According to Consumer Technology Association research released in January, 29 million smart home devices are projected to be sold this year—that’s up a whopping 63 percent from 2016. Still, most people at the vanguard of smart home product adoption are educated, affluent, and tech-savvy, so it’s a safe bet that there is an even larger population of consumers who will seek ideas, inspiration, and recommendations from trusted home lifestyle media sources, not just the tech press. It’s worth a look at the latest smart home prototypes being offered by lifestyle media giants HGTV and Sunset Magazine to gain insight on how they are shaping consumer opinions about the smart home.
HGTV FOCUSES ON ‘LUXURY IN THE DESERT’ FOR ITS 2017 SMART HOME
For the fifth year in a row, the powerhouse HGTV Network with its massive base of 78 million subscribers, has built a house brimming with smart tech to help viewers learn how to be safe, conserve energy, save money, and have more fun. As part of its hugely popular annual home sweepstakes, HGTV is offering eligible consumers a chance to win a grand prize package which includes a luxury smart home in Scottsdale, Arizona (shown here) and other items valued at more than one and a half million dollars. Starting earlier this month and continuing through Friday, June 2, 2017 HGTV viewers can enter—up to twice a day online—for a chance to win.
HGTV SHOWCASES ‘LUXURY TECH’
The HGTV smart home defines luxury with features such as motion-activated toilets, a tub outfitted with sound waves, solar-activated skylights, video security, and much more including a hybrid Mercedes with its own garage charging system. The single-level Southwestern-style home is approximately 3,300-square-feet, with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. You can go to HGTV.com/Smart to see the home’s features which were designed by a local architect with home automation consultation from Carley Knobloch, a regular contributor on the Today Show and CNN.
SUNSET’S SMART COTTAGE BLENDS ‘SMART & SMALL’ FOR ANNUAL EVENT
The venerated Sunset magazine, is a regional lifestyle mag published monthly for people living in the western US (Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Southwest and Mountain.) Sunset has a circulation of over 1.3 million and this year they took a different tack for their 19th annual Celebration Weekend and prototype home. For 2017 Sunset took over a two-bedroom bridal cottage in Sonoma, California transforming it into a modern, connected home. The Sunset Smart Cottage will debut at Sunset’s event on May 20 in Sonoma. The cottage is an environmentally and ecologically responsible 900 sq. ft.—which is a hallmark of the Sunset brand—so it’s not surprising they focused on the ‘tiny home’ trend for this year’s theme.
The smart tech products and home features include Amazon Echos in the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms to control a range of devices and settings including thermostat, lighting, and window blinds. Mattel’s Alexa-powered ‘Aristotle’ is placed in the kid’s bedroom. The smart lighting is customizable plus there is smart plumbing and water faucets, and an elegant, but pricey, June countertop oven worth $1,495.
But as Sunset noted, their choices were not just about enabling connected products to give this cottage brains, but also using smart ideas to make the most of small spaces. So Sunset partnered with other non-tech companies like California Closets to bring design intelligence to every corner of this smart tiny home. You can see a Sunset Smart Cottage preview here. For those within visiting distance, tickets are available starting at $35 for general admission.
So there’s an exciting month ahead for smart home prototypes! It’ll be interesting to see how people respond and the impact these experiments in living may have on the year ahead.
If you are curious to see just a few of the 70+ Arrayent-connected products that you can get for your own smart home, check out this post from last December.