CES 2015: Lots of Noise, Plus a Few Smart Home Gems

Technology forecasters are calling 2015 'The Year of the Internet of Things' -- referring to the idea that everyday objects will use sensors and Internet connectivity to start thinking and acting for themselves. At the International CES gadget show, I explored many of the elements that could lead to a smarter home. Some were intriguing, others disappointing. Are the capabilities on offer worth the expense and hassle? I'm not entirely convinced.

But there were some gems amid the noise.

The Smart Coffeemaker

A Mr. Coffee coffeepot has remote functionality but it's limited to starting a brew or setting a timer. (And you have to replenish the coffee beans and water after each brew.) But a company named Smarter is making a coffeemaker that lets you put in a week's worth of water and coffee beans. And the best part: The Smarter device will know when you had a horrible night of sleep, based on data from fitness trackers. It promises to make your coffee extra strong that morning.

The $199 device will start shipping in March.

The Smart Yoga Mat

Sensors in the SmartMat analyze your stance. The app alerts you if your balance is off and will tell you to put more weight on your right foot, for instance. You are scored on how well you did the routine.

The app takes up the full screen, so you'll need a separate device if you have a workout video to watch. SmartMat costs $297 and will ship in July.

The Smart Lock

For $219, Kwikset's Kevo system (shown above) will unlock the door while your phone's still in your pocket, useful if your hands are full. You train it so that it opens only when you're right outside the door, not down the block, or worse, inside the house late at night.

Although I'm nervous that someone will find a...

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