CES 2015: The home of the future, available today

We've been hearing about the promise of the connected home, or the "Internet of Things," for years. At this CES, one thing became clear: The connected home of the future is achievable today. Qualcomm's smart home, for example, was a mock-up showing how tech could change the way we live. Unlike past years, however, the vast majority of "things" on show were off-the-shelf products you could buy and install in your apartment right now.

If you need further proof that we're already living the connected dream, a lot of the "new" products from CES 2015 were refinements on previous ideas. One of our finalists for the Best of CES connected home category was the Parrot Pot, which took the basic concept of the Flower Power soil sensor and made it into a super-useful, self-contained plant pot that can keep your plants alive without you needing to worry about watering them. Another finalist was the Misfit Bolt. Smart lightbulbs are nothing new, of course, but the Bolt dramatically lowers the price and complexity of adding them to your home. Elsewhere, mainstream companies -- everyone from Honeywell to D-Link -- announced families of sensors, cameras and hubs to add some smarts to your home.

The breakout of the show was something entirely different. Energous' WattUp technology is a wireless charging solution that uses RF to beam "power" to your devices from up to 15 feet away. WattUp has the potential to enable everlasting wearables, toys and smart sensors. It's not going to be the only name in wireless power -- WiTricity's magnetic resonance tech, for example, is a way more efficient way to power high-energy devices over short distances -- but its 15-foot range could make it an important part of the connected home. Unfortunately, unlike the rest of the tech on display, WattUp isn't likely to make its way into our devices for at least a year. So, while you can have your fridge talk to your TV and your washer discuss politics with your toaster, they'll all need to be wired up to the grid, for now.