DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Better Homes and Gardens (BHG), the leading lifestyle brand reaching 40 million readers a month, announced its second annual Editors' Choice Innovation Awards in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016, which will be held in Las Vegas from January 6-9, 2016. Chosen by Better Homes and Gardens editors and technology and digital media expert Shelly Palmer, the Editors' Choice Innovation Awards highlight the best of new and existing technology proven to make the homes and lives of consumers smarter, safer and more efficient.
According to results of a nationwide survey conducted by BHG, smart appliance technology, home security and safety, saving money and energy efficiency all rank as top priorities for consumers when it comes to home innovation.
"Our readers are looking for easy-to-use products that eliminate everyday inconveniences and enhance their lives in a seamless way," says Better Homes and Gardens Editor-in-Chief Stephen Orr. "This year's winners aren't tech fads or gadgets, but truly worthwhile investments that combine style, safety and smarts."
The trend report featuring the 2016 winners, available on BHG.com, educates consumers on the true benefits and usability of home technology. "It's such a pleasure to work with BHG's amazing editorial staff. They really understand how people use technology, and what product benefits really matter," says Palmer.
Among this year's top picks:
- AMAZON ECHO PERSONAL ASSISTANT – This voice-activated, cloud-connected wireless personal assistant responds to voice commands and lets you control all kinds of connected devices. The Echo is compatible with select connected devices to control lights, switches and play music. "You may think this is a parlor trick," says Palmer. "But once you plug it in, you'll use it all the time."
- NEST CAM SECURITY CAMERA – What's going on in your house when you're not there? Nest Cam is a great way to find out. This 1080p video camera has a magnetic base, clear night vision and a great app. You choose the activity zones to concentrate on, and with a subscription, you can see video from 10 to 30 days past.
- GE CAFÉ FRENCH DOOR REFRIGERATOR – Single-serve coffee and tea just got easier. GE's Café French door refrigerators have a Keurig built right into the door. That means filtered water, increased counter space and no more reservoir refilling. You can even preset the brew time from a smartphone app so the water is hot and ready.
- BOSCH 500 SERIES 24-INCH GAS COOKTOP – Waiting for water to boil can be painfully slow, unless you have a high-heat burner. And those typically come only on big cooktops. Bosch is the first to put 11,500 BTUs of cooking power in a 24-inch cooktop. Now even tiny kitchens can claim pro status.
- GOPRO HERO4 SESSION – The HERO4 Session is the smallest and lightest waterproof camera in the GoPro line. Its sleek, versatile design weighs just 2.6 ounces and operates by a single button, making it incomparably mountable and wearable in any condition – from snow to surf.
- GARMIN VIVOACTIVE – This GPS-equipped sports watch is thin, has good battery life and features an always-on color display that you can actually see when outdoors. It will connect to your smartphone for notifications and activity tracking to help improve your performance. Because it is truly waterproof, you can wear it in the shower and swim with it, too.
- SAMSUNG 55" 4K SUHD JS8500 SERIES SMART TV – This flat-screen TV has all the features you need in a Smart TV without the tricks you don't. For a reasonable price, you get amazing colors and stunning contrast for a true-to-life picture, plus a Smart Hub to access any type of content.
- WITHINGS AURA TOTAL SLEEP SYSTEM – The Withings Aura Total Sleep System is a revolution in sleep monitoring and wellness. It helps you set up and monitor the ideal environment for the perfect night's sleep. The free app helps you learn about your sleep habits and fine-tune your room and your schedule for the best, most healthful night's rest.
- SENGLED PULSE LIGHTBULB – There's a speaker in my lightbulb! That's not something you hear every day. The Sengled Pulse is a combination LED lightbulb and Bluetooth speaker in one. Each kit comes with two bulbs – packing 600 lumens of brightness – and a 1.75-inch JBL loudspeaker driven by a 13-watt amplifier in each. "Two bulbs won't fill a room with sound," Orr says, "but they sound pretty good, and the idea is simply genius!"
- GOOGLE CHROMECAST 2 – A smart TV for $35? Plug Chromecast 2 into the HDMI port of an HDTV, connect to WIFI and then stream anything you access via your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Streaming free content, as well as apps like Netflix, YouTube, Google Play and Pandora, means you have access to 200,000 movies and TV shows plus 30 million songs (and counting). It's completely portable, so you can plug it into a hotel TV when traveling or take it to a friend's house for a movie or gaming night.
Additional winners from the 2016 Editors' Choice Innovation Awards include the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2; Samsung Galaxy S6; Canon EOS Rebel T5 1200D 18MP EF-S Digital SLR Camera; Kindle; Thermador 30-inch gas range; Olympus TG-4 16 MP Waterproof Digital Camera; Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker II; Microsoft Surface Pro 4; Fitbit Charge; and Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Full descriptions of the winning products can be found online at BHG.com/EditorsChoice.
In addition to the items on this list, readers can follow BHG social media accounts as the brand's editors identify more product picks in real-time on the floor of CES. As Better Homes and Gardens expands its coverage of home innovation and technology, its editorial staff will continue pinpointing the latest advances in appliances and furnishings within the household and personal technology categories.
ABOUT BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS
Better Homes and Gardens serves, connects and inspires readers who infuse color and creativity into each aspect of their lives. Reaching 40 million readers a month via the most trusted print magazine, the brand also extends across a robust website, multiple social platforms, tablet editions, mobile apps, broadcast programs and licensed products. Better Homes and Gardens fuels our readers' passions to live a more colorful life through stunning visuals, a balance of substance and surface and a blend of expert and reader ideas. Better Homes and Gardens is published 12 times a year by Meredith Corporation and has a rate base of 7.6 million.
ABOUT MEREDITH CORPORATION
Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP; www.meredith.com) has been committed to service journalism for more than 110 years. Today, Meredith uses multiple distribution platforms – including broadcast television, magazines, digital, mobile, tablets and video – to provide consumers with content they desire and to deliver the messages of its advertising and marketing partners.
Meredith's National Media Group reaches a multi-channel audience of 220 million consumers every month. Meredith is the leader in creating content across media platforms in key consumer interest areas such as food, home, parenthood and health through well-known brands such as Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Shape and Allrecipes. The National Media Group features robust brand licensing activities, including more than 3,000 SKUs of branded products at 4,000 Walmart stores across the U.S. Meredith Xcelerated Marketing is a leader at developing and delivering custom content and customer relationship marketing programs for many of the world's top brands, including Kraft, Lowe's and Chrysler.
Meredith's Local Media Group includes 17 owned or operated television stations reaching 11 percent of U.S. households. Meredith's portfolio is concentrated in large, fast-growing markets, with seven stations in the nation's Top 25 – including Atlanta, Phoenix, St. Louis and Portland – and 13 in Top 50 markets. Meredith's stations produce approximately 650 hours of local news and entertainment content each week, and operate leading local digital destinations.
ABOUT SHELLY PALMER
Shelly Palmer is Managing Partner at Palmer Advanced Media, a technology-focused strategic advisory practice that helps Fortune 500 companies and growth-stage companies with digital strategy, data science, marketing, branding and business development. He is FOX 5 New York's on-air tech and digital media expert and a regular commentator on CNBC and CNN. Follow him at @shellypalmer or visit www.shellypalmer.com.
SOURCE Better Homes and Gardens