If there was any doubt that we are entering the post-mobile era, this year’s CES ratified the fact. The absence of mobile integration as a core discussion, and “must show-off” checkbox, demonstrates that the ground has shifted. Where iOS and Android integrations were the must-have stamp of approval in previous years, this year the badge of honor was to show-off Alexa integration.
As we embark on the holiday season, two distinct dynamics tend to converge: chaos; and new technology. Is your work done? Are you ready to take the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day? Have you even started your holiday shopping? As you read on, I hope you spot a gift idea for that tech-crazed special someone on your list.
We find ourselves among a new generation, one that is redefining the technology that will shape their lives. Not the often publicized Millennials, but their successors, Generation Z. While no dates squarely define their age and few characteristics evoke imagery of who they will become, one thing cannot be argued: they were born into an always-on, always-connected world.
I’m not sure it’s possible to work in the technology sector without sitting through an industry presentation where the speaker engages the audience by discussing how many steps their fitness tracker recorded that day. We’ve all been around fitness tracker junkies; those that find solace in reaching their daily goal, and those that always seem to be a few steps behind...
Covering CES 2016, the mission was to discover new trends in home automation that will comprise the fabric of tomorrow’s connected world. What makes these new devices unique? How will they improve our lives? What’s being done better than before? We came across a few products that embody the broader industry challenges and opportunities surrounding embedded connectivity - enhanced utility, a cleaner environment, and a need to continue refining product implementation.
The sensory overload of CES 2016 is over and most of us have made it home to appreciate the relative peace and quiet of anywhere except Vegas. As I think back on the sights, sounds and devices that I saw in the past week, few stand out as surprises. This year seemed to be one of incremental advances, rather than giant leaps forward.
The kitchen refrigerator has got one heck of a challenge ahead of it when it comes to the automated home. Many household appliance advocates talk wistfully of when the fridge will know all about the food inside it and will be able to tell you that the eggs are about to go bad and that little Johnny just swigged the last of the milk and you are all out. And why stop there?
There are few categories in the consumer electronics market as dynamic as the smart home market right now, and for good reason. Smart home products like connected, programmable thermostats, networked cameras, and Wi-Fi connected light bulbs allow users a level of control over the systems and appliances in their homes that most have never had before. The category is growing as well- according to The NPD Group’s new Smart Home point-of-sale tracking service, sales of home automation products, which include security and monitoring products, smart lighting, and system controllers, have grown 27 percent in the past year as the market size has approached $400 million. And for the most part, consumers have a good idea of what smart home products are. According to NPD’s recent Home Automation Study, 78 percent of consumers said they were familiar with smart home products.
Baby it’s cold outside. No seriously, it’s 12 degrees and, unlike the song, I was just stuck outside, trying to get in. Unfortunately, my quasi-automated house did not want to cooperate. I say quasi-automated because I’m jumping into this home automation stuff slowly (indeed, less of a jump and more of an inch-by-excruciating-inch submersion).