This post was written in partnership with Amazon and Intel. All opinions are my own and not edited by the sponsor.
I recently hopped on down to the CEDIA conference in sunny San Diego where I bumped into the Intel and Amazon Smart Life Roadshow. The roadshow features an adorable trailer set up to show off smart and seamless home technology that seems futuristic, but is an option for your home right now.
CEDIA is a gathering of smart home integrators, security installers, home theater designers, and the like. It’s an industry event, and a great opportunity for me to connect with a lot of smart home brands, and see new product launches with my own eyes.
I also hosted the annual CEDIA awards dinner for the second time, where I got to hand out pretty statues to the folks who build some of the most beautiful (and complicated!) home theaters and smart home installs in the country. This year, the event was at the USS Midway, a Navy Aircraft Carrier-turned-museum, that provided a very cool (and patriotic!) backdrop for my corny stage jokes.
It’s also a great barometer for me to see what’s coming in the smart home space, and how larger home automation companies are responding to the DIY movement. If you have a sprawling mansion in the Hollywood Hills, you’re probably going to want to hire one of these guys to outfit your home with the latest technology—the project will be too big and complicated to handle on your own, and will require more powerful equipment that has longer range to work well. For the rest of us, there are many DIY options that make having a smart home a lot easier and a lot less expensive.
There has been a veritable explosion of affordable, easy-to-install smart home products that have hit the market recently. Sometimes their benefits can be difficult to explain, and their ease-of-use hard to imagine, so whenever I can show people how smart homes work, rather than just tell them about it, that’s always my preferred method of communication.
Turns out, Intel and Amazon had the same idea. Their homey smart home trailer had the latest in smart home technology, and they’ve been driving it coast to coast to demo Intel-powered technology and a variety of Amazon Alexa-enabled products.
Other than the fact that I now desperately want an trailer (with smart tech, pleaseandthankyou!), here’s what I learned from my time with the Smart Life Roadshow:
Every smart home starts with a powerful wireless router. Both the people in the home as well as the devices have plenty of bandwidth to stream, surf, or stay powered. The Arris Surfboard has all the power you need to keep your family connected.
It’s not just about the laptop. The HP Envy All-In-One computer made me drool, with its gorgeous 34-inch curved screen, its super-fast Intel i7 processor, power graphics card (which could have helped me edit this video!), and its beautiful design. Yes, I might allow kids to do homework with it, but really it looks more like a stylish mom computer, wouldn’t you say? Fine, I’ll share.
Voice is the remote control of the future. Operating the home was as simple as speaking out loud, whether it be dimming the lights, adjusting the thermostat, or summoning the TV from a clever hidden pocket. The Intel-powered Smart Assistant by Lenovo and the Amazon Echo Show were on hand to hear my requests, but Amazon Alexa was also directly integrated into other products like the ecobee4 Smart Thermostat.
Climate control is getting smarter. The ecobee4 Smart Thermostat doesn’t just rely on its main sensor to determine the temperature. Additional sensors can be placed in multiple rooms to give you a more accurate view of the temperature throughout your home, so you’re not unnecessarily heating or cooling the house. A great idea that’s long overdue.
Home security is a cinch. Sometimes peace of mind is the ability to take a look around your home… while safe inside your bedroom. The Logitech Circle Home Security Camera is waterproof and it comes in wired and wire-free configurations, so you can literally pop it anywhere you feel to keep an eye on things.
This video was a blast to shoot— and it was fun to see how both Intel (with speed and processing power) and Amazon Alexa (with voice control technology) are working together to create smart homes the way people want to use them, and bring this stuff to consumers now. Any of this look fun to you? What smart home products are most interesting? Let me know in the comments.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Amazon and Intel. All opinions are my own and not edited by the sponsor.