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Industry News

Who's Smarter: Your Refrigerator or Your Toothbrush?


January 8, 2014

Charter Communications announced this week plans to double the speed of its residential high-speed broadband Internet service from 30 Mbps tier to 60 Mbps, at no extra cost to the consumer. Other cable operators are increasing speeds as well. You may wonder what the push is for cable providers to do this?


Take a look at some of the products at CES this year and the answer is crystal clear: the Wi-Fi connected home. Today it’s hard to find a flat screen TV that isn’t smart, and in a few years, the same will be true for home appliances and tools. The number of devices that we could have connected to our home broadband, all working together, providing data to us any time, anywhere is astonishing. From smarter cooktops to smarter toothbrushes, the in home connected devices overflowed the CES show floor this year and we’ve picked out a few favorites.

Skybell Technologies, Inc. developed a camera-enabled Wi-Fi doorbell that sends data directly to mobile devices. Weighing just 1.9 ounces, this doorbell shows you a live video feed so you can see, hear and speak to the person at your door. It’s also equipped with a motion sensor so you can see who’s at the door, even if they don’t ring the doorbell.


Amaryllo built the iCam HD, a Wi-Fi enabled smart camera with 360-degree rotation. When synced with the Amaryllo Plugged-into-Skype app, users can access the data and live stream from anywhere in the world. There is also the capability to remotely control the camera and rotate left or right if you see something suspicious during the live feed. The mini-SD can store up to five days of continuous HD streaming.

LG, Whirlpool, Samsung and others are developing smarter Internet-connected home appliances that provide data and enable control to anyone on the go and that interact with you like never before. Ask your appliances questions, like “Are there eggs in the fridge?” or “Did you run the dishwasher?”, and the appliance will respond back to you.


Add into the mix the latest router that Linksys announced this week and things really start to heat up. The WRT1900AC Dual Band Wi-Fi Router may look retro, but the hardware is powerful and amazingly capable. Updated to support the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, the router offers speed up to 1.3 Gbps operating on the 5GHz band. This reinforces the need for additional spectrum to be released in the 5GHz band to make 1 Gig Wi-Fi possible.

The connected appliances, cameras, gadgets and other systems throughout the home of the future is only half the story. Cable has built a robust broadband network that is available to 93% of U.S. homes and has been increasing speeds over 50 percent a year, with some tiers growing more than 1000 percent in the last decade. Without reliable and powerful residential broadband, the connected home cannot exist.

Which connected devices were your favorites? Tell us about them in the comments section below.