Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 16

Tech Savvy

The Smart Answer
Kitchens are joining the home automation
bandwagon to make working in them easier

SMART KITCHENS AND HOME AUTOMATION

are crossing over to the mainstream. Kitchens are
the biggest workplaces in the home, so we can
use this new technology to minimize our work in
these spaces and provide us with more free time.
We can now control hundreds of new devices for
the home remotely and wirelessly.
It'll be interesting to see how kitchen designers
manage the opportunities and challenges all this
new technology brings with it. We will need to
be fluent in smart technology, but if most of this
technology seems to be DIY, what's in it for us?
Smart kitchen technology is a proficiency kitchen
designers can offer their clients as a service, and
those who are fluent in home automation and
smart kitchens will have a competitive advantage.
The following are some products, trends and
potential issues I see affecting home automation
and smart kitchen design.
1. Toys to Tools. Inventions can look like toys when

they first come out, but if they are adopted
and productive, they become tools. Corporate
America made fun of the Apple mouse at first
but then adopted it when Microsoft came out
with its own model in 1983. Most of us thought
Snapchat was just another cute app - nothing
more than a gadget that let us glimpse photos
and then made them disappear. Snapchat is
actually the first mobile-native app to go
mainstream and is now worth billions; it
now also offers a desktop app. The app
also offers Snap spectacles, which are
little camera/computers embedded
in eyeglasses that are helpful for taking hands-free photos and videos.This
could be useful to designers who produce their own kitchen and bath project
videos. Designers can do walkthroughs
while narrating, and the camera will record
whatever they are looking at and saying.

16

SCOTT KOEHLER is a 27-year
veteran of the kitchen and bath
industry and owner of Dream
Kitchen Builders, a designbuild firm doing business in
North Carolina. Read about
his KBIS 2018 Voices from the
Industry session on page 27.

This year's big "toy" is the smart speaker, and Apple HomePod will be
vying for home automation market domination with Amazon Echo and
Echo Dot, as well as Google Home. Smart speakers can be used to control
functions in the kitchen like lighting, music and appliances to make those
spaces more efficient. They can help unlock our doors and turn on our
lights when we come home; they can help us buy our groceries and deliver
them; they can help feed the dog and let him out; and they can provide the
evening's music or movie entertainment.
Smart speaker systems can make our homes better in so many ways, but
they can also have negative outcomes. Some voice assistants are always
listening and recording conversations, and some send your personal data
to the cloud (which you agreed to let them do). Then you no longer own
all the rights to conversations that took place in your home.
Another concern is that TV commercials have been known to trigger
smart speaker assistants to make phone calls for you to online stores or
even to the sheriff. It's cute when Alexa, Amazon's assistant, talks to you,
but I don't think it's such a good idea that anyone within hearing range of
the Echo smart speaker - children, for example - can order merchandise
that will be charged to your account. Amazon is currently working on the
ability to understand different voices.
2. Voice Replaces Touch. Touchpads are being replaced by our voices because
speech recognition technology has reached an accuracy level equivalent
to humans. Computers can now recognize our speech at about 95 percent
accuracy. Say "turn on the exhaust fan" to your assistant or "light up the
prep zone," and almost magically these things can happen.
3. Privacy Security and Legal Concerns. Battle lines are being drawn around
our privacy in the home. On one hand, Amazon needs your data to be
a leader in sales, and Google needs your data to be a leader in search.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, is willing to sacrifice profit for privacy.
Apple does not send your data to the cloud like Amazon and Google
do. As a professional designer, I won't be recommending smart kitchen
systems that use my data and share my personal information. There
are no laws to protect personal data ownership once it crosses your
threshold and goes to the cloud. Read the fine print to see who owns
the rights to conversations taking place in your kitchen and your
clients' kitchens.
4. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Smart speakers (machines) can
learn from us and from our behaviors, and voice recognition is just one
aspect of artificial intelligence. Image recognition is another, and that is
the reason Amazon just introduced the new Echo Look, which is a $200
hands-free camera that doubles as a smart speaker.
Artificial intelligence (AI), specifically speech recognition, is making
our connection to all things digital and online less abstract. Instead of
keyboards, touch screens and mice, we can just talk to computers. AI
will be a big benefit for us and our clients as we age in place. Our
voices will be able to do things that arthritic hands can't, and folks
with shaky hands will be able to use voice to operate things in the
kitchen instead of using a keyboard.
Smart kitchen technology has the potential to provide us and our
clients with huge benefits - especially when it comes to saving time
and ease of use. Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a big ride, as smart
kitchens are now front and center in the race for home automation.


Kitchen & Bath Business / SEPTEMBER 2017 / KBBONLINE.COM / The official publication of KBIS (KBIS.com)


http://www.KBBONLINE.COM http://www.KBIS.com

Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017

Kitchen & Bath Business - September/October 2017
Contents
Editor’s Note
Show Director’s Note
Happenings
Trends
Better Business
Tech Savvy
Learning Corner
Hot Topic
Countdown to KBIS
Design With
What’s Hot
What’s Cool
Design Awards
Small Spaces
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Kitchen & Bath Business - September/October 2017
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Cover2
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 1
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Contents
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 3
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 4
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 5
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Editor’s Note
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 7
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Show Director’s Note
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Happenings
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Trends
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 11
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 12
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 13
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Better Business
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 15
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Tech Savvy
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 17
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Learning Corner
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 19
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Hot Topic
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 21
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 22
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Countdown to KBIS
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 24
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 25
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 26
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 27
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 28
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 29
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Design With
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 31
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - What’s Hot
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 33
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 34
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 35
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - What’s Cool
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 37
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 38
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Design Awards
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 40
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 41
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 42
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Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 54
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - 55
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Small Spaces
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2017 - Cover3
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