I recently partnered with with Cox Communications to visit their touring smart home right here in Northwest Arkansas. I had no idea what to expect going in, but I must admit I was intrigued. Over 50 smart devices throughout one home? Yes, please! As a busy working mom, I’m interested in anything that makes the day go a little smoother… and a little more fun too. Of course one thing was for sure – you absolutely need high-speed internet to make sure everything works seamlessly, so the entire house was outfitted with Cox Cox Panoramic Wi-Fi .
Well, I was instantly impressed when I was welcomed virtually at the front door of the Buffington Homes house (also totally drool worthy).
My first stop on the tour was one of my favorites – the kitchen! I met fellow blogger, Whitney Bond of WhitneyBond.com, who personally showed me her favorite smart devices to use in the kitchen. The two devices that stood out for me were the Behmor Brewer coffee system and the Crock Pot that you control with an app. How am I not already taking advantage of starting my coffee from bed and cooking dinner while I’m at the office?!
From there, I got the full scoop on Cox Homelife, which is an easy to use security system that you can control from anywhere (and watch from anywhere thanks to the HD video). Todd and I have been seriously considering taking the plunge on Smart Door Locks, so I was happy to see how they worked with Cox’s full security system. I also got the rundown on Cox Contour, which is a television option I’m now seriously considering for our own home.
Making my way up to the second floor I found someone I never would have guessed – Madonna’s violinist, Jason Yang! He’s much more than just the Material Girl’s musician though. As a violinist, composer, and YouTuber, I found him at his station where he gives virtual lessons to students all over the world via Skype. I even got my own private mini-concert!
While upstairs, I explored the other bedrooms where I witnessed 3D printing for the first time by NWA 3D. In the children’s bedroom, I received a demonstration from Trifecta Communications, which uses augmented reality to make the pages of books come to life with publisher, Calm in Your Palm. There was also a piggy bank (excuse me, Porkfolio Bank) that not only counts the money as you deposit it, but also alerts you if someone tries to move it! Iris would be all about that. Crystal Bridges was even on hand showing how they’ve created online courses for kids, which give credits for things such as curating your own virtual art gallery. Last school year, more than 1,000 students participated in the online learning classes and this year the goal is 10,000.
Speaking of Iris, there were so many things that you typically wouldn’t think about as needing to be “smart.” For instance, from a mom perspective, I loved the toothbrush that reminds kids to spend a little more time brushing those back teeth and that you can track their progress on an app! I was also intrigued by the mirror that adjusts based on the lighting you’ll be in for most of your day. For example, if you know you’ll be in florescent lighting, you just let it know and it will adjust the glow for the best make-up application. How fancy is that?
Beyond the bathroom, I learned about other health advantages on the tour. Trapollo, partnering with Mercy Virtual, gave real-time demonstrations of video conferencing with their hospital for a virtual consult. This is instead of having to make a trip in to the doctor for every little thing. If you are dealing with health issues, I’m sure being monitored from the comfort of your own home is not only reassuring, but of course it can ultimately can safe time and money as well.
The tour included a well-rounded mix of fun as well. I watched a demonstration by Ozark Cycling Adventures about their Cycling Performance Lab on the back porch (Todd’s recent cycling obsession made me pay special attention to this one). And then even got to try augmented and virtual reality thanks to Tesseract – another exciting first for me!
Overall, I consider myself pretty connected when it comes to being “plugged-in.” But after this tour, I realized there are so many more possibilities out there – and of course those will just keep expanding. As the number of smart devices in my home grows, it’s clear that my internet will need to support them. From house plants that water themselves, to robot dogs, I was sincerely impressed with Cox Communications and Buffington Homes and left wanting everything (along with that panoramic wi-fi).
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Cox Communications, but all opinions are my own.