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Don’t forget the small stuff

August 13, 2018

Don’t forget the small stuff

Even minor appliances and housewares can be part of a complete solution for end users’ smart homes

In the past year alone, Americans have purchased millions of smart home devices to help them save energy, increase security or boost convenience. Yet today’s smart home innovations are evolving—and fairly quickly. Many new devices offer help with specific tasks, like cooking, cleaning and other everyday chores. From housewares, minor appliances, home health tools and gadgets for the smart kitchen, the offering grows larger every day.

What’s new in the smart home space? The list is long and diverse, but here are five interesting categories that can you can suggest to extend customers’ smart home capabilities and their convenience at the same time.

Cleaning up: robot vacuums and light work 

When robot vacuums first hit the scene, they appeared more in funny viral videos (usually involving pets) than in real life. Today, they’ve settled into mainstream America. In fact, some research indicates that one-in-five household vacuums is robotic. In recent years, with technological advancements, boosted power and falling prices, the adoption of robot vacuums is sure to grow. According to Future Market Insights, annual sales of robotic vacuums are expected to rise from $1.5 billion in 2016 to $2.5 billion by the end of 2021.

What’s new? The latest models have greater suction power, better brushes (which helps them get into corners) and the ability to ride over edges of rugs and avoid cables without getting stuck. Many can even dock themselves when they detect their batteries running down.

Cooking smart: more than food for thought

Digital recipes are becoming increasingly important in the digital kitchen as they become both our digital shopping list and instruction set for our smart appliances—inevitably connected to our voice assistants to help with the cooking process.

Next comes the cooking. Today’s devices are now embedded with smart sensors that control exact time, temperatures and even the humidity needed to properly cook a meal. You can even find smart cookware, induction burners and a recipe app—all working together to automatically control the temperature and timing of each step. Users can choose from hundreds of video-guided recipes, each with proven tips and techniques from Michelin-star chefs.  

Culinary arts: from farm to table

Fancy culinary equipment is no longer reserved just for restaurant chefs—it’s now available in the home. Sous-vide, molecular gastronomy, beer-brewing appliances and 3D printed food are just a few examples.

For consumers who want more simplicity and convenience, there’s plenty for them, too. Devices like the SkyCooker, for example, features 21 automatic programs that replace 20 common cooking appliances.

Another set of consumers will appreciate smart growing systems that help them grow and create food at home. Whether it’s low-cost solutions like seed quilts or the growing number of soil-less home grow systems or even backyard farm robots like Farmbot, the technology offering is growing like a weed.

Kitchen safety: protecting fire-prone appliances

Protecting kitchen appliances is another growing category. New devices like Stove Guard help protect a home’s most fire-prone area, intelligently adapting to a user’s cooking habits. It also supports independent living when range use becomes higher risk due to old age, illness or learning difficulties. Self-adjusting technology turns off the range before toxic gases can be produced and before a fire can start. Together with smart smoke detectors, wireless cameras and alarms, today’s kitchens can be safer than ever.

Home health: purifying air and water

More and more consumers are concerned with the quality of their indoor air and water, which can impact their health and sleep. Devices that monitor and correct poor air and water quality are becoming increasingly popular. For example, with a built-in sensor, the Hydrate Spark water bottle tracks people’s water intake and syncs with smart phones and smart watches to help them meet their hydration goals. And portable air purifiers (like Wynd) remove pollutants in the air around you and are small enough to take with you on planes, hotel rooms, in your car, anywhere. 

For more information on the latest smart home solutions, contact Ingram Micro’s Business and Consumer Solutions team today.