Extending what could be viewed as the ultimate olive branch between the design and custom integration communities, CEDIA staged its first Design Connection Tour at the 2018 CEDIA Expo.
Design professionals were led on a guided journey of 10 preselected booths on Wednesday, all featuring tech demos with a shared goal of strengthening the relationship between the two communities. Themes of unification and technology simplicity were common, with most company representatives agreeing the definitive goal is ensuring client satisfaction.
“A/V doesn’t have to be a necessary evil that impedes your design,” said Barco Residential’s Tim Sinnaeve. “The sky is the limit.”
The tour, which was led by David VanWert of VanWert Technology Design, included Control4, Seura, Savant, JBL, Lutron, Josh, Origin Acoustics, Barco, Cineak and the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Amongst the highlights:
Control4 demonstrated its Intercom Anywhere system and Triad brand of custom-build speakers, showing off the company’s various homeowner personalization capabilities.
Seura, meanwhile, displayed its two new Wi-Fi-connected mirrors: the Smart Mirror with the ability to display any app available from the Google Play store, and the Alexa Mirror featuring the built-in Amazon voice assistant.
Savant’s JC Murphy touted the simplicity of the company’s home-control interface and Scene programming capabilities.
JBL planned an extensive home theater demo, while Lutron’s Cecilia Ramos walked tour participants through the company’s lighting and shade control capabilities. Ramos also previewed the capabilities of the Josh voice-control technology, which segued nicely into a dedicated stop at the Josh company booth.
Origin Acoustics’ Dave Donald emphasized the importance of translating an in-home audio experience to a homeowner’s backyard—better sound mean fewer cranky neighbors—and Barco showed off its flexible installation capabilities for various video technologies.
The tour was capped off with Cineak’s modular motorized home theater seating and a brief presentation from the NKBA’s Jason Solomon that ended the tour on the same note as which it began.
Solomon said the association had recently fielded a study on the landscape of consumer technology in the kitchen and bath space, and the results were extremely promising. While consumers indicated they’re willing to spend on new tech in these environments, much uncertainly still surrounds the category and they “don’t know what they don’t know.” The NKBA is exhibiting at CEDIA this week with the hopes of trying to bring the design and integration communities together to solve this issue, Solomon said.
The tour was sponsored by Control4. Another tour will be held Friday with stops at Control4, Leon Speakers, Nuvo, Luxul, Origin Acoustics, Nexus2, Screen Innovations, Vanco, Barco and Noon Home.