Gadgets & Gear

Here comes the connected home

It’s looking like this will truly be the year of the connected home.

We’ve been hearing this for years, of course, at least a decade by my count back when Bill Gates was the Microsoft keynoter at the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

connectedAt this year’s CES – set to open Tuesday – the gauntlet will be tossed out first by Samsung, which is set to announce a system that will link everything from home air conditioning to lights and security and work with its tablets, smartphones and the Samsung Gear watch,

Rival LG is set to demo a system called HomeChat that controls appliances and househi=old gadgets through text messaging.

Archos has an Android tablet it is showing off that will control and access information from various connected devices around the home.

And other tech firms exhibiting at CES will have various apps that do similar things.

But seriously, before you get too excited, go back to my second paragraph. Tech companies have been promising this for a decade. So greet these announcements with some skepticism.

Yet, I have no doubt we’ll see more nine connectivity coming this year. Apple and Android already have limited apps that do this and third party gadget folks are selling net-connected thermostats and security gear.

So while it may not be as seamless and ubiquitous as the CES hypemeisters would have us believe, 2014 is shaping up as a pretty good breakthrough towards the reality of the “connected home.”

Samsung is the fiercest tech competitor out there these days and while that Samsung Gear smart watch has been pretty limited so far, it shows they are not afraid to be out front with new ways to tie all our gadgets together,

And our home appliances are ripe for the connecting.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.