Best of CES 2016 in pictures: The year IoT took over

The best of CES 2016 in pictures, featuring a whole lot of IoT, smart home, and wearable technology.

ces preview 2016
IoT, home networking dominate CES 2016

CES 2016 kicked off this week with a clear shift in focus from the smartphones and tablets of the past few years to the increasingly connected home and the spread of the Internet of Things. Smart home-related technology can be found anywhere at CES this year, while maximizing the home network has reemerged as a top priority to accommodate both the IoT and the rise of streaming content.

Keep up to date with all the news out of CES here.

Luma’s “surround Wi-Fi”
Credit: Luma
Luma’s “surround Wi-Fi”

Aiming to solve problems that any Wi-Fi user is all too familiar with, Luma devices act as Wi-Fi access points designed and priced for use in the home. The system also incorporates an app that shows who is accessing the network (like freeloading neighbors), grant and revoke access to the network, and establish parental controls. The company, which only launched in November and showed its products for the first time publicly at CES, is taking pre-orders, with up to three Luma devices available for $249.

influx router dock final
Credit: INFLUX
INFLUX Wi-Fi router dock that boosts signal range

Canadian networking company INFLUX announced its new Router Dock product, which sits beneath a router and increases its signal strength by as much as 50%. In fact, the company claims tests in controlled environments showed up to four-times the signal strength out of the box. The Router Dock is designed to deflect the signals that cause background interference and drag down wireless performance. The device doesn’t require any setup or software, and it doesn’t even need to be connected to a power source.

Sengled smart LED lightbulbs double as speakers
Credit: Sengled
Sengled smart LED lightbulbs double as speakers

Smart home company Sengled announced its audio-enabled smart LED light bulbs at CES. The Pulse Flex is a 13-watt Bluetooth-enabled speaker built into an LED light bulb, enabling audio streaming from a tethered device to play in any room in the house that has light bulbs. And the Sengled Voice is a similar device equipped with microphones and voice control software. That means you can turn lights on and off with voice commands, but also that your connected light bulbs can ask as a baby monitor or security system throughout the home.

Keyssa data transfer aims to eliminate adapters in devices
Credit: Keyssa
Keyssa data transfer aims to eliminate adapters in devices

Perhaps it’s not surprising that Tony Fadell, who has been named “one of the fathers of the iPod,” serves as an adviser to Keyssa, a company promoting touchless data transfer to replace “unsightly holes in otherwise beautiful products.” Keyssa offers a coffee-bean sized wireless connector based on solid state, electromagnetic, and materials technology. The connector can be installed anywhere in a device and is capable of transferring data at speeds up to 6Gbps between two devices placed within close proximity of each other, through what Keyssa calls “Kiss Connectivity.”

Snuza Pico: A wearable for babies
Credit: Snuza
Snuza Pico: A wearable for babies

Snuza makes small sensors that attach to babies’ diapers and monitors their abdominal movement, skin temperature, and sleeping position. Parents can connect their smartphone to the device via Bluetooth Low Energy (up to 30 meters), and can consult an app that displays data on the baby and alerts them of any signs of risk. The device is small and designed to clip onto the diaper without touching the babies’ skin, aiming to provide assurance to parents without disturbing the baby.

360fly camera captures 360 video
Credit: 360fly
360fly camera captures 360 video

The rise of virtual reality, along with increasing support for 360 video on sites like YouTube and Facebook, creates a new world for the video industry. 360fly, the only single-lens camera designed for capturing interactive 360-degree video, announced at CES it will be available at select Best Buy stores and at BestBuy.com. The camera provides the ability to shoot, edit, and share 360 video, and the video can be viewed as a VR experience with Google’s Cardboard device, which turns a smartphone into a VR device. You can see a video showing different use cases for the 360fly camera here.

SparTag motion sensor for sports
Credit: Cambridge Consultants
SparTag motion sensor for sports

To showcase its smart motion sensor SparTag, Cambridge Consultants attached it to a baseball bat and collected the data it shows on the swing. Combining a three-axis accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a magnetometer, the device provides accurate data on trajectory, orientation, and acceleration. The baseball bat is just an example of the many use cases that could be possible with the device. You can read more about it and watch a video on the SparTag system here.

Muzzley: Smart home control from a smartphone
Credit: Muzzley
Muzzley: Smart home control from a smartphone

Rather than installing yet another device to act as a hub for connected smart home products, Muzzley turns the smartphone into a control center. The app – available for iOS, Android, and even Windows Phone – supports the Nest thermostat, WeMo light switches, and dozens of other smart home devices. The company also claims it is developing a new “intelligent feature,” which will suggest home settings for the user, such as an optimal temperature on a smart thermostat when you walk in the door.

ETwater Unity monitors water usage
Credit: ETwater
ETwater Unity monitors water usage

With technology that might be especially pertinent in drought-stricken California, ETwater Unity is a combination smart monitor and mobile app that provides data showing how much water is being used and, more importantly, how much users should be using. The ET Unity device attaches to a sprinkler system to automatically deactivate when it has surpassed water usage levels. The mobile app combines all relevant data – from the types of plants and soil to relevant weather info – to provide an accurate estimate on the proper amount of water to use. And the company recently announced a new product development kit and APIs for open software and hardware, inviting developers to create new tools using the system.