Here are the latest developments surrounding the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which officially starts Wednesday.
Oven That Can Be Controlled Via Phone
By Anick Jesdanun
Can you really walk away from your oven? Whirlpool hopes so with its new smart oven.
With a smartphone, you can start, stop and adjust the temperature from another room. You get alerts when pre-heating or cooking is done so you won’t have to keep checking.
And if you leave home, the app will alert you if the oven is still on – if you also have a Nest thermostat, which can detect when you’re away.
It isn’t immediately known, though, whether there are any mechanisms to prevent you from accidentally turning the oven on while away.
Manufacturers like Whirlpool are using this week’s CES gadget show in Las Vegas to showcase the latest technologies in everyday appliances. As these appliances connect to the internet and to each other, people will be able to perform many basic functions from another room with a smartphone.
Whirlpool is also unveiling a dishwasher that can alert you when your dishes are done and estimate how much detergent you have left. It’ll even automatically order more supplies if you’ve set up re-ordering through Amazon’s Dash program.
The CES show starts Wednesday, though companies typically unveil new products earlier.
Floor-Cleaning Robot Can Tell When You Missed a Spot
By Ryan Nakashima
A new floor-cleaning robot from LG will respond to its owner telling it: “You missed a spot.”
The South Korean company’s HOM-BOT Turbo+ makes use of cameras that record where it’s already cleaned. If it didn’t do a good job, augmented reality will come to the rescue.
Using any smartphone screen, the owner can point to a still-dusty area and the robot will go there to tidy up. And unlike a human, it probably doesn’t mind being bossed around. Pricing and availability weren’t announced.
This and other gadgets are set to be on display at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas, which opens Wednesday.
Fiat Chrysler to Add Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto
By Tom Krisher
Fiat Chrysler is joining the parade of automakers incorporating Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto into their infotainment services.
The company says both smartphone systems will be available on some unspecified models worldwide starting later in 2016. They will be part of the fourth generation of Fiat Chrysler’s Uconnect touch-screen system. Fiat Chrysler says the new Uconnect system will start faster with quicker and more vivid touch screens.
Automakers have gradually been adding the Apple and Google systems to their infotainment systems, largely because customers want the screens to mimic their familiar smartphones and perform tasks the same way.
On Monday, Ford also announced plans to add the systems to its Sync infotainment centers. General Motors is rolling the systems out on select models, and others are also moving in that direction. At the same time, automakers are developing their own systems to control car functions.
The announcements come as the CES show in Las Vegas is set to open Wednesday.
Intel Buying German Drone Maker
By Brandon Bailey
Intel, the giant chip company, is buying a German drone maker.
The move is part of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s broader strategy to promote the use of Intel chips for new technologies – including drones, robots and a variety of sensor-equipped devices. This comes as sales decline for makers of personal computers, which are traditionally among Intel’s biggest customers.
The German company, Ascending Technologies, already uses some Intel gear in its flying devices. At last year’s CES gadget show in Las Vegas, Krzanich showed how Ascending Technologies is using Intel’s RealSense three-dimensional optical sensors to help its drones navigate.
Intel has recently invested in several drone makers, including Ascending, China’s Yuneec and California-based Airware.
Now Intel is buying Ascending outright. Intel wouldn’t disclose the sales price, but says Ascending’s 75 or so employees will be offered jobs at Intel.
Krzanich is scheduled to give the opening keynote at CES on Tuesday evening.
Toyota to Link All 2017 Cars to Cellular Networks
By Tom Krisher
Toyota will link all of its new vehicles to cellular networks starting with 2017 models in the U.S.
Driver and passengers get access to selected internet data, but Toyota’s “Data Communication Module” won’t be a wireless hotspot just yet.
Drivers will get improved navigation and get updates on vehicle health and service. They’ll be able to locate, lock, unlock and start their vehicles from a smartphone. The system will notify authorities if air bags are inflated in a crash.
Eventually passengers will be able to get broader wireless access, but Toyota had no details on timing or fees.
The company also plans to set up a data center to communicate with the cars, and it’s joining Ford and Livio to develop the bones to link smartphone devices and apps to vehicles.
Toyota says it has no plans yet to add Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto to Toyota and Lexus infotainment systems.