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Spotting fresh opportunity and growing consumer preferences at CES

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Every year, the world of consumer technology gathers at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®’s Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES, to discover the latest innovations in everything from cell phones, to refrigerators, to televisions.

Several trends, concepts, and products at this year’s CES point to a ripe opportunity at the intersection of health and home.

Wearables expanded beyond typical wristbands and watches to include retooled masks as consumers’ desire for healthier lifestyle took on added meaning. The effort to pair protection with convenience led to varying results – on one end were masks with built-in microphones to improve call clarity, and at the other, masks that alert you when it’s time to change their filter.

Sanitizers and purifiers were a core focus at CES, too. There was an air purifier small enough to fit in a purse and (another) disinfecting robot leveraging ultraviolet light.

Recognizing hand transmission in spreading disease, there were also new options in touchless technology, including a touchless doorbell. There was also a doorbell that was able to take a guest’s temperature before they entered the home. Who knew the doorbell would assume the role of gatekeeper to keep germs at bay at home?

As IoT continues its creep over the domicile, one particular product caught our attention: an AI-powered washer and dryer. As one industry writer remarked, “it’s rare to see big new innovations in the [laundry] category.” When you consider the role of soft surfaces in transmitting pathogens, the lack of innovation in laundry, and the heightened demand for a healthier home, we see a space that is overdue for disruption.

We’ve taken our first steps into that space with SilvaClean, a patented cloud-based smart technology platform that makes textiles continuously antimicrobial. Our remote cloud-monitoring technology communicates with the SilvaClean dispensing device for automated, quality-controlled delivery of germ-killing silver ions during the rinse cycle. It’s a technology that is enabling laundry facilities across the country to meet consumers’ preferences for health-focused IoT innovations.

As we reflect on how staying safer at home has taken on new meaning, it’s hard to miss the intriguing intersection of opportunity. In the mix of ‘smarter’ masks, more powerful purifiers, and discerning doorbells, it seems many have made the common mistake of overlooking the potential for prevention through soft surface innovation and intervention.