CES and the smart home

Jay Kenny, VP of marketing for Alarm.com shares his observations of smart home trends at this year's show
 - 
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Described as "the global stage for innovation," the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) draws more than 170,000 attendees and offers a unique opportunity to see big trends across consumer technology.

This year did not disappoint: CES featured new technology in everything from self-driving cars to wearable tech to 8K televisions with stunning picture clarity. A dedicated Smart Home Pavilion featured more companies and more products than ever before, and attracted massive media coverage and consumer interest.

There was a clear shift this year, from a focus on individual devices to a need for services that connect multiple devices into a single smart home service.

Trend 1: Connecting the connected home

Devices are obviously a key part of smart home technology architecture, and some very big consumer brands are committed to connecting all their product lines to the Internet in the near future. Samsung formally announced that, by 2020, every single product it sells would be part of the Internet of Things.

With the proliferation of connected devices, there was increased attention to how these connected things can work together in the home. Platforms and hubs that integrate ecosystems of devices were a major focus, and a number of new and established companies introduced new solutions.

The more devices you can connect into a single solution, the smarter and more efficient the home can become. This puts the security dealer in an ideal position to deliver a fully connected smart home solution, providing the installation, support and professional monitoring that consumers need to adopt this new technology.

Trend 2: Hello Automation

Another important trend at CES this year was a new category of home automation. Instead of the user manually adjusting devices through an app, the entire home can now respond automatically to issues or conditions on behalf of the homeowner. 

To deliver this advanced capability, platforms process real-time data from a multitude of devices and data sources.  Combining information like user location, local weather, and the patterns and preferences of the homeowner creates a highly personalized and valued experience.  

A unique ingredient for enabling this kind of advanced automation is the rich source of data generated by the security system. Door and window sensors, motion detectors and the security system itself provide an ideal foundation for the smart home. This information can be leveraged in the cloud to understand activity patterns in the home so devices can be automatically managed around the homeowner’s schedule. 

Trend 3: Security is a smart home essential

The other trend that's only grown stronger over the last few years is the importance of home security in the smart home.

Smart home technology greatly enhances home security, including proactive alerts when something happens, automatic responses like turning on the lights and alerting the police in case of a potential break-in, and reminders to lock the door and arm the security system when the user leaves home.  

While CES included a lot of dazzling technology, a security dealer’s ability to deliver services like 24/7 professional monitoring, as well as professional installation and ongoing support, provides consumers with unmatched peace of mind. Automated emergency response and the comfort of knowing that smart home technology will be installed right (and will continue to deliver value for years to come) offers security dealers a huge advantage in reaching a broader consumer market.