February 2017
A Look at CES 2017 + What's Ahead for Smart Home
by Mitchell Klein, executive director, Z-Wave Alliance 
Another CES is in the books, and for our members this was by far the most exciting and productive one yet! Here are a few major observations:
  • The LVCC North Hall now looks like an auto show, with every car manufacturer showing off their vision of automotive embedded technology.
  • Voice control - and Amazon Echo's "Alexa" in particular - was everywhere, with smart home products suppliers racing to demonstrate their compatibility.
  • The "smart home" category continued its meteoric rise in activity and floor space at the Sands Expo Center (see below for our new 2018 location!).
  • Over 700 start-ups were sprawled throughout "Eureka Park" on the Sands lower level and competed for attention in their tiny (6' x 6'?) spaces. Sponsored in part by Indiegogo & Kickstarter, aisles were jammed with show-goers gawking at many of the interesting & some seemingly ridiculous products/concepts. I particularly enjoyed the US Patent Office's demonstration of the "cat magnet" - to find & retrieve your lost cat - which really highlighted some of the - unusual? - products on display.
Meanwhile on the Sands main floor above, visitors "escalating up" from the lower level were greeted with our first-ever Z-Wave Experience Home, a 20 x 20 "home" filled with devices available now (unlike the promises from below), shown fully operational in a real-life environment. Thanks to our sponsors Dome by Elexa, Fibaro, Jasco and Nexia, the home was a HUGE hit with the press and attendees alike. To add to the excitement, our home was surrounded by Z-Wave Alliance member booths such as Oomi, Somfy, and more - creating what I like to refer to as our "Z-Wave neighborhood".

Speaking of our neighborhood, of course our huge pavilion at the entry to the South Hall was a hot spot, with over 35 companies showing off their wares in the Z-Wave ecosystem to a steady and packed audience.

Once again, while so many exhibitors showed of their promises and concepts, our Z-Wave Alliance members showed products available NOW as the rapidly growing Z-Wave ecosystem continues to grow. A huge THANK YOU goes out to all our participating members for putting on such a tremendous showing! For a peek at the excitement, click here.

The great news for next January's CES is we have secured a HUGE 5000 s/f booth right at the main entrance to the Sands Smart Home hall, where we are moving from the South Hall with our pavilion, combining it with the Z-Wave Experience Home. Stay tuned for details - we fully expect our pavilion to sell out so feel free to reach out to us!

February 7-10, Amsterdam
Z-Wave Pavilion - Booth 9-D160

February 7-10, 2017, Fort Lauderdale
Member Attendee Discount

April 5-7, 2017, Las Vegas
Z-Wave Pavilion - Booth 26065
(Member Participation Space Available)

April 12-14, 2017, Taipei
Z-Wave Pavilion - Booth 8101
(Member Participation Space Available)

See More

Z-Wave Alliance Members Makes A Splash At CES 2017
At CES 2017, the Z-­Wave Alliance hosted the Z-­Wave Pavilion in South Hall and also the Z-Wave Experience Home in the Sands. In the Pavilion, over 30 Alliance members promoted the growing ecosystem of Z-­Wave-­enabled smart home solutions including door locks, security, lighting, sensors and unique-­to-the-­market products. The Experience Home showcased four different rooms and smart home scenes running across Z-Wave Alliance member brand products and the new Nexia gateway/bridge. 

Fox News even stopped by to tour the Z-Wave Experience Home - check out their tour with Nexia's George Land and how Z-Wave enables whole home control and automation. 

For a complete look at new Z-Wave products at CES, check out the Alliance CES 2017 page for details, press releases and all the news from the show. See you next year! 
Spotted at CES 2017: Cool New Z-Wave Products You Need To Check Out

Whether you're a techie or not you've likely heard of CES, the largest consumer electronics show in the world. CES is the place where companies come to launch their newest gadgets and gear and it gives shoppers a chance to see what's coming in the next few years.

A constantly evolving trend spotted at this mega-show? Smart home technology of course, and Z-Wave was present in full-force. If you follow us on social media you may have seen photos or video of the Z-Wave Experience Home - a live demo with mock rooms fully decked out in Z-Wave gear or the Z-Wave Alliance Pavilion exhibiting over 50 members and their Z-Wave compatible products.
Media Trends @ CES 2017 
by Ashley Daigneault, Caster Communications 

On the early morning plane ride home from Las Vegas after yet another CES, I thought back to ways the show has changed since I first started attending in 2008, especially when it comes to the media. Certainly, the obvious media trends play out at big shows like CES - way less print, way more online and independent media, everyone looking for the coolest thing they can find. But this year there was a sense that covering CES for many media is a huge obligation and in many ways, a competition for the best, most comprehensive and interesting coverage.

For example, every major tech site had a large video presence. Broadcast - with producers and anchors from the major networks - used to dominate the video coverage from the show. But everyone from CNET to Digital Trends to TechCrunch had video both from the show floor and in their own booths and even created hashtags (#dtCES, for Digital Trends) so you could track their coverage from the event.

Even traditional broadcast folks are changing up how they cover the show; NBC 3 in Las Vegas stopped by one of our client's booths for a quick demo and filmed a two-minute video for the station's Twitter followers. Social media provides an interesting way for folks like that to get more content out despite being limited by broadcast time and availability. Manufacturers and media alike were using Facebook Live to showcase their booths and cool demos in real-time.

The emphasis on video - both for coverage and on social media - is one we should be paying close attention to for 2018 and beyond. Video coverage means you need to have a good demo - not just a good demo, a super interesting demo that delivers a compelling audio and visual effect for viewers. This is hard to do at CES if you're not demoing a whole-body exoskeleton VR suit or a 3D printing pen. Smart home products suffer from tough to demo unless you're going to build an actual home environment and hook up your gear other technology to show off some unique implementations. I mean, who hasn't seen a smart bulb being controlled by an app?

Another huge trend was pre-coverage. By the time I got back to my room on the night of Wednesday, January 4 - the day before CES officially opened - I had already read several stories about the "coolest gadgets we've seen at CES so far." What? How? I mean I know there is a media day, CES Unveiled and Pepcom Digital Experience! CES - all media-facing events designed to let manufacturers preview their gear ahead of the official show - but these have become almost a necessity for getting into the "cool tech at CES" stories, which start way earlier than show day 1.

Speaking of early coverage, we also heard from a lot of journalists and editors who wanted as much info as they could get under embargo ahead of time. This is always something we try to do ahead of a show in order to secure stories for the day the news hits, but this year it seemed EVERYONE was trying to write their coverage ahead of time, and just grab pictures and videos from the show floor. And this makes sense - the media are under a ton of pressure to produce at CES, so much so that it's become a pretty exhausting and dreaded event for many. But when we think about media cadence and show news, it almost makes sense to ensure you have your news ready to go before Christmas - that way you get it into the hands of everyone who will take it before the holiday lull.

Of course in a perfect world, we'd all have our collective crap together before the holiday and the week before CES would be filled with reading books and drinking spiked eggnog by the fire.

A girl can dream, can't she?

The trends around media coverage at CES are fascinating and certainly going to impact the strategies we implement for clients next year and for years to come. Until then, I'll be trying to play catch up on the thousands of pieces written this year that I still have yet to read. Where's that spiked eggnog.... 
Smart is the New Black
from Argus Insights

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. 

Z-Wave also had a hugely successful show in terms of social media, generating large buzz and setting itself apart from competitors. Within the overall CES chatter, Z-Wave was mentioned twice as much as smart home.
For more on CES 2017 social trends, visit the Argus Insights blog
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