Focused on technology that seamlessly bridges the gap between elegant design and smart technology, the Design + Connection tour Friday morning at CEDIA Expo 2022 was a sampling of some of the best tech that unites design, construction, and integration professionals. Here are the highlights from our experience on the Design + Connection tour.
Lutron’s elegant Alisse wall control panels greeted us at our first stop on the tour. These luxurious, customizable controls are hand-crafted with an innovative technical approach and sleek architectural design. Lutron’s compatibility with Ketra lighting made for a great demonstration of how important natural dimming is to human-centric lighting, and Palladiom wire-free shading options performed smoothly with whisper-quiet operation.
“Lamp is dead, long live laser!” proclaimed our Sony tour guide as he introduced us to Sony’s line of 4K native laser projectors. 2022 is the first year Sony showed their Pro products in the United States, and the booth hosts a gigantic 220-inch Crystal LED C-Series screen with flawless performance and displays with Quantum Dot tech that popped with true reds, blues and greens. Bravia professional display solutions are ideal for digital signage and feature superior image quality with easy operation, extensive integration options and low ownership costs.
Returning to CEDIA in a big way, Crestron’s home automation solutions show how one modern, consistent user interface can bring simplicity and more enjoyment to your lifestyle. From flexible shading solutions with lifetime warranties, configurable keypads and human-centric lighting for wellness, Crestron’s ecosystem continues to grow and amaze. A major innovation showcased was the compact MDU scalable solutions that use the smallest possible footprint for maximum space economy.
It was all about displays at Samsung. The Frame finally has a matte surface, eliminating glare so you can truly enjoy the fine art displayed, and the rotatable screen of The Sero caters to the millennial crowd who consume the majority of their content in portrait mode. The Premiere lineup showed off the capabilities of Samsung’s UST laser projectors, while The Freestyle allows you to take a high-definition projector on the go.
The star of AiSpire, the WAC STRUT system is a completely modular linear LED system that can be suspended, surface mounted or recessed. One of the coolest features of the STRUT system is the magnetic infrastructure, which allows you to slide and adjust individual elements within the STRUT while powered. Fewer times to climb a ladder is a win in my book!
At Harman Luxury Audio, we got an in-depth look at the JBL Conceal series—a truly invisible wall speaker. The Conceal Series has an integrated rear enclosure, advanced transducers and a compression molded baffle with a proprietary FidelityGlass acoustic pane. The most magical feature of these speakers? They can be installed as easily as a standard drywall patch and feature a paintable surface that can also be custom finished.
Origin Acoustics dove right into showing its latest Design Centric innovations, from Minimal Opening System speakers that deliver full sound with less surface disruption to the new soundbar series that allows for fit-to-screen sizing to match client TV sizes. New Bollard outdoor speakers bring a touch of elegance to both residential and commercial settings.
Google Nest Pro products are expanding from the essential third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat and Ring doorbells to include safety and security devices to help consumers connect through a one-platform experience across all ecosystems. Smoke Detectors, Ring security cameras and newer versions of Ring video doorbells highlighted the Google booth stop.
At HTSN / Azione Unlimited, the HTSN Tiny Home packs a ton into its roughly 300-square-foot area, including screens, audio, smart appliances and lighting, whole home automation—basically everything a custom integrator might spec into a standard project. The Tiny Home serves as an excellent example of how integrators can bring clients the latest and greatest smart home experience, no matter the size of their home.
“Ok, Josh, make my life simpler.” This voice control home automation system focuses on making your smart home experience simple and easy. “If it’s simple, you’ll use it,” Josh.ai CEO Alex Capecelatro told the tour, as we witnessed the incredible app and voice control capabilities of the Josh.ai system. The Josh.ai system allows users to use more natural language and multiple commands to control their scenes to fit their lifestyles.
“Design + Connection creates a unique opportunity for designers, builders, remodelers and architects to connect and collaborate with technology integrators,” said Jason McGraw, CTS, group vice president for CEDIA Expo and KBIS, Emerald. “As modern clients embrace connected home technology, design and construction professionals can align with technology integrators to better respond to their client’s needs. CEDIA Expo offers a platform for these professionals to come together to network and share knowledge of their respective industries. We want to give a special thank you to Crestron for sponsoring this year’s Design + Connection programming.”