From Chrome to Connected: How Kitchen, Bath, and Interior Fixtures Are Evolving for the Home of Tomorrow

Between February 19-21, 2019, 600+ leaders in the global building material, appliance, and home fixture industries gathered in Las Vegas for the Kitchen Bath Interior Show (KBIS). Manufacturers displayed contemporary offerings and showcased next generation technologies for the home. While no specific theme was tied to the event, Fletcher/CSI identified a convergence of innovation and consumer demand. Four common areas of focus included:

  • Growth and evolution of the connected home
  • Evolving home appliances and fixtures to serve multiple functions through consolidation
  • Aesthetics reaching new heights via 3D printing technology
  • An emphasis on efficiency, water conservation, and green energy

Connected Everything

The adoption of home assistant devices, intelligent lights, and security systems continues to increase. Numerous industry leaders strive to offer fixtures and devices that integrate these advancements into their connected home solutions. KOHLER and Samsung presented robust suites of connected offerings and apps that can tie the entire home together.

KOHLER’s offerings ranged from voice-activated showers to connected vanitys that respond to voice commands and link users to news, weather, and more. However, KOHLER’s upcoming voice-activated kitchen sink caught our eye the most. The device will not be available until late 2019 but will layer in existing sensor technology to include voice command and hands-free cooking. This will also include precise measurement capabilities via voice. Samsung featured a variety of connected appliances with many notable features. The Bixby family hub connects Samsung and other devices throughout the home to create a seamless, mobile, voice-controlled interface.

Consolidation of Appliances

Consolidation of appliances with additional features also drove innovation. GE presented this with its new Café and Profile lines, which were positioned to remove the need for redundant offerings. Additionally, these lines can create customizable appliances that can change finishes as the owner changes their kitchen’s design. Unique to the line is the dual-purpose oven that combines a traditional convection oven with a microwave, air fryer, and steamer. The perfect cook settings are also unique. They allow owners to select a protein source and size, and simply press one button to reach a perfectly cooked result every time. The product corresponds to millennial preferences for customizable offerings that grow with them, as well as minimalist trends that combine multiple appliances into one unit.

3D Printed Offerings

Beyond connected convenience, several exhibitors showcased ingenuity, aesthetics and innovation in their 3D printed offerings. LIXIL and Delta both presented 3-D printed, motion-sensor enabled faucets. The offerings allow consumers to obtain truly unique fixtures that break the mold on what is possible. Both companies certainly set the bar on ingenuity and noted ambitious plans to grow their offerings in the future.

Water and Energy Conservation Efficiency

This was at the forefront of many manufacturers’ featured products. Moen’s Flo meter goes beyond a basic plumbing monitor and syncs with a dedicated app to allow homeowners to run health checks on their plumbing systems. These features present home owners with peace of mind that their plumbing is in good health and that leaks will be detected early.

Fletcher/CSI researches industry trends and competitor initiatives that impact our clients’ businesses across each of our practice areas. Our research insights support our clients’ strategy and innovation decision making efforts. To learn more about our core services and industry expertise, please contact us at [email protected] or 802-660-9636.