2013 will be the year of the smart home

Taylor Martin
 from  Concord, NC
| January 7, 2013

We came into CES this year knowing that there wouldn't be a ton of mobile news. Each year, the focus on mobile at CES has been winding down in favor of more mobile-centric shows and one-off pressers. So we didn't expect a ton of U.S.-based news from the start, and already we are learning how little some of these companies have to share.

I was sitting in a press room at Mandalay Bay at 8:00 AM local time this morning, hoping LG had something exciting to share. They didn't. Not initially, at least. There were no new tablets, no new smartphones. Instead, LG was upfront about it and directly stated that they will have more to share for us mobile fiends at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain next month.

I came out of the press room thinking I just wasted an hour of my time and fed you ladies and gents 40 minutes of useless banter – at least as far as mobile technology goes.

But, in hindsight, it wasn't so bad. We walked away with more than we bargained for, just not in the form of an actual device. Instead, LG is taking existing technology and existing products into a connected system, turning home automation into a much more affordable and mainstream product.

LG announced their entire 2013 home appliance lineup will come equipped with connectivity options and NFC. Through this, you can automate your home appliances and control them remotely. Some examples given by LG's SVP, James Fishler, was someone turning on their automated vacuum cleaner before leaving the office, checking the grocery list left on the smart refrigerator while at the grocery store, controlling the washer or dryer remotely and using your smartphone to control the oven.

There are endless possibilities, but one thing is certain: LG's focus is to turn smartphones into a universal remote for all your home appliances. And LG doesn't seem to be alone on that front. Samsung, Sony and any virtually anyone who makes home appliances – especially televisions – are bringing mobile technology and home entertainment closer together.

First, this is a long time coming. Smartphones are the most integral devices in our lives, and it only makes sense for them to be remotes for home appliances or even the brains of some. But this is only phase one of both the further integration of smartphones in our lives and seamless connectivity between smartphones and all other electronics. There is no reason a smartphone can't interact with all the other devices around you.

I have no qualms with having a connected and automated (or remotely operated) household – precision drying my clothes from my phones, cooking food to perfection through my tablet, etc.

What say you, folks? Do you want a connected home? Appliances that communicate with your smartphone? The ability to control your vacuum and refrigerator from virtually anywhere? Do you like the idea of controlling your home with your phone?