3 Smart Home Predictions from CES
Today the floodgates open and the world’s preeminent technology event, the Consumer Electronics Show, kicks off. Having walked the trade show floor yesterday as vendors small and large set up their wares, I can tell you that the smart home revolution has just begun.
Every year it seems that a new trip around the sun brings us to an even louder proclamation that this is the year of the smart home, but it does truly feel that we are just only scratching the surface. By now most people know about controlling your thermostat from your phone, remotely monitoring your home’s security and even voice control for your home through devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home.
How could there possibly be more smart home tech that our dwelling places really need? This week at CES will surely shed some light on the topic but here are 4 smart home predictions that I not only believe we’ll see at the 2017 CES but will continue to be trends throughout the year.
Devices to Secure Smart Home Devices Will Start to Pop Up
In the past year we’ve had data breaches at some of the biggest brands in the known universe, like Yahoo!, and there’s always been a lingering question with smart home tech that has made home owners question how safe smart home tech really makes them. What you’ll start to see is more devices coming on the market and services being offered to secure your network of smart home products. Devices that connect to your router to monitor activity. Perhaps a smart home version of a service like LifeLock that remotely tracks any suspicious data transferring in and out of your home. While many smart home products already offer a layer of data security, think of this as an extra bit of peace of mind for your smart home.
Entertainment Battles Will Heighten
The war for the TV in the home has been waging for decades and now smart home tech is looking to take over. You’ll see everyone from Comcast to Amazon to Google to Playstation vying for the same attention within your home. All of these companies are trying to get you to pay into their entertainment service and use their devices to power your home video, audio and even gaming. Will they try to monopolize your family room or will each of their smart home technologies play nice with each other? For example, will I be able to use Amazon Echo to play my Google Music library from an Android phone or is that capability only for those who have a Google Home device? Will Amazon continue to let Playstation owners stream Amazon Video or will they force you to use their Amazon Fire Stick device? One thing is for sure and that is it will be very difficult for smaller players, or even the likes of mid-level companies like Roku, to stay competitive as the biggest brands in the smart home space are all gearing up for a major war in 2017.
Kids and Pets Will Get Greater Attention
Primarily the smart home world has been focused on grown-up tasks like saving energy, automating security systems and controlling temperature, but in 2017 I expect to see children and our four-legged residents to get a greater share of the focus. The potential for smart home pet technology is exponential. From devices that let you interact with your pet while you’re out to automating food and and water consumption, the pet landscape is already a multi-billion dollar business, but has yet to really be a smart home mainstream player. Children as well have not had the attention of smart home vendors, but the Internet usage monitoring and even gameification of household chores are areas I expect to see some new devices developed for. The trick will be to make the tech not too childish because smart home vendors should know that it’s the kids who have mastered using Alexa, Apple TV and even an August Smart Lock even before their parents.
If you have some thoughts or even disagreements with these predictions, share them in the comments or on Twitter using the #CESCB.