Let’s step away from office equipment and look at some of the devices featured at the 2016 CES.
Samsung has really gone high tech in your kitchen. They will soon start selling the new Family Hub Refrigerator (approximately $5,000). It hosts a 21.5” Gorilla Glass computer screen built into the door that will run Pandora, an app called “Sticki” that will sync everyone’s schedule into a shared calendar, mirror the feed from your Samsung smart TV, or use the MasterCard grocery application to purchase food and ingredients. Built into the inside of the door frame are cameras that snap photos of your food and by using your Android or iOS device you can be at the grocery store and view the contents of your fridge to see what you need.
Samsung also added Wi-Fi to some of its ovens. The oven will use Wi-Fi to allow you to check the stove top and see if you left a burner on. While useful, you cannot turn the burner off remotely… that requires hands-on effort. The oven itself does have remote control capability and you turn it on or off, change the temperature and cook times and receive notification when the oven has finished preheating. I’m not too thrilled about this as most home networks are poorly secured and my oven is not something I want others to possible control.
Brinks, the security company, is releasing a new door deadbolt called “Array” that is solar and Wi-Fi enabled. The solar cell is connected to a lithium battery which powers the built-in Wi-Fi device. You can use your Android or iOS device to lock or unlock your door. There is also a 10-digit keypad located behind the solar panel for keyless entry. Again, given the typical security of people’s home networks, this product scares me.
Intel has released the next generation Compute Stick, which looks like a slightly oversized USB memory stick. You simply plug it into any TV or monitor and that device become a full-featured Windows 8 desktop computer. This new version now hosts two USB ports so you can add a dongle for wireless mouse, keyboard or any other peripheral. Better yet, use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and avoid the dongle completely. For $159, this is a wonderful device and a highly rated by PC reviewers.