A few members of the Grid Connect and ConnectSense teams were excited to attend CES this year. While a lot of time was spent in the booth demoing the ConnectSense Smart Outlet, we were able to stretch our legs and explore many other CES exhibits as well. Home automation was a big aspect of the show this year and we were definitely proud to be contributing to it.
Now that it's been a week since we've returned to the office and had some time to reflect, here are some takeaways we gathered from the Smart Home section of the show...
"Home automation was the belle of the ball at CES 2015. There were a lot of new and exciting products. I feel like 2015 will be the year that home automation comes into focus and goes mainstream. The winners in this market are going to be those who focus and build best in class devices that interoperate with other companies devices through standards like HomeKit, AllSeen, OIC, Thread and others. The losers in this market will be those that try to do it all themselves and build every device under the sun on their system. In the end, what is good for consumers is good for this market. Companies that keep that in mind will do well."
"Wow! As always, the CES was an amazing event. We saw companies in the home automation space introducing products to broaden their product line, while others jumped in where they hadn’t played before. There seems to be more and more devices every time I check Gizmodo or Mashable. Unfortunately, a lot of them are the same ol’ same ol’…innovation wins with me every time!
The big question is, what company will win the platform war? Are you developing your own ecosystem of devices 'on an island' of their own? Companies need to make sure the applications or the products are upgradable to future standards to take advantage of new features and capabilities. The last thing anyone wants to do is continually replace their devices or systems when new features are enabled."
"There are a lot of people and companies who want to be involved. Many devices are similar to each other so companies must separate themselves from their competition through the features and benefits of their products. They must also make sure to deliver on their promises about the capabilities of each device. Consumers are going to have to research different companies and their products to make sure they are finding the right devices for their needs and ideally, compatible with other home automation products they have now or will have in the future.
As a consumer, my biggest takeaway was that any product I buy needs to be worth the price tag. If the features and benefits are not up to par, or if it just plain doesn't work, it's not going to be in my house."
And on the first time exhibiting at CES...
"As a first timer, the CES show is massive. The investment of the big companies like Intel, Samsung, LG are unbelievable. Our booth was in the Innovation area, which was fun to see all the different types of companies that were doing cool things. Our new Smart Outlet was well received and demoing it with Siri is a cool feature. We will be back at CES next year, in the Smart Home section of the show."
What was your biggest takeaway about the smart home from CES 2015?