7:30 AMSunday, January 31, 2021
Brandon Doyle has a passion for technology. The Maple Grove realtor attended the Consumer Electronics Show, which was held virtually for the first time in is 54-year history. Doyle says smart home technology will continue to change how we live.
“Now what we’re seeing is the devices in our home are actually predicting our needs, so able to anticipate what you want, and maybe turn the lights on for you in the morning, lower the shades, adjust the thermostat for you, so they’re getting smarter, and they’re becoming more useful,” Doyle said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one trend he says that’s here to say: our bathrooms and kitchens going hands free. CES 2021 featured plenty of new touchless faucets to touchless toilets.
Our home work space is also evolving and it starts with lighting.
“Some cool companies that we saw was AduroSmart. They’re kind of known for their LED lighting,” said Doyle. “They’ve got some different lamps they’ve come out with that are pretty cool.
“Yeelight was one that I though was really cool. They’ve got a lightbar that mounts to the top of your monitor and it provides bias lighting behind the screen for gaming and also eye fatigue.”
Home security is a big focus too. How we enter our homes is changing, says Doyle.
“One that I thought was kind of interesting is BenjiLock, so they’ve got a code lock as well as a fingerprint technology and one thing that they mentioned is they actually made a point not to be connected. So they’re describing their lock as ‘smart enough,’” he said.
More home time also means more cleaning time. Fortunately, those robotic vacuums are getting smarter. Doyle noted the Roborock S6 MaxV.
“The improvement they made this year is that they added a scrubber so a little agitator to the mopping portion, and that actually does a better job than the previous version where it was more of a Swiffer.”
TVs ‘More Like Art’
And what’s a Consumer Electronics Show without entertainment, especially fancy TVs.
“Every year at CES, the TVs get bigger, they add more pixels, increase the resolution, and what we’re kind of noticing more is the form factor, that they’re really moving toward the wall mount where it’s really flush, sits flat on the wall, so it’s more like art.”
Three Helpful Tips
Doyle says there are a few important things to think about with all these smart home choices. No. 1, Doyle says to make sure your internet speed and router is up to speed. The more smart devices you add, he said, the more it will slow down your home’s network.
Basic internet package start at 25 megabits per second. Check your internet speed here.
“More commonly, we see people have something in the 50 to a 100 range. But now we’re actually seeing a larger demand for the maximum speed, so around here with Xfinity, that would be the ‘Giga’ internet.” he said.
And No. 2: If you’re thinking about automating your home, Doyle says to make sure your smart home assistant is compatible with devices you want to add to your system.
“Early on, it’s important to think about expandability, so picking the right ecosystem, whether you want to be Amazon household and everything that’s compatible with their system, or Google, or if you want to go the professional route, something like Control4 or Preston. Deciding that up front is going to save you a lot of time and headache in the future.”
Finally, No. 3, Doyle realizes all the smart home technology can feel overwhelming, so he suggests start small, like adding a smart thermostat, which can lead to savings on heating and cooling costs, or something even simpler.
“The homes are more efficient now than ever, but the biggest thing you can do is around your lighting. So if you have of those older light bulbs, just swapping them out for LEDs is actually going to be more effective than worrying about if your lights are turned on or not.”