The end of the Cold War revealed how technology developed for the military—from the Internet to Tang—was finding its way from the front line to the front door. In the wake of the InfoComm show in June, it’s worth noting that the commercial systems sector, which weathered the recession somewhat better than residential, is offering a peace dividend of its own as the housing construction market begins to turn around.
Crestron’s Jeff Singer notes that most of the automation maker’s 1,500-product line is now used in both commercial and residential applications. “Historically, the residential market grew out of the commercial market,” Singer explains. “Executives liked what they could do at work and wanted the technology for their homes.”
Virtually every important system found in a commercial environment has a counterpart in the residential space, states AMX vice president of marketing Joe Andrulis. “With so much in common it is hardly surprising to see substantial crossover between the two markets in many areas.”
Economies of scale are often achieved faster on the commercial side, making control products more affordable when they do hit the residential market, but also with a higher level of sophistication.
Greg Rhoades, associate director of marketing at HAI, says access systems are a good example. “Where business owners want to control equipment closets, executive offices, and other high-security areas, homeowners want to especially guard their pools, wine cellars, and media rooms,” he says. “Access control doesn’t simply mean restricting access to certain people during certain times, but rather, it allows for the user experience to be entirely customized. Advanced security features such as CCTV and access control will continue to be growing crossover segments as additional technologies become available.”