As excited as we are by continued growth of the smart home market, it'd be a waste if we didn't see design smarts to match the technology on offer. Enter Mui, a Japanese manufacturer now showcasing its first wooden smart display at CES 2019.
Shaped like a simple wooden plank, the Mui smart display houses a touch-sensitive interface in the surface of the wood.
This allows it to display visual data outputs and touch-control functions like a thermostat, clock, weather information, dimmer controls for your lights, text-based messages or slogans, and even a way to access your voicemail.
The Mui display comes with Google Assistant, though you can choose to have the AI's responses displayed via text instead of audio.
You may have to wait a while to see this come to market – it's shipping in September, but only to backers of its closed Kickstarter campaign to start – but if there's more from Mui to come, the future of smart home looks slick.
- Amazon Echo vs Apple HomePod vs Google Home: the battle of the smart speakers
Back in style
Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo or Google Home have cottoned onto demand for more stylish devices, ones that are as much part of the decor as they are your smart home network. Amazon's iconic speaker has ditched its industrial tin design for a more attractive mesh fabric in recent years, while the flagship Google Home speaker is more in line with the shape of a candle holder or wine glass.
Check out the Mui smart display in action and more of today's highlights in our Daily Blip:
- Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2019 coverage. We're live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.