A smart flowerpot that monitors and waters itself. An electric toothbrush that gives feedback on your brushing habits. Amazon Dash buttons that restock home essentials with one simple click. And a host of cooking appliances—including a slow cooker, coffee maker and electric smoker—operable anywhere via smartphone and Wi-Fi.
These innovative devices were all on display at the Cox Communications “Smart Home” tour today at The Preserve at Harveston—where Cox also showed off its 1 gigabit residential internet service, G1GABLAST, and panoramic Wi-Fi, which powered the showcase home.
“The house of the future will have a smart device in every room,” says Sharon Truxillo, a Cox spokeswoman. “It makes home life easier, more efficient and safer for families.”
Telecommunications companies like Cox aim to bring wireless connectivity to homes and businesses nationwide, as the Internet of Things becomes a growing reality. Homeowners increasingly want to remotely control their lights, security systems, thermostats, cooking appliances and more through automation, Cox representatives say.
“There is a big demand. We’re following what customers want,” says Bruce Berkinshaw, Cox marketing director. “The majority of our customers live in a wireless world.”
Two years ago, Cox began offering Louisiana residents 1 gigabit of faster internet service, which was first only available to businesses. In May, the company also launched panoramic Wi-Fi for full-home coverage. These services support Cox’s Homelife security and automation system, which allows customers to monitor and control their homes from smartphones or tablets.
Currently, the 1 gigabit residential service rollout in Baton Rouge is focused on areas of new construction, but by the end of next year it will be more widely available, Truxillo says.
The “Smart Home” tour featured several wirelessly connected Amazon devices, like the Echo, Echo Show and Echo Dot. It also showcased an iRobot Roomba 960 and Dyson air purifier, both of which respond to Amazon Echo voice commands. The bathroom featured a Yuma Bluetooth Smart Scale and Sensor Mirror Pro, which displays 50,000 lighting variations.
For pets, the home had a Feed and Go pet feeder with six trays of food, a webcam and customized messages, controlled by your smartphone. And for those who aren’t into real-life animals, CHiP the Robotic Dog was there as an alternative pet that never has to be fed.
In time, the world, and our homes, will only become more connected. By 2020, each home will have an average of 50 internet-connected devices, says Anthony Pope, senior vice president and region manager of Cox Southeast, in an statement.
—Annie Ourso Landry