Over the summer, Intel and Amazon took their collaborative tech on the road to give people an opportunity to experience the smart home life (on wheels!). Called the Smart Life Roadshow, the initiative gave people across the U.S. an opportunity to experience an immersive demonstration of intelligent technology. The fully operational 30-ft trailer housed an array of exciting Intel technology and Amazon smart devices integrated with the Alexa Voice Service and showcased a suite of products from some of the most innovative brands in the business. We had a chat with the project’s designer and Tour Manager to learn about what it was like to create and helm a rolling smart home.
Sarah Bienvenue, Smart Home Marketing Manager
My role is to work with Amazon directly. We came up with all the different technologies that go inside the Roadshow experience. We got to design the trailer and decide where we thought it would make sense to put the technology and how we wanted the experience to be. My criteria for choosing what technology went into the smart home started with determining the best Intel technology to apply to the setting, then choosing devices that would be the kinds of things consumers would make use of every day.
We want people to see that this technology can really enrich their daily lives, and we want them to know that they can get it right now. This isn’t a World’s Fair model house, it’s actually something you can make today with what is available on the market right now. In fact, I plan to get my mom one of the featured devices for Christmas this year so that I’m able to easily “drop in” on her even when she forgets to charge her cell phone.
Despite working in the business of smart homes, I’m not a super technical person, so it was important to me that everything in the house was something that was easy to set up and use and to demonstrate that to everyone. It was really great seeing people’s eyes light up when the house transitioned into “Movie Time” which simultaneously optimizes the lighting and raises the television into view. It was even better to be able to show them that it’s something they can set up themselves without having to be an engineer.
I think my biggest takeaways of the whole experience are that we are creating a lot of amazing technology that can really be useful to people, that you don’t have to be afraid that the technology is too complicated for you to use, and that consumers have a lot of trust for Intel products. I know we use these words a lot, but it’s been a truly amazing experience to work on it!
Arima Nam, Tour Manager
I’m one of two tour managers for the program. My co-manager and I are responsible for looking after and transporting the tour vehicles and managing the execution of the events on the road. When this tour became available, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this amazing conversation about the future of technology and how we humans interact with them.
Working on this tour has been full of cool moments. Being visited by Bryce and Rasa from “Living Big in a Tiny House” all the way from New Zealand was so much fun. They had seen so many different tiny home environments, but were blown away by all of the tech the Smart Life Roadshow had to offer in such a gorgeous and tiny space.
It was also meaningful to hear so many stories about how intelligent voice technologies have improved the quality of life for many individuals of our older generation or those who are disabled. We hear a lot of thanks from guests who tell us that their loved one or friend feels connected to the world again or that they can depend on themselves more with the help of smart home technologies. That is an important perspective that we are excited to share with visitors of the tour.
It was always amazing to meet the winners of our daily prize giveaway. They are so excited and blown away by the generosity in offering such high end gifts – it means a lot to them that the brands finds a way to thank them for visiting the program. One of the more memorable winners we had was JJ. He had just recently lost his home in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey and felt the giveaway was a sign that good fortune was smiling down upon him. JJ’s big smile and excitement lifted everyone’s spirits – we were happy to see that the tour could contribute to his new home! That energy and joy is definitely something that I’ll take away with me after the tour is over.
This whole project truly demonstrates a paradigm shift in society and I am so proud and happy to be a part of it. But the biggest takeaway both for us and our guests is that Intel and Amazon Alexa are here for you today – and the future is now!
Interested in hearing about other amazing jobs and tech at Intel? Sign up for our talent network and get the latest news and insights sent to you! jobs.intel.com