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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

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The Top ECI Stories for 2017

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2017As 2017 comes to a close it is as good a time as any to take a look back at the times in custom install that have been, from smart speakers going mainstream to any number of company acquisitions and mergers.

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ISE Details Attendee Stats

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Integrated Systems Events reports over 40% of ISE 2017 attendees were first timers, with 15662 exhibitor personnel contributing to a total visitor count on 73413 and 22713 visiting for the first time.

ISE 2017The "Official Facts and Figures" report, based on data collected from registrations and post-show questionnaires, breaks down show visitor demographics. For instance, the show hosted 1192 exhibitors from 79 countries, and over 30% of visitors were system integrators, with distributors and manufacturers making 16.8% and 14.9% respectively.

Technology consultants account for 8.7% of the total, and end customers make 7.8%. Interestingly, 34.2% of attendees have interests spanning both commercial and residential sectors, while 10.8% were purely interested in seeing residential solutions. The remaining 55% were interested solely in the commercial sector.

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Alexa, The Killer App

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GUEST EDITORIAL

by Shelly Palmer, CEO, The Palmer Group

Shelly Palmer is CEO of The Palmer Group

The superstar of CES 2017 was not a car, or a robot, or even a TV; it was Alexa Voice Service (AVS), the software that allows you to control compatible devices with your voice. Various reports estimated there were 700–1,100 Alexa-controllable products at the show. I can’t verify the number, but “and it works with Alexa” was the running gag at CES. The familiar Amazon/Alexa logo seemed to be everywhere.

Why Alexa Is “The” Killer App

The 1960s vision of living in George and Jane Jetson’s house has not been realized at scale. While it is possible to build a smart home where everything from the window shades to the television to the HVAC are self-aware and work in a perfectly balanced AI-controlled, automated way, in practice, it’s just too hard to accomplish. Devices really don’t talk to other devices, at least not in meaningful ways. This is especially true if you try to mix devices from different manufacturers. The IoT industry has been waiting for a killer app, an app like Apple Homekit or Google Home, but neither of those has delivered on the promise of a “grand unified smart home universe.”

Enter Alexa … the Killer App for IoT. If we learned anything at CES this year, we learned that anything that can be connected to Alexa will be connected to Alexa. Which truly changes everything!

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Star Achitect to Open ISE 2017: Ole Scheeren

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Ole Scheeren

“Ole Scheeren is the man who makes the impossible possible in architecture. He is a man who turns structural calculations into magic, who can seemingly make skyscrapers disappear into thin air and who created a movie theater that floats in the Indian Ocean. His wave of success has already carried him far. And when he has his way, this will only be the beginning.” Der Spiegel

One of the world’s pop stars of architecture, Ole Scheeren is a German architect and principal of Buro Ole Scheeren with offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Berlin, and Bangkok. He is chief designer and leading the company’s creative vision and strategic development.

And what a creative vision that is… for example, one project, MahaNakhon, is-- at 314 meters-- Bangkok’s tallest tower. Housing the Ritz-Carlton Residences, the building features a pixelated ribbon that swirls around the exterior, peeling back its surface layer to expose an inner layer (also creating balconies with sweeping views of the city).

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CEDIA's Tech Council Sees the Future, Part 6: Lights! Uber! Security!

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CEDIA Collage

by Ed Wenck, CEDIA Content Marketing Manager

A 17-member panel has made 100 predictions for 2020.

Here are 10 more predictions for 2020 (#51-#60) from CEDIA Senior Director of Emerging Technologies Dave Pedigo and the 16 volunteers who join him in CEDIA’s Tech Council.

Prediction 51. We’ll see the “Uberization” of technology product delivery and continuing support services. In the CEDIA universe, there’s an opening for an app that will send the nearest home tech pro out to the consumer’s place on an as-needed basis.

Consumers will pay more when demand is high — or choose to wait a while, since the inverse is also true. (One wonders how many people have turned Tuesday night into pizza night now that take-‘n’-bake chain Papa Murphy’s has a $10/any pizza deal that day.)

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CEDIA's Tech Council Sees the Future, Part 5 : Getting Older

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CEDIA Brain

by Ed Wenck, CEDIA Content Marketing Manager

A 17-member panel has made 100 predictions for 2020. Here are predictions 41-50._

Let’s continue with the predictions for 2020 from CEDIA Senior Director of Emerging Technologies Dave Pedigo and the 16 volunteers who make up CEDIA’s Tech Council. There are 100 in all, and links to the first 40 can be found at the bottom of this article.

This time we tackle Aging in Place, augmented memory, and attorneys.

Prediction 41. Aging in Place is becoming a profit center for our industry. Ric Johnson, who’s not a member of the Tech Council but blogs about CEDIA’s annual show as a “CEDIA Tweep,” is with a firm that already specializes in this segment, Right at Home Technologies. Ric brings the data in a recent post at cedia.net/show:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of residents 65 or older will grow from 35 million in 2000 to nearly 73 million by 2030. Right now, in 2016, nearly 54 million residents are at or nearing 65 years of age. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates that over 70 percent of these homeowners are planning or making aging related improvements for themselves or their parents. This is an active, growing market. In this market, Home Automation requests are at about 49 percent, with assistive technologies around 14 percent and home health or activity monitoring tracking currently at 10 percent. As our population continues to age, requests for these services will continue to grow.

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CEDIA's Tech Council Sees the Future, Part 2

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by Ed Wenck, CEDIA Content Marketing Manager

Dave Pedigo, CEDIA’s Senior Director of Emerging Technologies, and 16 volunteers have created the CEDIA Technology Council, a group that discusses the advances — a better term might be “jumps” — in technology.

The group uses their combined knowledge to attempt to make concrete predictions regarding what’s next in the smart home industry. Their most recent project: creating a list of 100 predictions for the year 2020. If you didn’t catch the first 10, you can find them here.

Let’s pick up where we left off.

CEDIA Part 2, A

Prediction 11. Projection mapping will begin to appear on surfaces throughout the home. Julie Jacobson, Tech Council member (and Big Kahuna at CE Pro) remembers seeing a demo at the last CES in which small, hardly-visible projectors displayed images across kitchen surfaces. In addition to providing ingredient lists and recipe instructions projected onto cabinets, images were flashed “onto a countertop, which could become hot pads on command. The hot spots would become inductive heat sources. You could interact with a video with a gesture.” This technology also offers the ability to redecorate in a hurry: Think about a distortion-free striped or plaid pattern surreptitiously projected onto a neutral-colored couch. Sick of Tartan by next Tuesday? Tap the app and make it look like blue denim.

Prediction 12. All media and games will stream directly to smart displays which become apps on walls. Sending the kids chasing a virtual Pikachu all over the house sounds like a pretty good way to wear ‘em out on a rainy day, right? Jacobson says that as both short- and long-throw projectors gain the ability of gesture recognition, those devices will become more and more prevalent.

Prediction 13. Full-wall video with multiscreens will appear in the home. Here’s something interesting: The first three predictions in this set of 10 all have an origin in commercial applications. This one — think of it more as digital signage than sports bar — will allow the user to have access to a wall that includes a weather app, a Twitter feed, a Facebook page, the latest episode of Chopped, a Cubs game, and literally anything else a member — or members — of the family are interested in. The unintended consequences: some 13-year-old will one day actually utter the phrase, “MOM! Can you minimize your Snapchat already!?!”

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