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Speak up! Smart home technology finds its voice in 2018


With the annual Consumer and Electronics Show (CES) having recently taken place in Las Vegas, now is a good time to assess which technology is set to make an impact in the property world this year and beyond.

Voice activation truly arrived at CES this year, with multiple brands showcasing smart home appliances embedded with voice-controlled virtual assistants. With this meet estimating that 50% of all searches will be voice searches within 3 years, voice as an interface is very much here to stay.

At this year’s CES it was voice activated everything. The likes of Alexa (still by far the biggest), Google Assistant (closing the gap on Alexa) and Samsung Bixby are leading home devices into a new seamless era, as consumers increasingly ask appliances for what they need.

The future is looking very bright for the Internet of Things (IOT) / Home technology category as a whole. The industry is growing at an astonishing rate and is expected to be worth US$138bn by 2023.

However, with so many brands, products, software operating in this space it’s very much about how you integrate everything. You may have a Nest thermostat, a Samsung fridge, Sonos music system and Alexa but it’s imperative they all talk to each other.

“The goal is seamless integration,” explains Samsung refrigerator director Claudia Santos. Samsung has integrated its home-grown assistant Bixby into its 2018 smart TVs and updated Family Hub smart fridge, enabling consumers to control home functions via voice command from a single appliance to maximise efficiency and convenience.

But what’s driving this insatiable appetite and interest?

I think it’s because we have an increasing need for flexibility, convenience, safety and security in our lives. There’s a home security boom underway with the market projected to be worth $47bn globally by 2020.  New products strive to offer consumers more home privacy and protection – from AI security systems and caregiving robots, to digital devices that monitor water leaks and air quality.


About James Fenner

James Fenner

James Fenner is founder and MD of Silk Road (www.wearesilkroad.com) and Co-Founder of Optim. He set up Silk Road four years ago to shake up the property marketing landscape. Previously James’s only property experience was running the marketing for the highly successful Fitzroy Place scheme. In the 15 years prior he worked with brands such as: Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Citibank, Schweppes, Southern Comfort, Habitat, Audi, Volkswagen, Rio Tinto and Unilever. He brings knowledge of how other sectors work to property, endeavouring to haul it into the 21st century.

Articles by James Fenner

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