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Smart Home

Tech Giants at CES

Tech giants were in full display at CES with expanding ecosystems, new products, and standards initiates to help push the smart home forward. These companies, due to their visibility and brand recognition, are enabling new waves in the smart home market. The following tech giants showcased the following capabilities and announcements at CES:

  • Amazon: The “Works with Ring” program and Amazon Alexa ecosystems are to integrate as well as the Key by Amazon program. This enables tight integration across ecosystems and allows Amazon to expand the potential and strength of its ecosystem and allow more devices to connect to its services. Amazon also announced a bigger push towards home-to-car integration by bringing its Fire TV streaming devices to vehicles for the first time. It announced new partners with BMW and Fiat Chrysler. Furthermore, AWS (Amazon Web Services) is partnering with Blackberry to create a cloud-powered connected car software platform.
  • Facebook: Its first foray in creating hardware was its Portal device with the goal of furthering its mission of creating connections among consumers. It released a smaller form factor of its Portal display devices as well as a TV solution. Facebook facilitates engagement of these devices with video calling and features such as Mic Drop and Story Time, which tend to skew toward a younger generation. It has plans to incorporate more multigenerational features to capture a wider audience. There are reports that Facebook usage and the number of accounts is on the decline especially among the 12- to 34-year-old demographic.
  • Samsung: A leader in home appliances, Samsung continues to home in on its connected appliances line with new fridges, and washers/dryers. It also announced its first step into the personal robotics market with Ballie, a rolling robot, designed to improve consumers’ day-to-day lives. Samsung’s keynote emphasized that consumers are in the “age of experience” and that consumers are not looking to buy products but experiences. Samsung seeks to execute on providing robust user experiences and enabling convenience, peace of mind, and enjoyment through these initiative.
  • Google: Its voice assistant platform, Google Assistant, introduced new features which includes the following: the voice assistant speaking from the web, the ability to read an article as well as translate an article, partnerships with Volara and SONIFI to offer voice translation technology to hotels, offices, and other areas to enable real-time translation in events and conference rooms, the ability to schedule when a task should be executed (e.g. turn on the lights at 6 p.m.), sticky notes on the smart display and speed dialing capabilities. It also announced new integrations with its Google Android Automotive OS which integrates with the car, Google Assistant, Maps, and apps with voice capabilities.

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