It all started with a short get-away
Last fall, my husband Joe asked if I wanted to tag along on a work trip. He gets to travel to some pretty amazing places… Japan, South Korea, Australia, Scotland, so I immediately perked up. “Where to?!” I asked? “Vegas”, he replied.
I’m not really a Vegas gal. But, he knows I like technology and this trip was for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Every January, 4500 tech companies bring their gadgets to Vegas and show off what they’ve created. I had to go to see what the new smart home products were and I’m excited to share with you what I saw!
CES attracts 170,000 tech-obsessed people every year. Many new companies display their first big hit and seasoned companies usually show off their latest and greatest product. While Joe was off in the automotive section each day, I got to explore the smart home displays. I also went to a slew of presentations by companies like Proctor & Gamble, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Vice and more to see what they are up to in the world of technology.
After getting settled in, we picked up our show badges
The first talk I went to was by Proctor & Gamble’s CEO David S. Taylor. Now, he could sit in an office every day, but instead, this guy travels the world, asking P&G consumers if he can go inside their house to watch them use P&G’s products! Could you imagine? He feels that if he can watch and ask questions inside consumers’ homes, he can gain so much more than from typical surveys. He gave an example of a woman in China, who washed her hair very infrequently. She told Mr. Taylor she wished she could wash it more often. He assumed the shampoo was too expensive, but she said that actually, they didn’t have hot water for showers and she had to rinse her hair with cold water. The shampoo created too much lather and it was too uncomfortable to run cold water on her hair that long. Mr. Taylor brought that back to P&G and a less sudsy shampoo was created for that market in China.
The coolest part of this talk was that Dr. Oz was the host! I haven’t watched his program much, but it went to show you how influential CES is. The big product to add to your smart home is P&G’s iO toothbrush by Oral B. It monitors your brushing, syncs to your phone, and gives you a grade. Yikes!
The Pinterest talk was also great. The CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) wasn’t even a Pinterest user before being hired. She explained that since her arrival and the creation of her Pinterest account, she has taken up a serious hobby of bee-keeping. I thought it was interesting that she sees Pinterest as the only social media platform that has a deliberate role in nurturing a healthy and inspired life, both on and offline. She sweetly described how her 13-year-old daughter got into looking up cupcake recipes on Pinterest and ended up winning a cupcake bake-off, in which her competitors were all adults.
But, let me tell you about what will be in our homes in the next few years!
The most intriguing to me was Ki Cordless Kitchen who has created a countertop that is able to power wireless appliances. Imagine your kitchen counter with your blender & toaster & coffee pot…but no cords. I like a clean countertop and would LOVE to not see cords and outlets everywhere. This countertop has induction transmitters (the power comes from circles that look like burners on an induction cooktop). When the wireless appliance is on top of that transmitter, it works with much less? power compared to if it was plugged in. Should we all schedule that kitchen remodel now?! Oh, honey . . .
If you’d rather redo your bathroom, make sure you install a smart mirror. You will be able to check your email, scroll through Grace in the Race’s social feeds and get the weather, all while blow drying your hair! Some of them even have built-in Alexa smart speakers. I don’t know if that would make me more or less productive in the morning! This picture was of a countertop model, but contractors will be busy installing permanent versions in the near future!
This product is called Gita and she’s a robot wagon that follows you. Wherever you go, Gita follows. She was fun to watch and maybe useful when I’m lugging chairs, coolers, snacks and more to weekend baseball tournaments! Check out this pic!
There were so many more products I’d like to share… from sinks that can dispense exactly 3 Tbsp. of water and touchless toilets, to robot vacuums that double as a home security camera, technology is in our homes now and will be more present in our future.
Most of us want a smarter home
Despite how you may feel about owning these smart home products when it comes to privacy, the research is showing that consumers want the benefits of these advanced technologies. We know our kids are already on board. In just one generation, we won’t know what we did without them!
One common factor I heard over and over again from top companies is that they take their consumers’ privacy very seriously. Personally, I sure hope this is true. Not because I’m skeptical about purchasing a device that may record my voice, but because I already have 7 Alexas in my home! So, Amazon already has a lot of really really boring conversations in their archives compliments of our family. But I’m just trusting that if something super secret comes out of my mouth, no one will use it against me!
I find apps and other digital products to be extremely helpful in my life & home. I use less paper, forget less events & I can listen to my favorite playlist or podcast in any room of the house, or all of them! If I can find a way to be more efficient & it includes technology, well, consider it purchased. Be sure to check out our posts in ‘Grace at Home’. We’re going to be writing about efficiency and productivity, but also about the technology that helps us be more efficient and productive.
Back to my not-so-smart home
Vegas was fun for 4 days. We ate at some great restaurants, saw a show (Beatles Love) and doubled our money at the casino!! Ok, I have to admit, we only played one round of Roulette. Had we won more than $20, I’d be scheduling that new countertop installation!