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CES 2017 Fashion Tech Recap: Smart Home

Since CES 2017 wrapped up earlier this month, we’ve been following up on earlier predictions re: major trends this year. ICYMI we already put out this feature looking at smart glasses, as well as this post + video honing in on the smart jewelry category. Today, we look towards the smart home, and how it’s poised to transform the most intimate spaces of private life. 

Fashion and the home have always been inextricably linked, so it’s no surprise that as technology creeps closer to the skin, it’s also vying for a spot in our homes. In addition to personal assistants and live-in robots, a number of products unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas want to bring artificial intelligence into every crevice of personal life. Should we be excited or scared?

Here come the bots! 

Artificial intelligence was the talk of the show this year, which presented itself in the form of adorable in-home robots, much like Rosie from The Jetsons. Service bots like Kuri aim to be the epicentre of your smart home experience, allowing you to control other smart features as well as check in on your pad remotely. Kuri understands simple gestures, commands, and sounds, and can even express her own emotions through her eyes and the sounds she makes.

We also saw Jibo, a robot that positions itself as “the world’s first family robot,” a social robot for the home. Jibo can take pictures, answer questions and phone calls, read stories to your kids, and otherwise be the nanny you didn’t know you needed.

Then there was Buddy, the family’s companion robot. Like Jibo and Kuri, Buddy recognizes faces and can help with in-home tasks.

In fashion and beauty, we’ve seen artificial intelligence emerge in the form of chatbots that act kind of like a digital concierge, so it makes sense to us that AI is also showing itself as the helper for the home. In addition to a number of live-in robots, we also saw Amazon’s Alexa being integrated into a variety of other products: LG put Alexa into a fridge, GE put Alexa in a lamp, and Vobot put Alexa into an alarm clock. Alexa was everywhere at CES this year, despite the fact that Amazon had no presence at the show, which demonstrates the value of an open-source ecosystem for the smart home.

LG’s Alexa-enabled smart fridge. Image via The Verge

GE’s LED table lamp with Alexa integration

Vobot’s Alexa alarm clock

Beyond the bots, we’re not just bringing technology into our home, we’re inviting it into the most intimate spaces of private life. In the beauty tech department, we saw products like Loreal’s Smart Hairbrush, a hairbrush that literally “listens” to your locks for signs of damage. The accompanying app “coaches” you for better hair health by providing tips and recommending products.

Equally as creepy interesting was the HiMirror, a smart mirror that uses a video camera to analyse your skin to “take your beauty routine to the next level.”

While we love the idea of technology coming into the home to assist our lives, some of the beauty tech products showcased aren’t solving real problems. How many women do you know worry if they’re brushing their hair too hard? Like a lot of what we see on the show floor at CES, we think what happens in Vegas will stay in Vegas.

What do you think of in-home bots and beauty tech innovations from CES 2017? Let me know in the comments below.

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