If someone builds a better doorknob, will the world beat a path to their door?
Well, at least the competition will drop by for a look.
That was the case at last week’s Digital Experience gadget show in New York. It was one of several events that Pepcom puts on each year where consumer electronics companies try to catch the eyes of journalists and industry analysts. Familiar names such as Doorbot and UniKey Technologies showed off their electronic twists on old entryways—alongside rivals offering similar products.
Winter Park, FL-based UniKey created, in conjunction with Kwikset, electronic lock Kevo that opens with a touch, if the person has the right digital key on their smartphone. Both Doorbot and UniKey have been featured on “Shark Tank,” trying to impress a slate of potential investors.
Digital Experience was not a contest, but there was clearly competition. For instance, SkyBell Technologies of Irvine, CA showed up with its live video doorbell that connects to the homeowner’s smartphone. And then there was Okidokeys, which operates out France and the United States, with its electronic locks and smartphone keys on display as well.
The fight to be a device of choice in connected homes only starts at the front door, as seen in the above slideshow. Last week’s event included smart thermostats, sensors for temperature and motion, and an electric socket that can be turned on and off remotely by smartphone. Beyond gadgets for houses, there were also wearable devices and electronic games that use physical objects as part of onscreen play.
It is becoming more commonplace to see connected devices that marry the virtual sphere to the real world. Digital Experience, though unaffiliated, once again precedes CE Week, the midyear consumer electronics conference running this week in New York. Early word is new connected devices will be on display as companies look for more ways to make the Internet of Things part of, well, everything.