CES 2016 kicked off this week with a clear shift in focus from the smartphones and tablets of the past few years to the increasingly connected home and the spread of the Internet of Things. Smart home-related technology can be found anywhere at CES this year, while maximizing the home network has reemerged as a top priority to accommodate both the IoT and the rise of streaming content.
Keezel personal VPN device
Aiming to provide on-the-go cybersecurity and privacy for mobile users who are increasingly dependent on questionable Wi-Fi networks, the Keezel is a small device that can connect wirelessly or plug into a laptop to create a Virtual Private Network. This means even those browsing on unsecured Wi-Fi can secure their own browsing from hackers snooping on the network’s traffic. The device is small enough to carry in a laptop bag, and Keezel claims the battery is larger than that of most powerbanks on the market.
DASH wireless ear buds
Through a partnership in which it incorporated NXP’s NFMI transceiver technology and its Kinetis K24 microcontroller, BRAGI showed its DASH wireless ear buds. While the device is capable of streaming audio from a smartphone via Bluetooth, it won’t always need to. Designed for rigorous exercise, DASH also features in-ear biometric sensors – complete with live audio feedback on exercise metrics like heart rate and steps – along with built-in wireless calling and its own integrated 4GB music player.
Cassia Hub: Bluetooth extender
Cassia announced what it calls the “world’s first Bluetooth router.” The Cassia Hub uses a proprietary technology developed by a former Cisco and Aruba executive that extends Bluetooth range to 1,000 feet in open space and can control up to 22 devices simultaneously. With the growing list of Bluetooth devices coming into the smart home – from speakers to light bulbs to door locks – the Cassia Hub may become an important technology.