Castle Events will feature a new interactive exhibit of Life-Changing Products at its shows in Boston and Foxboro in 2018. The exhibit, curated by author Boyce Thompson, will showcase the most innovative products to hit the market in the coming year, some of them prototypes not yet available in stores.
The Life-Changing Products exhibit appeared at several of the largest American home shows in 2017. Thompson monitors crowd-funding campaigns, attends industry trade shows, and scours magazines and websites to identify bleeding-edge products that reimagine the way people live at home.
The exhibit will appear at the 68th New England Home Show, which will be held at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston from February 23-25, 2018; and The Home Show at Patriot Place, scheduled for Empower Field House in Foxboro on March 23-25, 2018. In addition to working with show-goers in the exhibit, Thompson will deliver seminars that explore key trends driving the do-it-yourself, remodeling, and new home markets.
Previous exhibits have featured air conditioners that sense how many people are in the room; ovens that see what you put inside them and cook accordingly; robots that take over mundane chores; smart grid appliances that know the best time to run; and deadbolts that monitor who is at the door. Show-goers get to test-drive the products in an interactive setting.
The exhibit generate significant media coverage. Thompson has appeared on morning television shows and in daily newspapers in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, San Jose, Grand Rapids, and Raleigh, among other markets. Exhibit coverage has appeared on websites run by The Associated Press, U.S. Today, Popular Science, MSN, and the Huffington Post.
Thompson is the founding editor of six magazines, including Residential Architect, Big Builder, Digital Home, and ProSales. For 17 years, he served as the editorial director of Builder magazine, which was named the best business publication in America in 2010 by the Association of Business Publication Editors. Thompson’s first book, The New New Home, published in 2014 by The Taunton Press, was named book of the year by the National Association of Real Estate Editors. His second book, Anatomy of a Great Home, will be published by Schiffer Publishing in late 2017.
The exhibit showcases the evolution of smart home products. Early smart home products typically only provided information. More recent additions take preventative action. The 2017 exhibit, for instance, included a revolutionary smart valve – developed in Israel by Triple+ and just rolling out in the United States – that closes when it senses water on the floor or gas in the air.
“It’s one thing to know that something is happening – that you left a window open, or that the hot water heater is leaking,” says Thompson. “It’s another, more important thing to be able to do something about it. That’s the way Internet of things products for the home are evolving.”
The 2017 exhibit also included the Gate deadbolt, one of the most eagerly awaited launches of 2017. Gate works like Uber, sending a picture of a repairman before they show up at the door. A camera in the deadbolt allows you to see who is at the door on a smartphone. “Then you can talk to them and let them in,” says Thompson.
The exhibit typically includes several products that debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of each year. The 2017 exhibit, for instance, included systems for tracking your sleep, checking in on the baby from a cellphone, automating your home with gesture controls, and monitoring the activity of elderly parents.