The Best of CES 2017: Our 13 Favorite Products

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Elgato Eve Extend

Elgato Eve Extend

Lost in all the smart-home jostling between all the various platforms — HomeKit, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Nest, and on and on — is that they all share the same painful Achilles heal: Bluetooth. Specifically, while always-plugged-in smart devices typically rely on WiFi or another proprietary wireless standard to connect with each other over long distances, tons of the most useful and interesting little gadgets popping up — smart locks especially, but also door, window, water, temperature, presence and motion sensors — rely on low-power Bluetooth to connect to each other or, more crucially, to a hub so they can be controlled remotely over the Internet. As anyone in even a modestly sized home will attest, this often ends up with range issues and “device not connected” warnings. Elgato’s purportedly low-cost solution (pricing hasn’t been finalized, but we think sub-$50 is likely) is a tiny box that you place at the far reaches of your WiFi network as a last-mile solution to keep all your Bluetooth gadgets happily in range. It’s designed for users of Apple’s built-in HomeKit system, sets up in under a minute, and instantly pairs with any Bluetooth devices in range, including the company’s excellent line of sensors. It'll even give a lift to any other devices for other systems looking for a ride, too. [Price TBD;]

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