Big Takeaways from CES, Part 1

Ed Wenck | Jan 28, 2019
Several members of the CEDIA Tech Council attended CES 2019 in Las Vegas, and CEDIA’s Walt Zerbe hosted a daily podcast from the show. We’ve distilled a series of takeaways from those podcasts for several quick reads, as well as a “recap” show that was taped a week after the Consumer Electronic Show wrapped up. 
There was a LOT of water monitoring at the show. Walt Zerbe noted that insurance companies were wandering the show floor – and were especially interested in understanding leak detection systems. “That’s movement in the right direction,” says Zerbe. Mike Maniscalco of Pytheas saw a variety of devices that measured water (and air) quality, not quantity: “There was a lot of water quality, water purification, air quality monitoring. I actually think that may be a category for CEDIA. I talked to another integrator about that a few weeks ago and he said, ‘My clients are all about feeling and looking young and healhy as long and they can and will spend anything on it.’” 
There’s money in the kitchen. Gordon van Zuiden, owner of the technology integration firm cyberManor (los Gatos, CA), noted new advances in kitchen tech at CES 2019. “With everything connected at higher speeds, we see better screens, voice initiation — we're seeing some solutions in both spaces that are being advocated by some of the largest electronic companies in the world,” says van Zuiden. Samsung and LG — to just name two — are betting that smart kitchen “hubs” are the future. Families naturally gather in those spaces, and the universe of appliances that assist and entertain are becoming ubiquitous.
And key to the success of these devices are voice-control interfaces that do more than give you the weather forecast or tell jokes. “Think of all the actions in the kitchen that make sense to be initiated with voice, because your hands are occupied doing other things,” says van Zuiden. Furthermore, “The overall point in all of this is to start looking closely at the implications of refrigerators that have connectivity for assistance in cooking, for food acquisition, and purchasing — I think more and more the custom integrators will be working with the kitchen and bath designers to ensure the best possible customer experience.”