The Daily Dose: Smart Homes and Smart Pets

 | Jan 06, 2014 | 11:30 AM EST
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 Happy CES week! That would be "Consumer Electronics Show" for you non-tech geeks. I have found myself basically obsessed with this event, after most years of just doing a casual read through of the post-event investment banker reports.

Why so obsessed you ask? The products to be showcased have gotten super cooler. Who cares about smart TVs? Bring on the wearables that mount to our face and wrists, and train us with new body movements. I am so out of my mind. Check out this note I sent to a personal email account while at the gym pumping iron.

"I am clearly in full geeky tech mode with this wearables discussion. Being in the trenches doing the research is how I stumbled on wearable technology -- for your pet! The first cool item was Whistle, a pet monitor for your pooch. Since your dog is unable to talk technically (they all sort of talk to us in their own special way), this looks to be a great idea to monitor a furry member of the household's health. The next is a barbaric-looking, around-the-neck monitoring device from Voyce.'

Theme: Pet humanization, which I continue to see not just in silly clothes but in vitamins at Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) to pet insurance (doesn't cover pre-existing conditions, yes for real) to new organic, fresh food offerings at Target (TGT) and other supermarkets."

While the masses are gawking at the wearables and giant smart TV booths at CES this year, I would like to highlight a new tech niche that will also receive some face time: the smart home. A couple of products already on the market, all Google search worthy, include:

  • Dropcam Pro (surveillance camera)
  • Nest (thermostat)
  • AT&T Digital Life (home and security automation)
  • Egg Minder (sends you information on egg freshness)
  • Samsung Smart Refrigerator

In addition to these offerings, let's look at others that are starting to appear on the sales floor of Best Buy (BBY). I think sometime over the next 24-months, Best Buy, Home Depot (HD), and Lowe's (LOW) will have shops in physical stores (and more online "microsites" with improved keyword searches on the connected home topic) devoted to selling connected home products, along with specialized sales people. (See pictures below)


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