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System Integration for the Connected Home

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China-Based LeEco Buys Vizio

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LeEco, the Chinese internet and CE company, acquires Vizio-- the 2nd biggest TV maker in the world following Samsung-- for $2 billion, creating a combined entity worth $4 billion.

LeEco VizioPost-acquisition Vizio should continue operating under the same name as a wholly-owned subsidiary. However its viewer data business Inscape will spin off into a separate privately-owned company controlled by Vizio founder and CEO William Wang.

"I have mixed feelings," Wang admits about the deal. "As the owner and father of Vizio, I am very reluctant to let it go. But as the CEO and owner of the company, I know this is the right decision to make for our hard-working employees and loyal shareholders."


Joan Earns Red Dot Distinction

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Red Dot Award

More than 5000 entries wanted this year's international Red Dot Award for Best Product Design—and yet someone from our industry won this prestigious prize.

Joan Meeting Room Assistant took home the Red Dot Award, the first-ever Red Dot winner for a meeting room scheduling solution (and digital door label) to win this highest of international distinctions for high design quality.

Joan is a next generation room booking device using an E Ink e-paper display with 180° viewing angle, great visibility and no glare (even in direct sunlight).


The award recognizes Joan's elegant design, reflecting modernistic simplicity with no buttons and an intuitive interface. Our editors believe the judges might have also recognized the beauty behind an anthropomorphic branding of an elegant product with the face of Joan to personify a room meeting assistant.

Developed by a global market leader in electronic paper signage, Visionect designed Joan exclusively for room booking signage. Dedicated from birth to its task, Joan is installed in minutes (without cables as it is easily attached to any surface) and she leverages the existing wi-fi network to connect to popular online calendars and to hold conversations with the smartphones and tablets of room users.

Joan is the greenest digital door label on the market with a power consumption that the maker says is 99% lower than other room booking signage solutions. Joan lasts up to three months on a single battery charge, with a lighter environmental footprint. If the battery runs out, Joan even lets you know with an email reminder.

Joan Digital Door Label

Earlier this year, The CES Innovation Award for innovative design and engineering applauded Joan’s extreme energy efficiency,.

While the fundamentals of Joan are its accessible price (RRP EUR 349) and ease-of-use, its intelligent technology and appearance fulfil the needs of a modern workplace that is morphing to fit the habits of an internet age.

Joan’s development has indeed been influenced by its earliest users – Microsoft, Dell and Dreamworks. Microsoft’s “New World of Work” campaign recognizes Joan as one of the tools that improve productivity and rethink how things get done in a modern workplace.

Joan has been entrusted with meeting rooms at more than 100 companies and organizations because—besides being a pretty face—Joan pays for herself by increasing productivity. Those annoying no-show meeting (ghost meetings!) cost business as much as $30 million per year in USA alone— and other organizations (churches, government, museums, non-profits, military...) may not quantify the loss in the same way but still suffer from similar disruptions.

Joan’s "Check into" meeting function eliminates no-shows/ghost meetings, saves money and time-- and helps optimizes valuable office space (allowing the ghosted conference or huddle room to be reallocated for immediate use).

Born in Europe, Joan is also very Continental with a host of languages she can speak. By localizing the technology that employees will use daily—like any good room meeting assistant-- Joan improves communications and efficiency.

She is constantly adding new languages, including some out-of-the-world choices just to show how easily Joan picks up language.

Should any Klingons break free from their space on Star Trek to meet and congratulate her on winning the Red Dot Award, Joan is capable of greeting them properly.

All we can say is, YI’el, Joan!

Go Joan Learns New Languages

Go Joan Partner Program


CEDIA Names 2016 Awards Winners

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CEDIA AwardsCEDIA EMEA revealed the 19 winners of the 2016 Awards on 1 Friday 2016, during a ceremony held at the Guildhall, London attended by 400 home technology professionals.

The 2016 awards had the most entries to date-- 200 to be precise, coming from over 18 countries. Hosting the ceremony was British comedian Marcus Brigstoke, while the black-tie event consisted of a drinks reception followed by a 3-course dinner.


Crestron Opens French Experience Centre

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Crestron expands its European presence with a first Experience Centre in France, specifically in Nanterre, Paris, the fifth such centre opened worldwide.

CrestroncentreThe company already has a UK Experience Centre in Cobham, as well as 3 US centres located in California, Texas and New Jersey. The centres showcase the latest Crestron technology in an immersive environments, allowing dealers to demonstrate company solutions to prospective customers.

Solutions on show include the DigitalMedia A/V distribution system, the IP-based .AV Framework, Pyng home automation technology, Fusion enterprise management software, the PinPoint indoor navigation system and a variety of touchscreens and handheld remotes.


Quick Control4 Training With Smart Skills

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Control4 boosts its installer technical training resources with Smart Skills-- a set of short videos focusing on various aspects of the Control4 platform.

Control4The videos are around 3 minutes long and demonstrate how to master specific installation configurations, program unique scenes and perform singular tasks using the Control4 platform. While the videos are short, the company says they are designed to extend beyond basic certification courses.

Topics already covered by Smart Skills include how to automate a gas fireplace, integrate a ZigBee door lock, enable alerts to a customer's mobile device and do more advanced programming with custom variables.


Shelly Palmer to Deliver CEDIA 2016 Opening Keynote

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Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer will present the CEDIA 2016 Opening Keynote.

The strategic advisor to the C-Suite of leading technology firms, regular technology commentator for CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox Business News, and one of LinkedIn's Top 10 Voices of Technology, Palmer will explore how the most effective home technology professionals are managing change and how all CEDIA 2016 attendees can position their businesses to successfully compete in a connected world.

"Shelly Palmer has extensive experience and insight into the technology sector making him a great fit to present our opening keynote and share a vision with CEDIA attendees about the best ways leverage new technologies to their benefit," said Vin Bruno, CEDIA CEO.

"As those who already have a deep understanding and love for technology, CEDIA professionals are poised for fantastic success over the next several years as the number of connected devices is set to surpass 50 billion by 2020," says Shelly Palmer. "The proliferation of the internet of things means that anything that can be connected will be connected, and that simple truth lends itself to many avenues for innovation that I look forward to discussing at CEDIA 2016."

Palmer is President & CEO at Palmer Group where he is a driver of market, technology and strategic direction, as well as acquisition strategies, for his clients. Palmer is also an award-winning composer, producer, writer and director, and is the patented inventor of the underlying technology for Enhanced Television used by programs such as ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and ESPN's Monday Night Football and response-based advertising systems.

And, by coincidence, Palmer is already one of our own ECI Guest Editorial writers.

CEDIA 2016 will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas from Sept. 13-17, show floor will be open from Sept. 15-17th. The Opening Keynote will take place on Wednesday, September 14th at 5:30 p.m. in the Forks Ballroom in the Convention Center.

Go Registration for CEDIA 2016 Opens June 8th


Nortek Buys a Voice With Nuiku

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Residential and commercial control and HVAC system supplier Nortek gets some voice control smarts as it acquires Nuiku, developer of a cloud-based natural language processing platform.

NuikuFinancial details of the deal are not available.

Founded in 2012, Nuiku offers an integration engine connecting voice commands with back-end user information to analyse commends and perform appropriate actions. The technology also adapts to user behaviour, and offers prompts, reminders and suggestions based on frequency of use and past requests.