Millions of Americans Turn to “Smart Home Controllers”

The “smart home” is coming fast, promising both greater control over our lives and a greater reliance on technology.

According to a report by research and consulting company Parks Associates, U.S. households will buy more than 10 million smart home controllers in 2021.

These devices help us to control and coordinate the many “smart” devices in our lives – everything from entertainment systems to climate control to lighting to home security — even cooking appliances.

This is big business. According to Park Associates:

  • Best Buy recently added shelf space for Amazon Alexa and Google Home products in nearly 700 U.S. stores to capitalize on mounting consumer interest.
  • Amazon has also expanded its sales strategies by announcing partnerships with former retail rivals such as Kohl’s, Sears, and Best Buy, while also showcasing products in recently acquired Whole Foods stores.
  • Google responded by announcing a partnership with Walmart that enables consumers to order Walmart items through Google Home for home delivery.
  • Lowe’s, following a successful pilot of its partnership with b8ta, is expanding its “Smart Home powered by b8ta” shopping experience to 70 stores nationwide, where consumers can trial and get support for a variety of smart home technologies.

So, our smart refrigerator will tell us when we’re running out of milk while our smart crockpot starts dinner two hours before we’re scheduled to get home. We’ll tell our Google Assistant to turn up the A/C while we voice-program our smart entertainment system for the evening’s music and video.

Will all of this “smart-ness” make us dumber, and more dependent on technology, or will it enable us to better master our frenetic lives?

Perhaps both.

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