Sue Furnell and I went to the CES in sunny Las Vegas, to explore the latest innovations of the global connected home market. Since there are dozens of good reviews about the event online (example links below this blog) we thought there was no reason to re-invent the wheel. Instead, we have endeavoured to make our review as relevant as possible for your businesses. Here are our takeaways:
- There is a large number of ecosystems connecting different devices together. Here are a few names I collected while walking around but there were many more: Orvibo, Securifi, Insteon, Green Peak, Smartlife IoT, Savant, Gooee, Côr, Wisilica, Zipato, Ubiant, Myxity, Evey, Muzzley… and this was on top of the use cases developed by the alliances like Zigbee, Allseen, Thread, Homekit or Z-Wave. Some of these are providing hubs centralising the connectivity between devices, some provide white label platforms, and some simply provide a physical remote control. Most of these will fail to secure scale as the market develops and there will only be a small number of winners.
- As we explained in our latest Connected Home Service report (the state of the connected home market beyond energy), wearables for health and fitness are becoming huge. The key companies like Fitbit and Withings had the biggest booths of the West Tech area and put on shows to attract the public. This is where the volumes are today globally in the connected device arena.
- The peace of mind vertical has never been so crowded, with dozens of security cameras being showcased.
- Netatmo announced its well-designed outdoor camera (called Presence) which adds to the indoor one (Welcome).
- The French company, Myfox, also presented a discrete camera they recently launched. The company is now working with the insurance expert AXA in France, who wants to use connected security products to add to its service portfolio.
- Other brands exhibiting cameras included: Homeguard, Piper, Canary, Côr, Smanos, Blink, First Alert, Hubble, Elarm, iControl, Amcrest… Once again, we doubt all these brands will survive the connected home market expansion.
- The large and global platforms like Allseen and Homekit start to create some momentum
- A few companies such as Honeywell were showing their products with the newly Homekit compatibility. Building the products on the standard required a lot of effort and needed around 18 months of development (since Homekit was announced) to achieve the seamless user experience Apple required.
- The number of Allseen Alliance (which runs on the AllJoyn protocol) members hasn’t stopped growing in the last few months but so far the penetration of AllJoyn ready devices remained low. This now starts to evolve in the right direction as TV companies like LG announced several hundreds of thousands of AllJoyn-ready smart TVs sold in the world.
- As for the energy part of connected home:
- The Nest and Lyrics (Honeywell) thermostats were present on a lot of booths. It seems those two will be the dominant products in the US smart thermostat market.
- New ‘European’ smart thermostats have been announced and received awards from the CES: Engie with its budget thermostat called Homni, where the end-user can set a budget for the month for heating instead of setting up the temperature. Ween – an automated smart thermostat based on presence sensor and geo-localisation – has also been shown to the public.
- Eliq, a Swedish connected home start-up, exposed its energy monitoring device which reads the smart meter data. What’s really interesting is that it is now sold by Ikea in Sweden (for ~€59) who could be one of the disruptive retailers for connected home products. There hasn’t been much push from IKEA yet though, but we expect this might change soon as the company is on a learning curve with this market.
- Bosch exposed similar use cases for their boiler at the CES as in last year’s event ISH in Frankfurt. The remote diagnostic software was demonstrated on both the installer and the user side. However the development remains in trials and hasn’t been launched commercially yet.
The event itself is without a doubt the best event of the year to find out the latest connected home trends and innovations. I would recommend it to anyone looking at this space from any angle. We would be delighted to discuss this more in depth with you individually or to exchange views if you were there as well, so please feel free to get in touch, my email is [email protected]