Some of the CES 2018 honorees in the smart-home category, including lighting controls, security systems and this year’s class of home automation hubs.

by Julie Jacobson · November 24, 2017

Each year, specialists in consumer electronics, smart-home, IoT, vehicles, robotics and other technologies review thousands of entries for the CES Innovation Awards. It’s a tedious task and many (most?) of the “winners” never make it to market. Even so, the honorees do at least give us a glimpse into the near-future of technology.

Here we look at some of the CES 2018 honorees in the smart-home category, including lighting controls, security systems and this year’s class of home automation hubs. For each one, I share my thoughts about the product and its prospects, including: Do I want it? and Will it make it?

The CES 2018 honorees in the smart-home category include some usual suspects like:

  • Amazon Echo Look
  • Arlo Pro 2 wirefree camera system
  • Nest Thermostat E
  • Ring Spotlight Cam

There are some other recognizable products from the past, like WooHoo from SmartBeings – one of the darlings of CES 2017, and yet another smart thing that tries to do way too much. In that same vein, we have another honoree, Ensembl from Ashley Chloe Inc., that tries to pack every single home-automation, audio, video, lighting and surveillance application into one tiny package.

And then, of course, there are the obligatory home automation hubs that profess to do everything, like Beak/IoT and SmartBeing’s WooHoo — ZigBee, Z-Wave, BLE, AI — and promise to “surely redefine the concept of Smart Living” (Beak) or deliver the “world’s first AI based interactive and affordable Smart Home Hub and Platform” (WooHoo).

Register for the Ultimate CES 2018 Preview Webinar

There are other more interesting and realistic products that we have talked about in Webinars but have not given a thorough writeup, like Samsung Connect Home ProBrilliant Home and Aura Home.

There’s this weird one called Ugo from Otodo, a “smart and soft pebble” that you tap against various surfaces to enact pre-programmed commands. Tap it on the door to unlock it. Knock it on the end table to turn on the light. It’s the “magic wand” accessory for Otodo’s home-automation hub.

In this installment, we look only at home-automation hubs and related smart devices. Later, we’ll take a look at award-winning cameras and other smart-home categories.

SEE THE SLIDESHOW to learn more about the smart-home honorees for CES 2018 Innovations, plus my own opinions on their prospects.

55% Of Consumers See IoT, AI As Risks To Privacy

New connected technologies are continuing to cause serious concerns around privacy and security.

The two are really separate issues, as we continually document here.

For example, consumers have varying degrees of trust, based on who is providing the service, as I wrote about here earlier this week (Cybersecurity Study: 3% Of Consumers See Marketing, Advertising As ‘Trustworthy‘).

The same study that found a low level of trust from marketing and advertising businesses around cybersecurity, also examined privacy.

There are many technologies here and coming soon that pose serious privacy considerations.

These range from chips being embedded into people, which already is being done, to virtual and augmented realities.

The majority of consumers see the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence as a potential threat to their privacy. Here are the percentages of consumers who view each technology as a potential threat to their privacy:

  • 67% — Chips in human skin
  • 55% — Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things
  • 54% — Digital payments
  • 49% — Machine learning
  • 47% — Chatbots, self-driving cars
  • 45% — Drone delivery
  • 42% — Wearable tech
  • 40% — Bitcoin
  • 35% — Augmented reality
  • 32% – -Virtual reality

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/309892/55-of-consumers-see-iot-ai-as-risks-to-privacy.html

Amazon Key’s big privacy test is now in your hands

Amazon Key uses the company’s new Cloud Cam security camera, a smart door lock and the new Key app to grant someone temporary access. A delivery person can unlock your front door using his phone, slide in a package, then lock the door again. The idea is to prevent packages from being stolen from the front stoop or have them get soaked in the rain.

https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-key-launch-privacy-home-deliveries-cloud-cam/?ftag=CAD-03-10aaj8j

Magic is when a brand embraces experiences where their customers can see, hear or taste them. 

When you add something for people to see, hear, taste and do at the forefront of your messaging, you are creating a positive memory that is much more powerful than an ad alone. It becomes a moment in time that participants will enthusiastically remember and talk about. And, it’s a heart-felt connection to your brand that will make consumers more receptive to your messaging every time they see your ads in the future

http://adage.com/article/guest-columnists/experiential-heart-branding/305726/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

42 percent of smart speaker owners have bought a second device (or more) – TechCrunch

Here’s a promising metric for Amazon, in terms of its ability to maintain its current lead in the voice computing market: 42 percent of smart speaker owners have two or more devices, according to Edison Research. This figure is seemingly growing, too. Last year, there were about 1.18 Amazon Echo devices per Alexa household, but this new finding pushes the number to around 1.5 to 1.6 smart speaker devices per household.

Not exactly apples to apples, but Echo still dominates.

Amazon today has a solid lead in voice computing, despite new entrants on the market like Google Home and soon, Apple’s HomePod. A recent survey estimates that Amazon has sold more than 10 million Alexa-powered Echo devices since late 2014. Morgan Stanley believes that figure could be more than 11 million. Amazon is also forecasted to control 70 percent of the voice-controlled speaker market this year.

https://techcrunch-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/techcrunch.com/2017/06/23/42-percent-of-amazon-echo-owners-have-bought-a-second-device-or-more/amp/