Top Smart Home Tech From Asia

Toto's Intelligent Toliet with Actilight can detect when you approach and depart.

Intelligent interior design is increasingly about connecting not just speakers or smartphones to the Internet of Things, but everything: think pet feeders, windows, and kitchen appliances.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Asia, where brands and consumers have been quick to welcome the shift toward better- connected and more-intuitive surroundings. Led by Japan, where smart toilets are already in households around the country, and China, whose middle class is getting more interested in seamless connectivity, the market is expected to grow significantly in the region.  Heightened home security is a major benefit of an automated interior, and this starts with door locks, some of which are harnessing facial-recognition technology to add a layer of protection. ZKTeco’s FL1000Price available upon request

Chinese company ZKTeco's smart lock with embedded facial technology.
Chinese company ZKTeco’s smart lock with embedded facial technology.ZKTeco

Chinese tech company ZKTeco claims to have developed the world’s first smart lock with embedded facial technology.  The FL1000 can register up to 100 faces, but automatically allocates the first one scanned to the position of supervisor, meaning the person who decides who can be added or removed from its database. The lock also has a password-controlled touchpad, which stores the data of everyone who has unlocked or tried to unlock the door, and its smart alarm will broadcast when battery life is running low, or if any “illegal” entries are attempted.  More:Soak Smarter With the Latest High-Tech Hot Tubs

LG’s CordZero R9 ThinQ US$1,250

LG's CordZero R9 ThinQ robotic vacuum cleaner is both thorough and polite.
LG’s CordZero R9 ThinQ robotic vacuum cleaner is both thorough and polite.LG

Of course, smart gadgets don’t just benefit security; they can also help around the home, and one such item is LG’s CordZero R9 ThinQ robotic vacuum cleaner, which came to market in South Korea in May 2018 and is slated for a U.S. release in the second quarter of 2019. Unlike other smart vacuums, the R9 injects some personality into its Android aspect, asking human obstacles in its cleaning path to “please step aside” or “can you lift your feet, please?” It identifies impediments through a combined camera and laser sensor, and is able to differentiate between animate and inanimate obstructions and react accordingly; this, after it has already mapped out the floor plan of your home so it knows where it needs to perform its duties. The R9 responds to voice control and can be operated via a smartphone app. More:A Guide to High-Tech Baby Monitors

Neorest NX2 Intelligent  Toilet with Actilight US$13,000 Toto, the world’s largest toilet manufacturer, is almost single-handedly responsible for elevating the bathroom experience, particularly in Japan, where the brand is synonymous with sophisticated smart lavatories. Its Neorest NX2 Intelligent Toilet with Actilight is no exception. Launched in 2018, the attractive and intelligent design of Toto’s latest toilet earned it an award at CES 2019.  The Neorest NX2 boasts all of the features of a smart Japanese toilet—the seat is heated and there is the ubiquitous electronic bidet, air dryer, and auto flush—but it takes the technological elements much further. Sensors record your approach and departure, and open and close the lid accordingly, while a night light guides you in the darkness.

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