Coldwell Banker promotes Smart Homes

Four days in Vegas as a company delegate and technology reporter

Consumer Electronics Show 2018
CES 2018 recap in my REALTALK™ #153 video

It was a privilege to be selected from 84,000 Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate associates worldwide to represent our company at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show held last week in Las Vegas. Our Blue Crew team of five reported on the topics that affect home buyers, home sellers and technology that could make a home more efficient. By efficient, I refer to a Smart Home that has its entertainment, climate and security controlled in one location. You can read the series of articles I wrote as a member of the Coldwell Banker Blue Crew at the bottom of this article.

Coldwell Banker had a big presence on the floor with its marketplace in the convention center. So did some of the biggest company names in hardware and software. There were autonomous cars, robots, large screen TVs, drones and software that were fiction a few years ago. I attended presentations at Google, Intel, Microsoft and smaller companies hoping to make a splash in the technology market.

The show had its challenges too. The rain storm that was wreaking havoc with mudslides in California was far enough to the east to cause torrential rains in Las Vegas. Streets had become a hassle and even treacherous at times. It even affected the power grid and cause a blackout for a couple hours. It slowed our pace a bit and challenged us to see all that we wanted in the four days of the show. There were 300 different conferences during the show. We couldn’t see it all, even if it had been bright and sunny.

Consumer Electronics Show 2018
Reporting outside the Google pavilion at CES. There was a lot to see and do this year at the show.

This was not my first time to witness the awe of the CES. I love technology and reported on the 2017 show in REALTALK™ #114 last January. How much one year makes a difference? There were advancements to technologies that were big last year, such as the numerous cars in the autonomous vehicle section. The bigger companies that weren’t present last year were making big announcements this year, while other companies such as Intel wanted to have a big promotion but got stuck in damage control with the announcement of a bug in their chips. Big SmartPhone companies including Apple had similar problems with its security problems in their chips. The Spectre flaw discussion was a topic here.

Last year Coldwell Banker sponsored a Smart Home technology section too. I think the most important innovation in 2017 was the integration of the Smart Home technology through a single app controlling multiple devices. It appeared that Google stepped up its game this year with a big presence promoting its integration with Smart Home technology. Its Recognized Speech programs were in many demonstrations of integrated homes. Recognized Speech was called “Wreck on the Beach” just a few years ago by Microsoft founder Bill Gates while it was in its infancy, now it is becoming ubiquitous in higher end homes, cars and SmartPhones.

Ok, there was the funny and somewhat absurd technologies demonstrated in this pavilion. Can you imagine a $1,000 cat box that sent a message to your SmartPhone indicating that it was time to change the litter. Or a $5,600 toilet that flushed itself through a phone app. In the robot section there was a pole dancer that I can’t imagine appealed to any prurient interests. I guess what goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas. I think some of this technology will stay here too.

$1,000 cat litter box that reports its condition
$1,000 Cat Litter Box - A litter box that reported its condition was one of my favorites in this category.

The Coldwell Banker Smart Home marketplace section was in the Sands Hotel convention center, one of the three venues of the CES this year. There was an estimated 170,000 attendees, so an exposure here can have a big impact on business with the right message. That message is in front of potential home buyers and sellers from 150 different countries. Coldwell Banker has its message to the innovators too. If you build it, we will embrace it. They have a program for its agents to get certified in selling homes through Smart Home technology, of which I was one of the first.

This year there was a focus on selling homes through virtual reality programs. I discussed the Matterport 3D floor plan system I use in REALTALK™ #86. Coldwell Banker has conducted surveys that suggests selling through these VR programs will soon replace homes sold by video tours. I ordered a new 3D camera that I saw at the show in hopes that it will bring this level of sophistication as another tool for home selling agents. The VR headsets were big too, but most demonstrations were for gamers. I can imagine their integration into the home selling programs where you can walk through a home for sale, rather than using a trackball to navigate through a virtual home.

Microsoft and Amazon were demonstrating their integration of Cortana with Alexa. Cortana, you may remember, is the Microsoft digital assistant that is an integral part of current Microsoft operating systems. Many desktop owners may not even know of its existence. Now either assistant can request assistance from the other through voice commands. This makes sense for Microsoft, Alexa has many more capabilities. Cortana brings to the table Amazon’s ability to access Microsoft Outlook calendars and eMail through Alexa requests.

Autonomous and electric vehicles were a big draw
Autonomous and electric vehicles were a big draw at CES 2018. Look for my recap in REALTALK™ #153.

It wouldn’t be a CES without consumer electronics. Smarter TVs with larger screens and higher resolutions through 8K transmissions were a driving force this year. Smarter TVs not only listen, but respond through digitized speech. The autonomous and electric powered vehicles were in popular exhibits. The new 5G technology was widely discussed in the car industry as a means to get more data to the self-driving cars faster for quicker response time.

There was much to see and do at the 2018 show. The presence of Coldwater Banker with their promotion of Smart Home technology in the marketplace had a major impact. Home owners got a glimpse of the future and what was available now. Home buyers were introduced to technologies that they should look for in a Smart Home. Look for a recap on Thursday in my REALTALK™ #153 video. I have some homes for sale that have these technologies integrated. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

My Blue Crew blog posts from my experience at the 2018 CES

As a delegate for the Coldwell Banker Marketplace I composed a series of articles that appear on the Coldwell Banker website. Below are three articles about the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show written as a member of the Blue Crew.