“Home is Where the Smart Is”, CES Focuses on Home Trends for 2017
Remember when The Clapper was mind-blowing? Gosh, you could clap your hands and the lights would turn on! And remember when we all realized it wasn’t clapping but sound in general that triggered the switch? Turning a bad cough or crying baby into an electrical problem.
These early ideas may’ve been planted more than three decades ago (and come with their fair share of caveats), but we’ve come even further than we thought we would with home automation since 1985. Early smart home devices like The Clapper allowed control of two devices simultaneously. Modern smart home devices can monitor innumerable interconnected apps at once, always listening, waiting for a command from any one of them.
Google Home and Amazon Echo are two of the leaders in the space. ‘Alexa’ is Amazon Echo’s virtual assistant, sort of like Siri. You address her if you wish to activate the system.
“Alexa, set the lights for bedtime,” one coworker’s son says as he walks into his room. “My kids talk to her all the time,” she explains. Alexa seems a part of their family – she turns on and off their lights, controls the thermostat, and acts as a security guard, keeping an eye on the perimeter of the house.
“It’s pretty seamless,” she continues, “I can control all of the connected devices from my phone or manually.” Both Google and Amazon support third-party integrations, allowing you to do things like stream music through Sonos speakers with Spotify or YouTube Music. Or connect your Ecobee thermostat and Philips Hue’s color-changing lights.
“The early reviews made a big deal about [Google] Home supporting much fewer 3rd party vendors, but my lights and music services are supported so it ended up being a non-factor (and I suspect with it being a Google product, the list will grow quickly for those whose smart-home appliances weren’t supported out the gate),” chimes in Chris Jordan, Chief Business Development Officer here at Hubba. Jordan runs his household with the help of Google Home.
“It’s pretty seamless,” she continues, “I can control all of the connected devices from my phone or manually.” As brands are still working to make the interface even easier to use, they’re also expanding on the products that can be connected.
“I believe that having [the] devices on a single platform is going to be important as they build out the home – intuitively, it should be simpler to tie together my phone, calendar, and home on a common platform,” he says.
As brands are still working to make the interface even easier to use, they’re also expanding on the products that can be connected.
“Expect smart home products to become even more ubiquitous,” reports Cnet as they observe the upcoming home technology at CES last week. “Wi-Fi connectivity and app control will be more common in small kitchen-counter appliances, and expect refrigerators, washers and dryers to get smarter too. The same goes for doorbells, lightbulbs, ceiling fans, smoke alarms — and anything else you can think of.”
And for fun, let’s relive this great moment in retail history: