In Greenwich real estate, it’s the steak—not the sizzle—that draws serious offers.
Even so, every year about this time it can be useful (and great fun) to watch what comes out of Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show (CES) gathering. This year’s edition of the annual trade extravaganza that grabs headlines for its bounty of new electronic products, unveiled a number of smart home tech debuts. Some were, as commentators noted, “weird and wonderful”—while others were potentially important incremental steps toward what will eventually become everyday household necessities. Among those that caught my eye:
• Echo Plus-connected gadgetry: Amazon’s ubiquitous wifi-connected digital assistant (aka “Alexa”) is getting its/her artificially intelligent mitts into a vast number of home devices, from TVs to toasters. Disneyland-style homes of the future seem ever closer at hand as more and more household appliances and devices become controllable with just a word to your closest Alexa or Google Assistant outlet.
• 5G: Get familiar with this term, which denotes the technology which soon will enable home wireless speeds 100 times faster than the current technology Greenwich homes use today. In the unlikely event that your own home still lacks wireless connectivity—we should talk!
• Smart Rooms: too many to detail, smart bathroom appliances include intelligent showers that save water even as they direct temperature-controlled streams your way; smart kitchens featuring ovens clever enough to shut themselves off when dinner’s ready; and smart driveways that clear themselves of debris.
• Furbo: a treat-tossing camera/speaker that lets owners remotely spoil pets from anywhere in the world.
• Robots and More Robots: on hand were a laundry-folding robot; a pair of dancing robots; an owl-like children’s companion robot; and LG’s kitchen helper, a recipe-fetching robot (“Cloi”) that repeatedly stalled (possibly from over-excitement).
The consumer show also demonstrated what looks like an iPad perched on a roller-mounted monopod: a real estate agent robot! Said to be capable of leading prospective renters or buyers on home tours, it answered prospects’ questions via long-distance connection with an actual agent who managed the tour via remote control.
For the foreseeable future, I think I’ll be sticking with more personal, in-person showings.