CES is amazing for the amount of new technology it can showcase, but much like a high-end fashion show the question inevitably emerges: will I actually buy any of this stuff? And if so, when, where, and most importantly, why? This year, CES is aiming to tackle that question in a serious manner; look no further than Amazon and Netflix’s 4K agreements and Smartwatches’ partnerships with high-end fashion as evidence of trying to actually sell, in addition to creating, the tech we’ve seen.
In the same vein, one of the biggest CES trends has been the Smart Home – from lights and thermostats that interface with apps, to home security and chatting appliances – but the question still lingers, where, when, and why can or should consumers buy? Staples is looking to tackle this question with its renewed partnership with Zonoff. They partnered last year to offer what little home automation technology existed, but now post-CES 2014 the partnership looks to take off with offerings such as the Goji smart lock, Koubachi garden sensors, Radio Thermostat’s WiFi-connected products, Philips, Honeywell, GE, Linksys and more. To prove the ‘why’ quotient, Staples has agreed to showcase the platforms first hand in the Staples Manhattan store.
The race to get these home automation products into the hands of consumers is well and truly on. Revolv will be available at the Home Depot, Lowe’s will be selling the Iris home automation kit, and SmartThings is selling an entire package including Philips Hue, Jawbone Up, and Belkin’s WeMo. Now the question becomes, will consumers bite?