There are three major takeaways I am leaving with after Day 1 of CES:
1) Saying “Smart Homes are the thing of the future” is a cliche. Smart Homes are NOW.
2) Creating a smart home is surprisingly more affordable than I expected.
3) A Smart Home runs in parallel with a Smart Family.
As our #CBCES team explored the over 2 million square feet of exhibit space, we saw everything you could possibly imagine in a smart home from light bulbs that play music to home robots that put Rosie from the Jetsons to shame. But the thing that ties almost every product together is most definitely a smart phone. Nearly every exhibitor did their product demonstration right from the palm of their hand furiously swiping through pages of the app to get through their well rehearsed sales pitch. With each app came a promise to give homeowners an easier lifestyle by means of efficiency, control and automation not just for them but their entire family.
A smarter home makes a smarter family.
While I can clearly understand why thousands flock to innovative products on the entertainment side of smart homes, like the incredible 4K TV for example, what really stood out to me was how brands are changing the way parents care for their kids as well as their own parents. Let’s dive into how a smart home is changing how parents take care of and monitor their children.
The Evolution of the Helicopter Parent
A “Helicopter Parent” is a term coined by the media for parents who pay extreme attention to their children, meaning they constantly hover. A helicopter parent can mean anything from the parent who snoops through their children’s text messages to acting like their personal secretary.
Today I realized that the helicopter parent of the future will evolve into a group of parents who will know everything from the second a child leaves their bed to their exact location at any given moment.Here is a round up of some of the products that parents can use in their smart home to better connect them with their children.
Sleep Number Sleep IQ Bed
“Family connected, sleep perfected”
This cloud connected mattress syncs with your smart phone to track your child’s sleep and adjusts the comfort to an optimized Sleep Number®. Talk about dynamic comfort! Here are some of the other standout features for parents…
1) Monkey Alert: “No More Monkeys Jumping Out of Bed!” If a child is out of bed, up late or restless parents will receive an alert on their phone. The app also lets you set bedtime goals so is takes the stress out of a parent and child’s bedtime routine. When a child gets in bed at the predetermined time they get their star for the night.
2) Twinkle Twinkle When a child gets out of their bed a light under the bed will turn on.
3) Lifts Them Up Whenever I had a wicked cold growing up my mom would prop some pillows under my mattress to make me feel better. The Sleep IQ bed has a head tilt feature that removes the need to prop up the mattress with pillows.
4) Monster Scanner Quite possibly my favorite feature, the sleep number app banishes unwanted creatures not only under the bed but in the entire room with a monster detector feature.
When you think about “wearable technology” you may think about a Fitbit or Google Glasses. Temptraq, which was unveiled today, is taking wearable tech to an entirely new place with their new “wearable bluetooth thermometer patch.” TempTraq is the first and only 24-hour intelligent thermometer that senses, records and sends alerts of child’s temperature to a parent’s mobile device. Now if this isn’t helicopter parenting I don’t know what is. Gone are the days of checking in every few hours with an old school thermometer! Check out how it works…
Not only can parents now track a child’s every move via smart phones and wearable technology but they can also watch! A major theme at this year’s CES was video surveillance. The show had every type of video camera you could imagine from a wireless baby monitor called the ibabi HD (pictured to the right) to Sengled Snap, an led lightbulb that has an integrated ip camera, speaker and microphone. Oh and this bulb won’t burn out for at least 17 years! Not only is this a “bright idea” for home security but it is also a great way to keep tabs on your family members while you are home or away. Look out for our video on this super cool lightbulb later this week!
In addition to parent’s connecting with their children via technology, another theme that ran concurrent was watching over elderly parents. Technology enables older parents to keep their independence and allows their children to have piece of mind. Products like Onelink by First Alert offer both home and personal protection through a smart device. As a caregiver you can set up connectivity with things in an elderly parent’s home from temperature adjustments, smoke and carbon monoxide detection and even monitor their home via video surveillance.
With over 20,000 new product launches at this year’s CES I am sure there dozens of other products that I could add to this list and I look forward to exploring them during day 2.
Follow our adventure in real time on twitter with #CBCES.