Seen and Heard: 5 CES Smart Home Trends
By Jeff Patton, General Manager Connected Home Products, GE Lighting
This past week marked the 50th anniversary of the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) and it was bigger and bolder than ever before. Though our teams are clearly interested in all things tech, we focused our show time on the smart home--a space that has definitely come into its own.
Roughly a quarter of the 4,000 exhibitors had ties to the smart home, the speaker tracks were heavy on smart home topics and conversations throughout the show made clear that home products have become the new lead in consumer IoT. Here are five of the top smart home trends we saw at the show.
Voice Services – Voice assistants, notedly Amazon Alexa, won the show this year. This was true in the smart home category and in the broader tech space. From voice-controlled appliances, TVs and trash cans (yes, trash cans!) to voice-enabled cars and robots. Alexa earned all the major media headlines at the show – without even having a booth space. Interest for our Alexa-integrated lamp, the first lighting product to embed Alexa inside, ran high.
Safety and Security – Scripps Networks Interactive presented a study at the show that found safety and comfort are the primary reasons consumers invest in the smart home. The industry is taking note. Exhibitors featured many new security products, from door bells that push live-video feeds to your phone to new smart locks, lighting controls and even more robust security cameras.
Wellness – Wearable fitness trackers and wellness products have been standouts at the show the past few years, and wellness is taking a stronger foothold in the smart home category. We seem to be on to something around better sleep. Smart beds, blankets and gadgets with sleep-soothing sounds, colors and scents even found a dedicated exhibitor showcase area for the first time at the show. Digital air purification systems that learn, adapt and deliver clean air were featured from several exhibitors.
Partnerships and Integrations – It’s clear, no one product or company is going to win this space on its own. Partnerships will be more important than any product feature in the connected world. And, future proofing means companies are exploring how to work with different systems and protocols to give consumers choices and make sure products from a bevy of manufacturers can connected into a seamless, simple integrated experience – today and five years from now.
DIY AND Ask for Help – Saying there is a lot going on in the smart home space is a huge understatement. Like any new, growing category, especially in the world of tech, it can be a confusing space for consumers. Simple connections are super important in a world consumers expect to be largely DIY, but studies, supported in conversations at the show, reveal consumers want to lean on consultants and advice to understand the world of possible in their homes.
I heard a few people at the show say ten years from now, smart home won’t necessarily be a term anymore. All homes will be just be smart and have this technology built in, akin to anything else we’ve had in the home for years. Though that may seem a bold statement, it’s clear the smart home space is growing. Partnerships and integrations are taking home tech to the next level. We can now do more at home than ever before – and be better, feel more secure and maybe even on the path to better wellness in the process. Who wouldn’t sign up for that?
To learn more about what other experts are saying about this year’s smart home trends, listen to our interviews with tech expert and analyst Bob O’Donnell and Digital Trends Home Editor Jenny McGrath, and visit our connected website and content at www.CbyGE.com