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Apple Dominated Smart Home Space at CES 2019 Despite Being a No Show in Vegas

Like every year, Apple consciously chose to stay away from Las Vegas Convention Center. But that was not a reason enough to keep the biggest tech company from making a remarkable impact at the leading technology fest this year.

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is where business gets done. It’s the biggest tech event of the year. Every Tom, Dick and Harry from the electronics world is there. For a perspective, over 5,000 companies and more than 180,000 people descended on Las Vegas to be a part of the biggest tech show.

While all the major tech giants including Google, Samsung, and other companies debut their new products for the year at CES, Apple remains absent. Apple has never had a booth at CES. Instead, the Cupertino giant organizes its own events – such as annual September keynote – dedicated to iPhone, iPod, Mac, iTunes and everything in its verticals.

Also Read: Best Smart Home Products Unveiled at CES.

Apple hogs all the appreciation and breaks the internet with its releases on days it chooses for its events, but Apple’s never been a headline grabber at CES.

That Until This Year

The tale began with Apple taking a jab at Google, highlighting its privacy regulations with a large billboard reading “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone,” installed opposite the Google’s outdoor pavilion at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Whether it is about intimidating competitors with advertisements or choosing to ignore the tech extravaganza in favor of its own events, Apple has managed to keep its new products from being overshadowed by rival products. However, overriding new launches of other companies at CES, thanks to various partnerships in smart home space.  

Without walking the red carpet or a single official announcement of its own in Vegas, Apple had the pie at CES 2019. It was everywhere as companies included Apple HomeKit support to make their smart home offerings smarter.

Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa controlled home entertainment systems garnered their share of headlines, but it was Apple that silently crept up the ladder, to the pinnacle, with partner companies like Samsung, LG, Vizio, GE and many others releasing smart home products including TVs with HomeKit integration.

Ultra-thin, super-large smart TVs have turned out as the biggest trend at CES this year. Probably because TVs have a lot to prove – they have to ascertain they’re not becoming PCs – but a better home entertainment system with varied possibilities. They’re getting smarter to display content from Over-The-Top applications and other internet streaming platforms on screens as large as the walls in a user’s home.  

LG, Sony, Samsung, and Vizio have added support for Apple’s streaming Airplay-2 and HomeKit, which enable you to use your iPhone to power your TVs that will roll out in 2019. This will not only mean streaming Netflix, YouTube and more but also mirroring your handheld on TV to see videos, photos and play music from the iPhone. Plus, Siri will have a bigger role to play in how you interact with the biggest screen in the house this year.

While LG and Sony have ensured Airplay-2 support for their newest televisions, Vizio will be adding support to some of its older models too. Samsung will include the functionality on its 2019 Smart TVs, and will be rolling out a software update later in the year to add support to its TVs from last year. 

AirPlay 2–Enabled TVs

LG OLED (2019)

LG NanoCell SM9X series (2019)

LG NanoCell SM8X series (2019)

LG UHD UM7X series (2019)

Samsung QLED Series (2019 and 2018)

Samsung 8 Series (2019 and 2018)

Samsung 7 Series (2019 and 2018)

Samsung 6 Series (2019 and 2018)

Samsung 5 Series (2019 and 2018)

Samsung 4 Series (2019 and 2018)

Sony Z9G Series (2019)

Sony A9G Series (2019)

Sony X950G Series (2019)

Sony X850G Series (2019 85″, 75″, 65″ and 55″ models)

Vizio P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018)

Vizio P-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)

Vizio M-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)

Vizio E-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)

Vizio D-series (2019, 2018 and 2017)

What’s even more exciting – rivals Apple and Samsung have collaborated to create iTunes app for Samsung smart TVs. This means you’ll not need an Apple device to buy and rent content from iTunes anymore, you will be able to do that right from your Samsung TV.

Other Notable Devices from CES 2019 with HomeKit support

  • Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell

French company Netatmo, which specializes in connected objects, introduced a Smart Video Doorbell at CES 2019, which with its robust design, wireless prowess and unmatched video camera is a close rival to all surveillance devices with Apple bias. The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is first-of-its-kind doorbell compatible with the Apple HomeKit and can be voice controlled using Siri and Apple Home. Read More

  • Sonos Beam and One Speakers

In 2016, Sonos first announced that Google Assistant will be available for its wide range of speakers. Finally, the wait is over. At CES 2019, the company announced Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit is coming to Beam and One speakers. Read More

  • Nanoleaf Light Panels

Apple HomeKit enthusiasts would be familiar with Nanoleaf’s square and triangle light panels. These indeed are beautiful screensavers for your home walls. At CES 2019, Nanoleaf introduced new hexagonal light panels to the HomeKit lineup. Read More

  • Legrand Celiane

French multinational Legrand added smart new features to its line of connected light switch at CES 2019. The company included Amazon Alexa support in its Living Now, adorne and radiant collections, while the Legrand Céliane also received support for Apple HomeKit. Read More

  • C by GE Color-Changing Smart Bulbs

GE introduced C by GE smart LED bulbs last year. This year GE introduced new color-changing smart bulbs to its Made for Google lineup. These bulbs don’t require an extra hub and connect directly to Google Home products. These smart light bulbs offer millions of color options and are available as 60-watt A19 bulb, BR30 and as a lighting strip. These smart home lights will also be compatible with Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit soon. Read More

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