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2017 Home Innovation Trends from CES and The International Builders' Show.

It's that time of year when industry-leading companies and eager young start-ups come together to showcase their latest inventions and smartest technology. So if you're curious about what home innovation trends were on display at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the International Builders' Show, Lennox recaps the tech that could be in your home!

Front and center at both shows were smart home technology and artificial intelligence, both of which are going to infiltrate every aspect of our lives — whether we like it or not!

Alexa is everybody's new best friend.

Alexa, Amazon's AI voice-activated assistant and home automation hub, continues to have a strong presence in the smart home arena. Building on the success of its Alexa-enabled Echo and Echo Dot devices, Amazon has opened up its voice-command technology so that it can now be integrated into millions of other products. 

From Alexa-enabled fridges and ovens to Ford and Volkswagen cars, Alexa is the dominant presence in the world of voice command. In fact, the popularity of voice control is on the rise, especially in the home environment, where voice commands are thought to deliver a much better user experience than tapping an app on a smartphone.

Robots may be just the droids you are looking for. 

No fewer than five robotic helpers debuted at CES 2017, from the Alexa-enabled Aristotle, a smart baby monitor, to the $30,000 Ewaybot, an indoor/outdoor robot that comes complete with hands. And not forgetting LG's Hub bot, which functions as a smart-home hub and works specifically with LG appliances, and the adorable Kuri, which is both cute and practical. All these helpful robots are designed to make home life better, safer, smarter and more connected, plus they don't shed, have accidents on the carpet, or bring home dead mice. 

Connecting you with your kitchen.

Kitchens always seem to inspire the greatest range of smart home products, and appliances introduced in 2017 are no exception. LG debuted its new Smart Insta View Refrigerator, which is fully Alexa-enabled and allows the homeowner to order groceries, or play music, just by talking to it.

The refrigerator is equipped with internal cameras so homeowners can keep tabs on food from anywhere in the world. The unit gets its name from its 29-inch touch screen — knock twice on the smart screen and it goes translucent, revealing the refrigerator's contents. All these features work to combat the scourge of endless open-door browsing, which wastes energy and risks food spoilage.

Making laundry more user friendly. 

Samsung premiered its mammoth four-in-one FlexWash + FlexDry system which lets you do two loads at once. LG had the same idea with their Twin Wash system, and also presented the LG Styler, a closet-like contraption that refreshes clothes and comes at $2,000 a pop. Whirlpool, meanwhile, is adding limited Alexa capability to its new washers, letting you check on the time left for a load using an Alexa-enabled device nearby.

Keeping you more safe and secure.

As the in-home Internet of Things continues to expand, so Wi-Fi security concerns continue to grow for homeowners and product developers alike. BitDefender, Intel and Symantec all announced router systems, or partnerships, at CES designed to beat hackers trying to access homeowner networks. 

Another home network protection option is Cujo. The compact device plugs into the home network via a network cable. It automatically breaks down local and Internet traffic, and sends statistics on that data to the cloud for further analysis. If a threat or suspicious activity is detected, Cujo will block it and inform users via a mobile app.

Innovation that never stops.

The products and ideas debuted at CES and the International Builders' Show keep pushing and expanding the boundaries of technology and innovation. At Lennox, we also strive to create innovative products that make our customers' homes more connected, efficient and comfortable.

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