Just a few weeks ago the 2017 annual Consumer Electronics Show took place and some of the biggest names in the Smart Home Industry took to the stage to present their latest and greatest gadgets. To recap the best home automation has to offer, here’s our round-up of the best CES 2017 smart home technologies review.
The beginning of 2017 brought forth the annual Consumer Electronics Show. While cars, gaming and other hardware took the forefront of the event, the central stage was nonetheless given to the best smart home technologies manufacturers had to offer. As expected, the main focus of home automation at this year’s CES were the competing voice-controlled hubs offered by Amazon, Apple and Google. In fact, there wasn’t a single device, which can take the praise for being the best CES 2017 smart home product, as much as the show was a spectacle of different and unique devices, each offering voice-controlled support for one or more of the smart hubs offered by the three big tech giants.
Amazon’s Echo CES 2017 Smart Home Tech Throne
During the final quarter of 2016 we managed to note Amazon’s big push towards support and integration with as much smart home products as possible. The CES 2017 Smart Home stage showed that this year the push might be even bigger, as Amazon managed to secure the most support in different home automation devices, compared to its competitors. In fact, a total of thirty-three different smart home devices, which were announced or debuted at CES 2017, had support for Amazon Alexa. Out of those, the most notable were the LG Smart Instaview Refrigerator, the Coway Airmega air purifier, Ford Sync3, Hydrao smart showerheads, Whirlpool appliances, Belkin WeMo Dimmer, Element 4K TV and more.
What’s notable is that even smart speakers, which at first seemed like they might pose competition to the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, such as Lenovo Smart Assistant speaker and Omaker Wow speaker were in fact integrated within the Amazon Alexa voice controlled ecosystem. There were also a few devices, which managed to rise some eyebrows, such as the LG Hub Robot, but as a whole, the list of devices working with Alexa was relatively unsurprising.
Among the more interesting products with Amazon Alexa that were showed at the CES 2017 Smart Home floors were the Samsung Powerbot VR7000 robot vacuum, the Somfy One security camera, the smart lighting offered by Switchmate, the Hubble Hugo camera and more.
Google Home’s Biggest Issue in the Face of Support
We here at BYSH.co praise the Google Home as one of the best smart home speakers around and a definite contender for the throne of smart home voice automation. Nevertheless, the CES 2017 Smart Home stage showed off one of the biggest issues with Google’s AI home assistant in the lack of smart home device integration and support. In fact, Google took a second place even to Apple HomeKit and Siri with a mere eight new devices. Among them were the Belkin WeMo Dimmer, the Switchmate smart home lighting, the Sensory Voice Genie, Hyundal and Nvidia Shield TV and Nvidia Spot.
While some might note that Google Home’s integration with Nvidia opens the door to gaming enthusiasts who are also interested in smart home technology, the fact of the matter is that while the smart home industry is ever growing and evolving, it rarely lapses with gaming enthusiasts, who prefer Nvidia’s new console options to the already existing PC gaming hardware scene or Sony’s, Microsoft’s and Nintendo’s console options.
Having seen the extreme lack of support for Google Home is definitely a sign, that despite the exciting hardware offered by Google, Amazon is still going to hold its spot for the best Smart Home hub going forward into 2017, unless Google pushes its new AI assistant to more home automation hardware from other third-parties.
Apple’s Eager Attempts at Hitting the Smart Home Stage
Apple’s HomeKit and smart assistant Siri are a definite step forward for the manufacturer. Ever since the unveil of iOS 10, the company showed its interest to join the home automation market and to make the smart home a more seamless experience for the end user. While we did have second thoughts on the matter of whether or not Apple’s strategy would be a success, at the CES 2017 Smart Home stage we managed to see a push for third-party device and hardware integration and support from Apple, that beat even the Google Home smart home hub. In fact, Apple managed to deliver support for as much as eighteen devices, most notable of which were the Chamberlain Smart Garage Hub, the Honeywell Lyric Home Security and Control System, the Leviton Decora smart lighting and more. What’s notable was also the fact that a number of devices, which offered Alexa support, also offered Apple HomeKit and Siri support, but not Google Home integration. Among those devices are the Inclplo CommandKit and the First Alera Onelink Environment monitor. What’s more, Apple managed to secure exclusive support for a number of smart locks and switches by different manufacturers.
What the CES 2017 Smart Home stage went to show is that the home automation industry is not pushed forward only by hardware, but by resource investment as well. Even though Google’s smart home speaker was something that enticed home automation enthusiasts, they certainly showed a lack of interest in actually making the smart home world a more deeply integrated space. In fact, Apple proved to be a better competitor to Amazon’s Alexa, managing to deliver more support to smart home devices, than Google did. Nevertheless, Amazon still manages to hold the throne with Alexa integration and going forward in the year, if this trend continues, we might see a closer race between Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, than between Amazon Echo and Google Home as it was first expected.
Source: CES 2017
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