CES 2015 – The Emergence of the Smart Home

After three days of pounding the floor at CES 2015, I’m back in Washington, DC and ready to collect my thoughts about this year’s experience.  Originally, Donna Hoffman and I expected,as we usually do, to spent most of our time at Central and South Halls in the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Not this year.  In 2015, CES was divided into three zones:  Tech East (Las Vegas Convention Center ), Tech West (Sands and Venetian) and C Space at the Aria.  Tech West housed pretty much all of the new emerging product categories we were interested in – smart home, fitness and health wearables, 3D printing, robotics and sensors and over 375 startups in Eureka Park.  While it’s overgeneralizing to Oculussay that Tech East only showcased big TVs, its a fair generalization that Tech West came across as housing the new and emerging and Tech East the same old-same old.  With some exceptions – Oculus was situated in Tech East (BTW I wasn’t impressed by the Samsung Gear VR – it’s a step up from Google Cardboard but not a full blown Oculus experience).  So, most of our time was spent at Tech West – the “New CES.”

Smart Home Systems.  In my last post, I talked about Samsung’s big push this year promoting its new SmartThings acquisition and the role that Internet of Things (IoT) is playing in Samsung’s product and marketing strategy. In Tech West, it became clear that Samsung and SmartThings has a lot of competition. Lowe’s displayed its entire Iris line of connected home products, including hub, cameras, motion sensors, smoke alarms, leak sensors, locks, keypads, lights, plugs, garage openers, smart pet doors, and more.

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Wheels up tomorrow for CES 2015! Connection is the watchword…

I’m excited. Tomorrow we head to CES 2015. A lot of the “what to expect” reports are talking about the ultra-HD (i.e. 4k) TVs, the high-res smartphones and phablets,  and the drones.

Jibo Family Robot - YouTube
Jibo Family Robot – YouTube

Oh, and the 3D printing space is going to be massive – but really, they need to start printing things besides Hobbits and keychain tchotchkes. And of course, Oculus Rift is promising to show us something even cooler in augmented reality. (Check out my “shocked in the rift” from last year…)

Even so, I think the real news for this year’s show is on the bigger focus underlying the show – it’s all about connecting consumers through their wearables, cars, appliances, and other devices to the Internet ecosystem. The digital is becoming real!

It’s also exciting how large the Eureka Park tech zone is going to be this year – 375 startups this year from all over the world compared to 220 last year – with many focused on Internet of Things ideas.

I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

Vegas, baby!

Impressions from #CES2014 day 1

Professor Donna L. Hoffman

We spent most of the day in South Hall, visiting booths for smart home, sensors, wearables, 3D printing, drones and smart objects. Belkin’s wemo exhibit was impressive – they seem the farthest along in offering a well organized set of connected devices for home applications. Word is Lowe’s and Staples have impressive set-ups so we’ll check those out tomorrow.

The Parrot drones were delightful – one type is like a cute little bug and the other is like a futuristic little plane. I bet these become wildly popular.

The most interesting development had to be represented by the 3D printing tech zone. Two years ago, 3D was a few booths hidden in the back and Maker Bot’s printer looked pretty bootleg, and was glitchy, to boot. Fast forward a mere two years and there are too many manufacturers and related suppliers to count and Maker Bot is now the slick…

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Wheels up tomorrow a.m. for #CES 2014

Professor Donna L. Hoffman

CES 2014 CES 2014

Follow my adventures in consumer connectivity at profhoff.com or @profhoff. For the first time, even our badges will be connected with NFC technology.

There will be almost 400 3D printer exhibits, and dozens and dozens of exhibits featuring wearables, not to mention smart cars, smart drones, and smart homes!

Of course, the TVs will be huge and hi-res, and the screens will be bendable and self-repairing, but I think the real action will be in connected devices that make life easier and more interesting for consumers.

Can’t wait – Vegas, baby!

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