If you were at CES last week, you know it was a big week for Smart Home. As much as we all love the Smart Home market, it was not the most talked about of all the goings on in Vegas last week. Contrary to popular belief, there are things that happen in Vegas that do not stay in Vegas. In our analysis of every tweet about an Alexa integration, Instagram post on yet another drone mounted camera, and post on the CES Facebook Fanpage saying “Dude, wheres my prototype!”, Smart Home ranked 7th in the overall discussion of market segments at CES.
Keeping with the theme of 2016, CES now stands for “Car Experience Show” with Automotive related topics on top of the market segment rankings. Internet of Things was number two but outranked even Automotive on the 3rd and 4th day of CES. The big surprise was the return of Televisions to the top 10! (Absent were long time favorites, Tablets and Wearables) Virtual Reality and Gaming were tightly coupled throughout the event showing up 4th or 5th respectively. Artificial Intelligence had a strong start as all segments gushed about how they are integrating Machine Learning or Cognitive Computing into their overall consumer experiences, from cars to toothbrushes, but finally finished 6th. Smart Home was next at 7th position and we’ll dive in a bit deeper below. The rest included Robotics, Drones and Smartphones dancing around each other at the bottom 8th, 9th and 10th positions in the rankings. Overall we saw more attention for CES 2017 than for 2016, about a 10% increase in overall social traffic about the show, indicating both increased interest and increased botnets.
We then dug deeper to see which sub-segments of Smart Home received the most attention. These are captured looking for generic mentions of the categories, not the rapidly proliferation of brands. For example, looking for “thermostat” instead of “Nest” or “Hive” or “Wiser”. Kits and Hubs came out on top with Security Camera’s rising to second place. It seems that anyone that was making Tablets two years ago or Wearables last year was making Security Cameras this year.
Lights, Locks, Remotes finish 4th, 5th and 6th respectively. Smart Lighting was everywhere with mood bulbs being the most common new product, closely followed by embedded speakers and cameras with Sengled leading the charge with their Pulse line. August received a ton of attention for their new mortise lock, opening up European markets. Thermostats took a back seat other than the significant number Nest partnership mentions combined with the buzz Honeywell received around their new Lyric thermostats, the T5 and T6. Standing out among the walls of white plastic sensors were Xiaomi’s well designed white plastic sensors, along with the rest of their Smart Home offerings being showcased but not yet sold in the United States.
Finally, we see discussions of Baby Monitors (part of the oddly named Baby and Beauty section of CES), Air Quality devices and Doorbell Cameras. With the dominance of Ring in the market, and the ubiquity of other firms with Doorbell Cameras like Vivint and Skybell, it was shocking to see Doorbell Cameras so low in the overall conversation.
Overall, we saw the acreage and increase in Smart Home increase over last year. There were two meta categories that also dominated the CES Smart Home conversation, Artifical Intelligence and Voice Control. The integration with Appliances is also improving with Whirlpool annoucing Alexa integrations that make sense, “Alexa, set the oven to bake at 400 degrees.” Vivint announced their new Sky AI that learns your Smart Home patterns, automating them where it makes sense. We will be watching through out the year to see which products start to come to fruition.
If you are interested in a more real time dose of insights, what happens when these products land in the hands of real users or deeper data on your own brand and products, check out the Argus Analyzer for Smart Home. Check out a sample of how we use the Analyzer to unpack what is driving the Smart Home market by checking out the slides of our recent webinar on how Smart Home demand is shaping up ahead of Black Friday.
Wandering the floor at CES 2017 gives you a great sense as what companies have been tinkering with over the past year. Not all of the innovations are shiny new technological breakthroughs. Some are just better story telling. The Z-Wave Alliance has a novel Point of Sale Display they are showing off in hopes of helping consumers and retailers break through the brand blockade of Smart Home. They are showing off the notion of consumer recipes, easy ways for consumers to pick what Smart Home experience they are and get the right devices to enable that experience.
And while Argus Insights is spending a lot of time in the Smart Home space, looking at the broader social conversation coming out of the show tells a different story.
Smart Home continues to fall at number 7 on the list but is doing better than in the past. Noticeably absent from the top 10 are Wearables and Laptops, past top categories of discussion. Automotive, Televisions, Gaming, IoT and VR round out the top five most talked about areas. AI, a new comer this year, is getting washed over the entire show given how the market’s fascination with deep learning and cognitive computing touches every category shown at CES.
We’ll share more along our journey through the show. Sign up for our newsletter if you’d like to get a regular dose of Argus Insights.