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A New World Of Smart

I was a huge fan of “The Jetsons” as a kid. Watching 1970s reruns of a 1960s show about life in the year 2062 was fun escapism, but what struck me about the show was its boundless optimism of the future.

And why not? George Jetson worked two days a week and commuted in his flying car. His housework was handled by a robot maid who only had to push buttons so the house would actually do most of the work using advanced technological systems. Even their dog Astro benefited from technology, having his own personal treadmill with a built-in fire hydrant. Better living through technology indeed.

Well, we’re only 47 years away from 2062, and if CES was any indication, we are closer to “The Jetsons” way of life than some would think. The cars can’t fly yet but they’re starting to drive themselves and the houses are certainly getting smarter.

With this issue, TWICE is launching a regular section in each issue dedicated to the category of the Connected Home. While many of the technologies have been around for a while, this year’s CES clearly demonstrated that we are at a tipping point. The smart home has gone from prototype to reality.

One of the best parts of covering this industry is how forward-looking everyone is, everyday. The potential of technology to make our lives easier is exciting and motivates practically every creative mind in CE. What we hope to accomplish is to make sense of the myriad systems, standards, specs and products hitting store shelves on a daily basis. The choices out there can be confusing for consumers and retailers alike. I hope we can make both the buying and selling processes simpler.

It’s a Wearables World

The buzz at CES regarding wearables was feverpitched, and the amount of players jumping into the category represented something of a frenzy. While I’ve read countless forecasts of how truly massive this category is going to be, the truth is, the category is still in its infancy and all that growth has yet to reach retailers’ bottom lines.

That being said, the smart retailers we talked to at the show and afterward remain very optimistic that 2015 will be a bellwether for the category. Participants in senior editor Alan Wolf’s Retail Roundtable, including some of the biggest retailers on the planet, across the board were upbeat about wearables.

Look at some of the most talked-about wearables at this year’s CES, and get a sneak preview of our annual Retail Roundtable report, which will appear in its entirety in our next issue on Feb. 16. This year’s lineup of retail executives might have been our most impressive ever. You won’t want to miss their insights on the year ahead.

Hey Hey, My My

If rock icon Neil Young has his way, not only will rock and roll never die, but it will sound better than ever. His Pono high-res audio system has thrust highfidelity back into the mainstream. The smart Mr. Young sat down with TWICE editors to discuss the Pono ecosystem and gave a frank assessment about the differences between the technology business, the music business and the challenges of bridging both. It’s a fascinating peek under the tent of how a new technology comes to market.