from Matthew Rathbun, executive vice president of Coldwell Banker Elite.
Emerging Tech Is Multi-Generational
One of the overwhelming realizations I had while transversing the halls at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, zigging, zagging and apologizing to the other 200,000 attendees in Las Vegas, was how much more smart home technology was being developed to help with health and lifestyle activities.
Prior to real estate I was an EMS medic and rushed to people’s homes for a variety of medical emergencies. That was nearly 16 years ago. I look back now at the technology that is available to keep us safe, monitor medical conditions early or send notifications to get help quicker and realize how many more lives could have been saved.
As I moved from one development area to another I noticed that some technologies were in more than one area. For example, “BabyTech” could be found in the Smart Homes section as well as the wearables section. Why? Because these technologies are all integrated. You can’t necessarily talk about smart cameras without talking about smart cameras that monitors a baby’s sleep, pulse and breathing and sends you alerts if something goes amiss, like MySmartBeat.com or a wearable monitoring device like Owletcare.com do.
Also in the area of baby tech, I saw baby-belly monitors that a mom can wear while pregnant to monitor the baby’s health on her smart phone and DIY ultrasound device that is used on your iPhone. These devices are just a few examples of the medical monitoring systems that are emerging to help identify and treat any early issues in a pregnancy.
As a parent, I remember the point where each child was given their first connected device, a laptop, iPhone or iPad. Each child got a long lecture about the appropriate use and in our home, they had to sign a four-page technology agreement. I wanted them to understand what was considered appropriate behavior and to know the consequences for not abiding by our rules. Even with all those things in place and with tools like Circle to manage the connected devices in our house and DNS filters like OpenDNS.com, I still had concerns about their online safety.
For parents with older children or pre-teens who aren’t yet ready for a smart phone, enter the MyKi watch. Allterco has created a watch that has built-in GPS and the ability to call, text or video chat – but only with the people who Mom or Dad has entered into their phone and pre-approved. The watch can be set so that you always know where your child is, you can receive alerts if your child leaves a “safe-zone” and they can call you in case of emergency.
Teens and Young Adults
You’re not going to see a lot of teenagers running around CES, but you will see a lot of games, gadgets and robots to play with. From virtual reality exercise setups to AR games, there is a whole gambit of connected devices for entertainment purposes.
But more importantly are the learning devices. The connected learning devices and artificial intelligence system being created to help with education and learning was very impressive. Some devices dealt with early learning, while others focused on teens with learning disabilities.
You will also see safety devices like the vest you wear while bicycling that will inflate and protect you should you fall of or get hit, the motorcycle helmet with Amazon Alexa built in that gives you a heads up display and 360-degree views while driving and other innovations created to let your adventures be safer.
Walking through the Smart Home section of CES, you’d also see an RV parked in the middle of the showroom floor introducing you to “Addison.” Addison is an AI health care system designed for aging in place. Addison assists with ensuring users take their medicine, monitors their vital signs and calls for help when need be. If anything is amiss or Mom and Dad aren’t taking their medications, Addison can be setup to let family members know. You can see a demo of Addison here.
I also had the chance to test drive a wheelchair that responds to your facial actions. If I smiled the wheelchair went forward, made a kissy-face the wheelchair stopped, stuck out my tongue it would backup, etc. At the end of the ride I wasn’t sure if I was engaged to be married or not, but the controls were very intuitive and responsive. Something we haven’t seen in electric wheelchairs in the past.
And So Much More…
The above are just a few devices and examples of them myriad of things one would see coming on the horizon and existing in our homes over the next year.
As our homes have gotten more connected, so have we. These innovations promise to give us a better quality of life as we move forward and much more to learn about the rapidly changing world around us.