Credit: carleyk.com

With the emerging popularity of smart home devices across every room of the home and the popularity of voice control devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home leading adoption, the media has become saturated with experts looking to educate consumers on how to use tech in their own homes. Of all the smart home gurus, Carley Knobloch might be one of the most well-known because of her practical, education-oriented approach and tone. Carley’s mission is to help people improve their relationship with technology and sift through the buzzwords to form their own opinions on connected living – one tap or swipe at a time.

Carley’s media legacy began with her blog, a carefully curated resource filled with product reviews, news and guides. The site’s aesthetic mirrors Carley’s approach to talking tech – simple, sleek and modern. The technology is not at the forefront but rather, a tool to help tell a greater story on how connected living can look. It’s not wires and bulky black boxes, but instead functional, stylish smart home living products and accessories that make life just a little bit easier.

In addition to her blog and social media pages, Carley is a regular contributor to the Today Show and CNN, and is the Technology consultant and host for HGTV’s annual smart home. Carley sees her role as specifically to educate those new to smart tech. “I’m helping the later-adopters and the smart-curious folks out there unpack what’s going on in this exciting space, and how it can improve their lives now, and in the future,” she says. For Carley, speaking to this audience is a unique position to

“I’m helping the later-adopters and the smart-curious folks out there unpack what’s going on in this exciting space, and how it can improve their lives now, and in the future,” she says. For Carley, speaking to an audience of mostly homeowners (with a heavily female audience) every day that is excited about the smart home and what it can do means helping them get started with products that make sense and are priced right. They want to buy products that are addressing their needs and solving real problems.

“When I started my blog and media career, there weren’t a lot of women— who run a home, a family and a business—  talking about technology. Most tech experts were speaking to the early-adopters and enthusiasts,” says Carley. “I set out to create an approachable conversation about tech in the home and the kitchen that everyday people could relate to: What’s going on? How does it affect me? Is it time to adopt? Will I be able to use it?”

Creating this open dialogue with her followers has helped Carley steer the industry conversation and better understand the issues that are directly impacting the adoption rate of smart home technology – in or outside of the kitchen. Many companies and manufacturers are taking a “rapid fire” approach to developing technology, without focusing on the end-user experience or adaptation.

“I think that ultimately, consumers are looking for the right price, and the right application: a layer of technology that will make their lives easier, not harder,” says Carley. “They are eager to figure out what technology is right for them in the kitchen and beyond— many are wary because the industry to date has been like the wild west with everyone firing products into the market that may not be ready or require a big learning curve.”

So where does Carley see the smart home conversation heading for product developers and manufacturers? “Manufacturers should be holding themselves to high standards, as early ambassadors for this product vertical,” she explains. “They have to get more right than they do wrong, or it will be hard to change consumer’s minds later.”

Now in her second year at Smart Kitchen Summit, Carley wants to help tackle conversations on how the IoT is affecting big brands across the appliance industry and will lead a fireside chat with Kenmore/Sears and GE leadership charged with this very task.

Don’t miss Carley at the 2017 Smart Kitchen Summit. Check out the full list of speakers and register for the Summit, using code HGTV to get 25% off ticket prices.

The Smart Kitchen Summit is the first event to tackle the future of food, cooking and the kitchen with leaders across food, tech, commerce, design, delivery and appliances. This series will highlight panelists and partners for the 2017 event, being held on October 10-11 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.