At the CE Pro Summit in Atlanta last week, a panel discussed the opportunities on the table for smart home integrators. The most popular technologies included HDR TV, voice-control, and object-based audio.
Voice-control products like Amazon Alexa and Google Home are the biggest opportunities, but the main challenge will be managing consumers' expectations. The devices are great one-room solutions, but making it a whole-house solution will involve more wiring and technology.
Pedigo says integrators need to make sure voice control is offered as a complementary product to other UI options, not as the sole control interface.
Murray agrees, asking rhetorically: “Who has sworn at Siri? I know I have. The same thing is going to happen with Alexa when it does not enable the command.”
Gorog says the key is that Echo is “still an app to app” communication, which can be problematic. “We go to our existing clients with Alexa and tell them that it is a $200 device, but it is going to cost them $600 for us to come in and tailor it to their home,” he says.