The Consumer Electronics Association's CES Best of Innovations awards "Home Appliances" category managed to highlight some innovative products this year - but there wasn't a single traditional home appliance in the mix.
For years, traditional home appliances have been adopting technology from the consumer electronics industry. They're increasingly using sophisticated electronics for networking, energy efficiency, and enhanced features.
But when the 2013 Design and Engineering Awards, were announced Nov. 12, 2012, the "Home Appliances" category winner was a baby monitor - not a product that springs to mind when most people think of a traditional home appliance.
CEA essentially used the award to highlight yet another subcategory of consumer electronics, and wasted an opportunity to highlight one of the many innovations being developed by the makers of kitchen appliances, home comfort appliances, electric housewares, and laundry appliances.
Not that the winner in the "Home Appliances" category isn't innovative. The WeMo Baby is a baby monitor that uses the home's Wi-Fi to stream audio from a baby's room directly to an iPhone or iPad.
Runners up in the "Home Appliances" category include:
* The Magic Life Guard Water Purifier from Moneual, which alerts users to needed filter changes needed and automatically alerts a service center. It also detects gas leaks, smoke, or fire in the home, thus providing full-home protection.
* The Urban Weather Station from Netatmo is Wi-Fi connected to iPhone, iPad, or Android phones. It gives user the ability to monitor indoor and outdoor environmental elements like temperature, humidity, air pressure, CO2, and air quality.
* The iRobot Looj 330 Gutter Cleaning Robot crawls through gutters to blow out leaves, dirt, and clogs while brushing gutters clean.
* The Stanley Black & Decker GYRO Screwdriver, described as the world's first motion-activated screwdriver, which uses gyroscopic technology to control variable speed and direction
* Lowe's Home Improvement's Iris Smart Kit is designed to be the first affordable DIY solution for home monitoring and control. It uses the Web and cloud computing to provide scalable products and services to make homes safer, more efficient, and easier to manage.
Best of Innovations products will be featured in the Innovations Design and Engineering Awards Showcase in The Venetian at the 2013 International CES, Jan. 8-11, 2013 in Last Vegas.
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