The Sunset Smarter Awards: The Best New Tech of CES 2020
Courtesy of Samsung
From a smart grilling hub to a modular fridge to a retro smart thermostat, these are the gadgets our editors loved at the biggest tech show of the year
Sunset Smarter is where we cover the combination of technology and the way we live, from smart homes and connected appliances to wellness and more.
Best of Show: Samsung Bespoke Refrigerator
Samsung’s new Bespoke Refrigerator is creating a new category of customizable home appliances, with modular design and a beautiful range of colors to create a fridge that looks more like minimalist art than an appliance. The fridges have eight different styles, ranging from 1-door to 4-door units, and are kitchen-fit for a built-in look. The Bespoke lineup has already launched overseas, but pricing and retail timing for the U.S. is still to be announced.
Hottest Newcomer: Townew Smart Trash Can
The Townew, a self-sealing trash can from newcomer Knectek, was a major eye-catcher at CES 2020. With infrared sensors and a built-in fan to create a vacuum, the Townew is engineered to seal and change the trash bag for you with the click of a button. The trash can is available now for $119.95, and keep an eye on the startup as their lineup grows in 2020.
Best New Smart Light: Ring Smart LED Light Bulbs
Smart lights have been a key component of the connected home, and while there are plenty of smart lights on the market, security brand Ring’s new Smart LED Lights caught our eye for their great indoor-outdoor design. Both the A19 and PAR38 (floodlight) models were made for the outdoors and can be brought indoors. Retailing for $14.99 and $24.99 each, the bulbs will be available in April.
Best New TV: Vizio OLED TV
Vizio is known for its more affordable, while still high-quality, televisions and the announcement of their first-ever OLED TV means the larger public will start having a more accessible price point for adding OLED TVs to their homes. OLEDs have become popular since their emit light through flexible sheets of organic electroluminescent material, which also allows them to use less power for the beautiful display. Pricing and timing announcements are still to come.
Best New Smart Speaker: Soundform Elite by Belkin and Devialet
The full name of this new speaker is the SOUNDFORM ELITE™ Hi-Fi Smart Speaker + Wireless Charger, a collaboration between the tech company Belkin and French audio company Devialet. The latter company’s design of dual amp speakers that don’t make the speaker vibrate allows Belkin’s wireless charging mount to be integrated into the speaker, doubling the speaker’s use as a phone charger with fantastic sound. The speaker currently works with Google Assistant for connected smarts, it’ll arrive in Spring 2020, and can be preordered for $299.
Most Innovative, Food: Impossible Pork
While CES is full of cooking, kitchen, and even grilling gadgets, there was only one true food company to be found at the conference: Impossible Foods, the maker of the famed plant-based Impossible Burger. At CES 2020, Impossible Foods announced their brand-new item, Impossible Pork. The plant-based pork substitute is reportedly made with a fraction of the environmental impact as animal-derived pork, and resembles ground pork. Availability and partners for the new menu item are still to come.
Most Innovative, Smart Home: C by GE Hubless Smart Switches
GE Lighting’s connected brand, C by GE, expanded its lineup with new smart switches and dimmers this year. But what made these switches stand out were two features: no requirement of a neutral wire, allowing many more homes in the U.S. to install a smart switch, and no requirement of a hub to allow the switch to work with the internet or a smart assistant. These streamlined switch designs point towards a more seamless smart home future, one that’s easier on homeowners instead of more complicated. The switches and dimmers will arrive later this year, with pricing starting at $39.99.
Most Innovative, Garden: LG Indoor Vegetable Cultivator
LG’s Indoor Vegetable Cultivator doesn’t just bring gardening indoors, but truly integrates it with the way we eat. It’s designed to be a companion compartment to LG’s fridges, so you could go from pulling herbs from your indoor garden to grabbing the next ingredient from the fridge or pantry. While pricing and timing are still to be announced, it’s an intriguing take on what the future of gardening and cooking could look like.
Most Innovative, Travel: Fisker Ocean
A major road trip can be all the more eco-friendly with the newly revealed Fisker Ocean, reportedly the world’s most sustainable vehicle. The electric SUV is planned to have a full-length solar roof to support the car’s battery power source, fully recycled carpeting made from the regenerated nylon of abandoned fishing net waste, a 100% vegan interior, and interior textures made from eco-suede derived from polyester and recycled plastic. Plus, it has a “California Mode” inspired by the Southern California coastline, which lowers nine glass windows to open the entire cabin with just one touch for an open-air experience. The Fisker Ocean will retail for $37,499 MSRP, with lease options, and is expected to arrive in 2022.
Best Design, Smart Home: Honeywell Home M5 Classic Thermostat
This smart thermostat stands out from the sea of connected thermostats for a surprising reason—no screen. Honeywell’s new M5 Classic is designed as an homage to their T86 thermostat from the 1950’s, while still packing an amazing array of smart features, like notifications about your home’s air quality. Pricing and timing are still to come, but the design has our full attention already.
Best Design, Lighting: LIFX Z TV Smart LED Strip
Australian smart lighting brand LIFX is expanding its range of hubless, high-quality smart lights with its Z TV LED strips line, with a new 360˚Kit and Gamer Kit coming out this year. But the best feature is in the app itself—the ability, in the app, to paint the light strip any colors and patterns you can imagine, and then toggle the light strip to move around with that new design if you like. Or, you can toggle the light strip to be a single color with an easy click of a button. LIFX has made it easy to create beautifully colorful lights that you’ll want to use both for entertainment and for daily use. The Z TV LED Strip is available now starting at $69.99, and the expansion kits will be available in spring 2020.
Best Design, Kitchen: U by Moen Smart Faucet
The future of voice command in your kitchen is with water. U by Moen’s Smart Faucet allows you to voice command the exact amount of water and temperature you want dispensed, perfect for multitasking cooks and busy parents who have their hands full. It also has a wave sensor on top, allowing you to quickly wave your hand for water to stop and start if your hands are messy from cooking, or still wet after washing. The streamlined take on sinks starts at $430, and will be available in early February.
Best Design, Outdoor Kitchen: Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub
Smart cooking isn’t just for the indoors, which is why the grilling pros at Weber have collaborated with the smart oven company June to create a connected grilling tool. Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub has four thermometer probes that you place into your protein of choice, allowing you to grill up to four proteins at once with the help of the hub, and connects to an app to guide you on cooking each protein to the perfect amount of doneness. You’re able to choose how you’d like each protein to be done, and the app will let you know when to turn it, when it’s ready, and even includes recipe info. The Smart Grilling Hub will be available in early 2020 for $129.99, and can be used with any grill you already have.
Best Design, Garden: Orbit B-hyve XR Smart Irrigation Control
Orbit’s B-hyve smart sprinkler systems have been one of the frontrunners of the space, and their new B-hyve XR is a powerful new addition to the connected garden game. The B-hyve XR features a powerful new 900 MHz radio for better reach in larger gardens, and to get around physical barriers like valve boxes. It also has easier setup and installation than past models, simpler controls, and has a stylish new exterior. Available this spring, the new B-hyve XR will support 8- and 16-zone yards, and will start at $149.
Best Design, Eco-Conscious: Sepura Smart Garbage Disposal
Home composting can be a frustrating—and smelly—experience. But with new Sepura, your composting can now go directly under your sink and seamlessly connect with your garbage disposal to easily gather your food waste for future composting. Instead of sending food waste into the sewage system, Sepura will collect it under your sink, and let you know via LED light when the bin is full and ready to be added to your composting barrel or garden. The Sepura Home composting system will retail for $340, and is available for pre-order now.