn’t make the trek to Las Vegas for this weekend’s annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Produced by the Consumer Electronics Association, the CES — the country’s largest trade show and the world’s largest consumer technology trade show — featured more than 2,700 exhibitors showing off the newest and not-even-out-yet gadgets.

More than 126,000 people were expected at the show, which included exhibits on:

*Car technology

*Cell phones, smartphones, tablets and e-book readers

*Computers, hardware, software and applications

*Digital photo and video


*Home theaters and televisions

*Green technology


Here are some of the home products that fall into that green technology category, plus a couple other cool ones.


*Modlet: ThinkEco’s product is a plug with a Zibgee radio that can communicate with a PC through a USB and cuts down on wasted energy. It tracks how much energy electronics use and lets you schedule things to turn off at different times. Also eliminates vampire power.

*Energy display: When connected to a smart meter, this General Electric device will show homeowners how much energy they are using in real time or over time. Also allows utilities to alert homeowners of events, including at what time electricity will be more expensive.

*Nucleus: The hub of a GE home-energy network, it communicates with a smart meter, controls smart appliances and gathers and stores up to two year’s of usage data. Next year’s model should be able to get information into Nucleus without a smart meter.

Remote control LED bulbs.

*Remote control LED: These bulbs can be controlled when equipped with a home networking radio. With the software, you could put different lights on different schedules.

*TV smart home service: This Fios television allows you to set different modes, including home, away and goodnight, and then automatically adjusts the temperature and lighting to your settings at those times.

Smart fridge.

*Internet refrigerator: An LG Electronics smart appliance with touch-screen displays, this fridge would be connected to the Internet so homeowners could program recipes and keep track of food in the house.

*Fuel cell: Panasonic’s fuel cell makes electricity by reforming natural gas into hydrogen. It can also generate a significant amount of heat for hot water storage.

*Robotic vacuum: LG says its robotic vacuum cleaner can be controlled over the home network and will keep an eye on the house when you aren’t home.

*Kenmore smart washing machine: This prototype, which is expected in 2012 or 2013, will have a USB and memory card slot so the appliance could be upgraded or so Kenmore can provide remote diagnostics. With a smart meter, the washer will know when to operate at less expensive times.

Home theater system.

*Home Theater: The Samsung BD-D7000 is so small it looks more like a DVD player than a home theater disc player. It’s 3D compatible, has a built-in 2D-to-3D conversion processor and Wi-Fi.

The Vinci

Handheld tablet: A computer for infants up to age three. Features a touch-screen with 3D animation, a chewable handle, a 3-megapixel backward-facing camera, an HD video camera and USB connection to download all of baby’s daily memories.

Sounds cooler than anything I own.

This is only a small portion of the wide variety of devices at this year’s International Consumers Electronics Show. For more information on the show, visit cesweb.org. For a more in-depth look at the products, check out ces.cnet.com.

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