The household product category isn't the fastest-evolving in the technology scene. Our refrigerators and ovens are all "good enough" at this point that most folks don't worry that their food won't stay cold or won't cook all the way through. That doesn't mean there isn't some truly amazing innovation going on -- but, honestly, most of the potentially game-changing tech for your home did not make its grand debut at this year's CES. Instead we were treated to a few interesting products that were mostly a refresh of items from previous shows. Wireless charging continued to have a strong presence this year, and even seems on the verge of breaking into the mainstream. Then, of course, there were the companies, like Samsung, that decided there was no better place for a tablet than embedded in your kitchen appliances. Want to know what to expect from your household electronics in 2013? Head on past the break.
Samsung T9000 LCD
No CES announcement both excited us and disappointed us simultaneously as much as the Samsung T9000 LCD -- primarily because there are no immediate plans to actually bring the fridge to market. The T9000 -- a huge 32-cubic-foot, four-door fridge -- will hit shops this spring for $4,000, but it wont have the integrated LCD. It will have a flexible compartment that can do double duty as a refrigerator or a freezer, but there will be no Evernote or Epicurious integration, which is what had us all in a tizzy in the first place. It may not be the first fridge to sport a screen, but the app selection made this seem like a bit more than a (not-so) cheap gimmick.
Wireless charging had a huge presence last year, but at CES 2013 inductive power was unavoidable. Almost everyone at the show was demoing some cordless charging system or partnering with a company that makes one. The Alliance for Wireless Power, a consortium of some of the biggest names in the business (including Samsung, Qualcomm, TI and Powermat) is working on an interoperable standard and brought along some demo units. Fulton Innovation announced eCoupled, a bi-directional charging standard -- so you can charge your phone with your tablet. Then Haier showed off its vision of the future that involved replacing outlets with induction coils to power a blender.
Dacor Android oven
What could be better than a refrigerator with a tablet? How about an oven! Dacor's newest cooking appliance had us intrigued from moment one. Embedded above the oven door is a 7-inch ICS tablet that has access to the Play store and a few custom apps designed for controlling the oven. There's even a companion app you can download on your phone or un-mounted tablet to change temperatures and monitor the progress of your meal. The oven can even alert you via text message when your roast reaches the perfect doneness (by which we mean rare). Of course such luxury won't come cheap -- the base model is priced at $4,499.
Touch-sensitive display case
It wasn't all that long ago that the idea of a transparent touchscreen was exclusively the realm of science fiction movies. Slowly but surely, however, they've started working their way into our lives. While Transview's display case isn't the first such panel we've seen, and it's not even new to the CES floor, we're still wowed by the demo. While this unit is intended for commercial installations, we could easily see this fitting in the home of the future. The clear panel could be a window or part of a door on a cabinet that provides quick access to shopping lists, weather forecasts and recipes. You won't see soccer dads or hockey moms poking at their china cabinet soon, but just watch the demo video above and try to convince yourself this wont be an integral part of the home of the future.