After walking the show floor at last year’s Housewares Show in Chicago, I became pretty excited. As with most consumer industries, I’m convinced the housewares industry will witness significant change over the next decade as disruptive new technology ushers in new business models, services and creative new products that will reshape the entire space.  Based on what I saw on the show floor and heard in my conversations, it felt like we were only in the first or second inning of this shift.

All of which meant most of the change to this important industry is still to come, so when I was asked by the Home and Housewares Association to develop and moderate the keynote panel for this year’s show, I knew there would be a whole bunch to talk about. To do that, I knew I would need panelists who could provide smart, provocative and diverse but complimentary viewpoints to help the audience understand the issues and walk away with actionable insights.

That’s exactly what I got. Here are the panelists for the keynote panel entitled ‘How The Smart Home Is Disrupting Housewares’:

Nathan Smith – CTO, Wink. Wink is one of the most high-profile startups of the modern smart home wave, and Nathan has been there since the beginning.

Carley Knobloch – As HGTV’s resident smart home expert, Carley’s focus is always on the end-consumer and whether a given product is solving real problems or just technology for technology’s sake.

Chris Young – as CEO of ChefSteps and co-author of Modernist Cuisine, Chris has his feet firmly planted in both the world of culinary innovation and hardware creation for consumers. Finding that middle ground that brings professional-like skills in the form of connected hardware is something Young’s been focuses on

We discussed a bunch of things, including the shifting retail landscape, the arrival of artificial intelligence and connected commerce, consumer experiences and use-cases, the importance of product utility, virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, Millennials and cooking and so much more.

Based on what I learned this year, I’m convinced the housewares space is waking up to the opportunity of the connected home. I can’t wait to see how much will change by next year’s show.

You can watch the entire panel by clicking play above.

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