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Home automation makes a big splash at CES

The big splash at this year's annual International Consumer Electronics Show came from the companies making waves in home automation and wearables. And that puts the tech world at the beginning of an inflection point when it comes to the oft-cited "Internet of Things," according to Ed Maguire, managing director and senior analyst at CLSA.

"We're ready to see an explosion of innovation in the home automation space," Maguire told CNBC.

A customer checks a Nest Labs Inc. digital thermostat on display at a Home Depot Inc. store in Emeryville, California.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A customer checks a Nest Labs Inc. digital thermostat on display at a Home Depot Inc. store in Emeryville, California.

Estimates from research firm Gartner predict that an average home could remotely connect up to 500 "things," be it your air conditioner, lights or coffee pot.

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Maguire points out that with this many connected appliances, a centralized hub will be important. In comes Google Nest, Apple HomeKit and Samsung's SmartThings.

Most of the communications in a "smart home" will most likely take place over Wi-Fi, ZigBee or Bluetooth protocols, with communication coming through a smartphone.

Although it will hit smaller markets than home automation, wearables was another big theme for the second year in a row at CES.

"This year it's all about Apple Watch and viability of the fitness band market," he said.


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He adds that fashion is really important in this market in order to appeal to people outside of the tech geek crowd.

"It's starting to take place. Style needs to come," Maguire said.