The outlook: All indications are that we have only a few months before the first round of HomeKit-supporting smart-home devices hit the market. Once that happens, we'll learn if Apple's market muscle can help bring some needed stability to the smart home.
The outlook: We were disheartened by a recent, near-final build of this once-promising all-in-one smart home security system. Will a few months of polish make the Canary a winner when it ships out in March? We'll find out soon.
The outlook: This solar-powered garden sensor, designed by the Yves Behar-led Fuseproject group, looks and feels like the most robust outdoor sensor yet. We can't wait to review it when it ships later this spring.
The outlook: FNV Labs' Mellow is a smart sous vide machine with a built-in refrigeration element. That means it can not only cook your food on command from your phone, but it can also keep it cold before you're ready to heat it up. Throw your steak into the Mellow in the morning, and come home at night to a delicious, food-safe meal.
The outlook: iDevices hasn't committed to a release date for its Switch smart plug, but as a flagship product for Apple's HomeKit smart home protocol, expect this product (and others) to launch on or near the same day HomeKit comes online.
Price: TBD (likely free, with a $50 annual service fee)
Availability: Spring 2015
The outlook: The Kwikset Kevo was one of the first smart locks to hit the market, but with no outside Internet connection, you can't control it remotely. The Kevo Plus solves that by creating a Bluetooth-to-Wi-Fi bridge, just be prepared to stomach a subscription fee, rather than a one-time charge.
The outlook: Lockitron generated a lot of buzz for itself as a pioneer in crowdfunded smart-home product development. That enthusiasm deflated when it and its backers suffered huge production/shipping delays, as well as various technical problems.
In an attempt to make good, Lockitron revamped its original smart lock design when it introduced the Bolt this January. Original backers are first in line to receive one. Once it ships, we'll see if Lockitron can get itself back in consumers' good graces.
The outlook: Netatmo hit the smart home market in 2013 with a charming, if expensive, connected outdoor weather station. This year it expands its product line up with Welcome, a Wi-Fi-connected security camera with facial recognition capability. Still looks good, too.
The outlook: Microwave technology hasn't changed much in the last several decades. Panasonic at least has a new take on the way it passes the microwaves through your food. "Cyclonic wave technology" is supposed to cook more evenly. Sadly, the rainbow imagery is only a display prop.
The outlook: Whirlpool's new Smart Top Load Washer and Dryer set incorporates the increasingly popular top-load design with almost understated smarts. It can pair with your Nest Learning Thermostat to clean when you're away, and also promises downloadable cleaning cycles. Useful? Unclear. We'll find out this spring.
The outlook: Whirlpool's new Double Drawer French Door refrigerator brings your deli and vegetable drawers outside the main refrigeration compartment and makes them more convenient to get to. Sometimes all you want is a quick slice of cheese.