CES

The rise in smart home technologies has taken centre stage at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Voice-controlled homes are the future, with many manufacturers building on the success of Amazon’s Alexa (launched at CES last year) by announcing their own smart speaker devices. The battle for which brand will provide the command centre to one’s home is an important one. The ecosystems do not yet have completely common standards, and therefore the choice of voice operating system will likely dictate future appliance purchases with high switching costs. Some of these might follow the user as they move home; however, particularly in the rented sector, deeper rooted infrastructure such as lighting, heating and door locks might ultimately be baked into the initial development of the home. How long before we have to make the choice between a Google home or an Amazon home? And presumably, the adoption in commercial real estate is not far behind.