Consumer Electronics Show and Internet Connected Everything!

The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) just wrapped up in Las Vegas and here’s what you should know!

The trends that CNN’s Mark Milian told us to watch for this year are:

  • Tablets
  • Smart phones
  • 3-D and Internet-connected TVs
  • Connected appliances
  • Video gaming

Video gaming is going to change the way REALTORS® do business! JUST KIDDING! If that were the case I would leave the Information Technology field and become a REALTOR®.  Actually the trend I am more interested in for the Illinois REALTOR® is connected appliances.

Sure, most of us have smart phones. Some of us even have an iPad or other tablet but connected appliances? What’s up with this Mr. IAR Tech Guy? Follow me here…

The Cool Factor

How cool would it be to show a potential buyer how their connected house can let them know if the milk in the refrigerator is going to expire? What about an inventory system in your refrigerator that sends a grocery list to your phone based on what food you are running low on? What if you could receive a phone call from the repair man because your dryer sent a notice that the heating element is going bad? A dishwasher that tells me I’m doing it all wrong, let your wife handle this job! Okay, maybe not that one, BUT all of this would be managed right from your smart phone, tablet and/or your computer! SWEET!

One front-runner in this race to “Internet-connected everything” is the electronics company LG (Life’s Good). They even have a web-cam equipped, Wi-Fi enabled vacuum robot. I would just chase the cats or spy on the kids with it but you could actually clean the house with it if you wanted to. Whirlpool says that they will release details on their line of web-enabled appliances later this year and of course GE, Kenmore and others have their sights set on this hot new feature as well.

The Energy-Saving Factor

Another reason for this push of Internet-connected appliances is the potential to save energy. Knowledge is power, right? If your washing machine can detect when the most energy-efficient time to wash those whites would be, let it! It saves you money! Your smart appliances will know when to turn on and off, how much energy is required of them, and how to maintain themselves! GE showcased an energy display unit at the electronics show that shows the consumer how much energy they are using and will even give them notifications. The device would show you when peak usage times are in effect and re-schedule the dishwasher to run at another time. Folks, the future is upon us and it’s exciting!

Looking forward to a “geeky” 2011!

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About Matthew Brewer

Matt Brewer is Director of Information Technology for the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. He oversees network/system infrastructure and implements and maintains system hardware and software for the Association. He oversees technical training for the IAR staff and recommends and coordinates different technology uses for IAR departments.

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