It seems that everyone – retailers, investors, journalists, or potential competitors – are on the lookout for the breakthrough products that will make headlines in the years to come, and with literally 1000’s of products reportedly launchings here this week, finding that connected needle in a haystack can be tough. The connected industry is no longer nascent – connected thermostat’s are not enough to make a leap in the market – however, standing in front of a refigerator on the Eureka Park floor, I found myself thinking “I have seen nothing like this to date.”
I had come to meet Invoxia, a company I’ve been following for years, and whose AudiOffice product is my go-to audio player in my bedroom. The VoIP startup, founded by former Technicolor exec Serge Renouard, has been blurring the lines between mobile & fixed lines through a variety of solutions; however, Triby brings everything they’ve been working on together into one neat product. It’s part ‘Facebook Wall’ for the family, part Home Phone, and part messaging system. Family members can call the home and ring directly on the fridge via the smartphone application, and can even draw and leave messages on the fridge – the magnet even pops out a US mailbox flag -style notification alert so that the family knows there’s news to be seen.
The product is cute – Fisher Price cute – and has been a hit here at CES, hailed as many as being among the top products launching. However, I would go even further and say that the Triby is the connected home innovation that we’ve been waiting for. Yes, it’s simple – an electric ink screen that portrays messages written via an app that can play the radio or music via bluetooth, which can be used to make calls to anyone in your address book using the home’s Wi-Fi connection.
Where Triby really takes its claim is in two places that have been big trends at CES this year:
1) Converting non-connected devices into connected devices (this works on any Fridge, obviously)
2) Re-centering the Connected Home Hub around a device that historically is a hub for the home – the Fridge.
I look forward to seeing this product launch in 2015, and to seeing how families adopt this new way of communicating.