Household appliances, devices making all the right connections

by Parks Associates | Jan. 12, 2012

A vision of the future is taking shape that will allow communication with the ever-increasing number of gadgets in people's homes: A refrigerator suggests recipes based on its contents and keeps track of when the milk is going to expire. A wall-mounted sensor detects when a person leaves the house and turns down the temperature to a preset level. A homeowner who forgets to close the garage door can do so from across town via a smartphone application.

All of these capabilities are available now and on display here at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, where companies are trying harder than ever to advance their vision of a truly connected home that encompasses entertainment devices, appliances, energy and security.Companies at CES say mainstream adoption of connected home technology is gaining momentum, aided by several broader shifts in the consumer technology industry, but still several years away. For starters, an increasing number of devices come with built-in Wi-Fi capability, allowing an easy link with the Internet and with each other. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group, shipments of Wi-Fi devices hit almost 1.1 billion in 2011 and will double by 2015. These gadgets include not just TVs and gaming consoles, but also smart meters and home automation products.

Parks Associates, a consumer technology research firm, estimates that more than 10 million U.S. households will have a remote monitoring and control system by 2014.



Next: 'Smart' TVs and other products proliferate at CES
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