The Las Vegas Electronics Show highlights innovations related to the idea of a “smart” home, including a TV that alerts when the clothes dryer cycle ends, a mirror that heats shower water, and operates a coffee maker, but this home is still very disconnected from reality.
For years, the French company “Barracuda” has been transforming bathrooms into a smart versions by creating sanitary ware integrated with those used daily.
The “B Mirror” – which is the company’s first mirror model – collects information and shares it with the scale, toilet or toothbrush to make recommendations to family members, such as drinking additional amounts of water or consulting a dermatologist if someone’s mole changes color.
“For example, a person can immediately know whether he has brushed his teeth better or whether he needs to put a condom and the sun on his face.
In order to benefit as much as possible from these technologies, devices of the same brand, either created by Barracuda or a partner brand, should be used.
For start-ups and international companies that have been designing and selling smart devices for years, interoperability is very important.
“These devices can work amazingly well, but information can be lost if the devices are not able to communicate with each other,” notes independent analyst Avi Greengart.
Interconnected hardware war
Each of the major technology companies (Amazon, Samsung, Apple, Google) has created an interconnected system for its devices, often relying on voice assistance such as Alexa and Siri.
Greengart says that these companies “hope to attract a large number of people to them and to achieve growth at the expense of other companies, but in the end, none of them recorded growth,” according to the independent analyst.
The large groups reached an agreement. After 3 years of work, last fall, they developed a protocol for smart devices under the name “Matter”.
We can think of the protocol as a “USB” for the smart home, says Mark Benson, director of Samsung’s SmartThings company. Previously, when a person would buy a webcam, he had to check if it could be connected to a computer, but today This question is no longer raised.”
Matter aims to make the digital installation of various equipment simple, as it is no longer necessary to download an app for each.
Jeff Wang explains that “the compatible operation of devices is not technically complicated, while the problem lies in the data, as companies are not inherently willing to share information.”
So every company is trying to convince everyone to use its application (Smart Things, Google Home…) that centralizes the control of home appliances.
According to the vision of Samsung, which is presented in Las Vegas, a consumer who owns a TV, oven, washing machine, and refrigerator from the South Korean group can monitor, through the “Smart Things” application, the amount of energy consumed by the devices while watching the TV, which in turn alerts the end of the washing machine cycle.
Smart fuse box
At Google’s booth, just saying “Get started!” Until the essential oil diffuser starts up.
At the present stage, consumers are using cheap smart speakers to use them as a timer or to listen to music.
Mark Benson points out that “more than half of American families own a smart device, while more than half of families bought their first device of this kind during the last three years.”
The Consumer Technology Association, which is organizing the Las Vegas Electronics Show, believes that Mater will generate growth in the smart home market when the real estate sector recovers.
A spokesman for the company said that these technologies “will face a difficult year in the United States due to the decline in home sales.”
However, the Consumer Technology Association is counting on selling about 5 million smart thermostats in 2023, which represents an increase in its sales by 15% in one year, as consumers will be attracted by the idea of saving the quantities of energy consumed.
The American company “Savant” designed a smart fuse box to dispel concerns related to energy consumption.
“This box may be one of the last unthought-of items to be turned into a smart device,” says Ian Roberts, vice president of the company.
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