As connected tech becomes more and more prevalent, we’re starting to see a more cogent awareness of the Internet of Things and what IoT products mean in the everyday lives of people. Where previously these products may have had a nebulous mainstream definition and equally vague marketing, more and more consumers outside of the electronics industry are becoming familiar with what IoT devices are and what they have to offer as retailers get a handle on how to market these products. We’ve seen evidence of this at CES throughout the week, and – as the show winds to a conclusion in Las Vegas – this seems a marker of an intriguing recent trend toward mainstreaming a complex technology.
This mainstreaming was easy to see during the holiday season, as retailers trotted out connected devices, from fitness wearables to smart home products. The “Connected Home” or “Smart Home” and its products are a prime example of devices finally finding a market and corresponding reception from consumers.
For a long time, these phrases have been used in tech circles but have seemed the realm of science fiction outside of those circles. Now, though, a simple walk through major retail stores shows these devices branded as “smart thermostats” or “home access and control” – recognizable functions that explain what these devices can accomplish in a home. Consumers have been shown what these connected products are capable of – and, more importantly, how these tech advances can find a place in and improve their lives.
Likewise with wearables – the advent of the Apple Watch has brought mainstream awareness to the market, but it has been 2015’s embracing of wearable tech and better-defined marketing of it by retailers that has helped bring the segment into the public eye, even bringing new market attention to products such as Fitbit, Jawbone, and other fitness trackers that have been on the market for years.
If these products were at the forefront during the holiday retail frenzy, they’re on display at a fever pitch at CES this week. From new Smart Home offerings – LG’s Signature Fridge and Samsung’s Family Hub Refrigerator, for a start, as well as new thermostat and security products – to athletic and fitness devices powered by Intel technology, consumers are finding that our lives, bodies, and houses may just be the new spaces connected tech finds a home. Hopefully IoT technology will find as much of a home, and increased growth to go with it, in the global electronics marketplace.
Keep an eye out for further CES announcements throughout the week here on the Smith Market Blog and on Twitter (follow us @smithweb).