Huddled amid the thousands of new products at the CEDIA Expo are always a few key trends builders need to keep in mind, and this year’s show ( Atlanta, Sept. 22–26) was no different. Dave Pedigo, senior director of technology for CEDIA, says the most apparent one is the comprehensive shift by systems manufacturers from wired AV and security solutions to wireless and to a lesser extent PowerLine carrier solutions such as MoCA ( Multimedia over Coax Alliance). There are several reasons behind the transition, not least of which is the shift in emphasis in the housing sector from new construction to renovation. “Manufacturers are adapting product lines to accommodate retrofitting systems in existing housing,” says Pedigo.
However, manufacturers are not abandoning wired solutions. The two formats will coexist, complementing more than competing, he says. “They’re tailoring the product lines to reflect reality and prepare for a time when audio, video, and data are all fully integrated,” he says.
Another major trend is that the demand and solutions for automation, control, and integrated security systems are reaching further down the home price silo than ever before. “Buyers of homes in the $250,000 to $500,000 range expect this technology now,” says Pedigo.
A third trend across the board will be the integration of both wired and wireless systems with mobile devices. “The iPad is a game changer,” says Pedigo.
Pedigo notes that one result of the construction downturn has been closer cooperation between CEDIA and organizations such as the NAHB and AIA. “We’re heavily dependent upon the home builder sector,” he says. “When the market comes back, we’ll both be facing a different environment in terms of home technology: wireless, less expensive, and more integrated.”