The Power of Voice CEDIA 2016 Wrap-up Light and Shade
6 14 18 20 25 26 40 48
THINKING BIG All the best highlights from the CEDIA show in Dallas, Texas
THE POWER OF VOICE Get the low down on voice control and where itâ€™s heading
GOOGLE HOME Steve May looks at the newest addition to the home hub space
HOW THEY DID IT Walk through this gorgeous New Zealand installation
BIO-ADAPTIVE LIGHT Peter Aylett introduces the concept of this future technology
LIGHT AND SHADE We review the latest products in lighting, shades and blinds
COMMUNITY COUNTS We check in with users of the new CEDIA member platform
SEEING IS BELIEVING Take a dive into VR and use it in your sales process
Welcomeâ€Śto the Autumn issue of Communicates, your industry resource for the latest news and stories. This issue is hot on the heels of CEDIA 2016 where we were joined by a stellar 18,700 visitors and 500 exhibitors. It was here that we revealed the exciting news of the proposed formal global integration of CEDIA and CEDIA EMEA which we hope will bring about major benefits for our members. As we draw closer to the end of 2016, a glance back over the last twelve months highlights a plethora of new, stand-out innovations, a rush of new members across EMEA and a host of successful training sessions. Training and education has, and always will be, at the forefront of CEDIAâ€™s commitment to its members, so we are happy to have hosted training sessions in South Africa, India, Italy and around the UK, all in the space of two months. Technology is constantly evolving, with virtual reality, voice control and bio-adaptive lighting being three new areas of development within our industry. For 2020 market insights, opinion pieces from industry experts, product updates from leading manufacturers and distributors, and for the latest news on CEDIA activities and initiatives, put your feet up, grab a tea and turn the page...
Wendy Griffiths Executive Director, CEDIA EMEA
Website : www.cedia.co.uk Email : email@example.com Telephone : +44 (0)1480 213744 CEDIA Unit 2, Phoenix Park St Neots Cambridgeshire PE19 8EP, UK
Follow us on: Front cover image: De Opera Domotica, Netherlands
Company Reg No 3353936 All material in Communicates is the copyright of CEDIA UK and any reproduction of said material would require written permission from the publisher. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of content published, CEDIA cannot accept responsibility for any factual errors that may occur. CEDIA cannot accept responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributors.
NEWS IN BRIEF
PARTNERSHIP WITH HOUZZ CEDIA® is delighted to announce that it has partnered with Houzz, the leading online platform for home renovation and design. Used by over 40 million homeowners internationally each month, CEDIA’s new initiative with Houzz will provide CEDIA professionals with a stage to showcase work, collaborate with clients and connect with prospective clients on an international online platform. As part of the collaboration, all CEDIA members with a Houzz profile will be verified and able to display the CEDIA badge on their page. Professional pages are completely free to set up and offer members a new way to promote their work and services directly to target audiences across the UK and beyond. As well as inspiring millions of homeowners and home design enthusiasts, users can browse
professionals by category or location, ask questions about their work and read client reviews. On average, 74% of Houzz users plan to build, renovate or redecorate in the next two years. As well as showcasing your business, displaying past projects, professionals can also use the platform to stay up to date with the latest products and design trends. For users keen to enhance their web presence or thought leadership, Houzz invites professionals to become contributors and provide expert commentary on a number of topics on a weekly basis. For more information on what CEDIA members can gain from building a Houzz profile, visit www.houzz.co.uk/pro or www.houzz.co.uk
TWO NEW WHITE PAPERS NEW CEDIA CPD CEDIA has announced a new CPD, entitled ‘Smart Home Cabling Requirements for the Modern Home’. Accredited by the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), this course explains how to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to meet the needs of a modern day connected home. Inspired by CEDIA’s Smart Home Wiring Guidelines, which is widely distinguished amongst the industry, CEDIA has developed its most recent CPD to emphasise the need for a professional grade infrastructure for extra low voltage cabling. The requirements of modern technology will soon outgrow wireless only network, and the most expensive cable to install is the one you forget the first time around! The CPD provides a useful and practical step-by-step guide, whilst identifying the key requirements for an installation and defines three grades of recommended cabling infrastructure.
CEDIA has released two new white papers, including ‘Bio-Adaptive, Human Centered Lighting’ and ‘HDMI 2.0 & Ultra HD: Features, Bandwidth & Compatibility’. The ‘HDMI 2.0 & Ultra HD: Features, Bandwidth & Compatibility’ white paper provides an overview of the most popular features of HDMI 2.0, and how they relate to the home technology professional in terms of real-world application. Of particular focus is UHD video, HDR, and 10-bit wide colour gamut. The combination of features has great implications on bandwidth, and therefore device and connectivity selection for effective and reliable system design. The ‘Bio-Adaptive, Human Centered Lighting’ white paper touches on how humans spend most of their time under artificial light, which typically fails to reproduce the experience for which we are biologically “programmed.” It covers the science behind the effects of light, called human-centric lighting, which is in its infancy, but shows great promise and represents an emerging opportunity for home technology professionals. You can download these white papers by visiting the resources section at www.cedia.co.uk
DDOS ATTACK! In October, many areas of the United States felt the pain of a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack which took down a Domain Name Server (DNS) located in New Hampshire. The DNS Server is responsible for significant Internet traffic across the US It is estimated that upwards of 500,000 IP enabled cameras and DVRs were infected with the Mirai DDoS hack, and utilised to take down the DNS server. This DDoS attack demonstrates that internet security must be a priority at the consumer, technology professional, and at manufacturer level. So, how does the IoT experience continue its meteoric growth while mitigating potential threats? For manufacturers, the challenge is to build products that do not sacrifice security for convenience. The ability to allow installation professionals to enter secure passwords, close unnecessary ports and, most critically, enable IP connected devices to be securely
updated when their software has been compromised is essential. For consumers, there are inherent vulnerabilities to having devices always connected to the internet. Hiring a professional to design, install, and maintain all products being used in a connected environment is a step in the right direction to helping secure both the internet and the building the products are being used in. Consumers should review the credentials of anyone installing internet connected devices in their building: this individual should hold professional certification(s) that proves their baseline knowledge. For technology professionals, it is critical to work with IoT/network device suppliers that take security seriously, and vet them to ensure they are implementing strong security practices. Technology professionals should educate clients on the risks and rewards of network enabled devices.
BRITISH STANDARD OPEN FOR REVIEW CEDIA has been working with the British Standards Institution to produce a British Standard PAS (Publicly Available Specification) for smart home wiring. Having worked on turning the CEDIA Smart Home Recommended Wiring Guidelines into a British Standard, the CEDIA sponsored PAS will be open for public consultation in November. This process gives home technology professionals and trade suppliers the opportunity to review the document and leave comments and recommendations. This standard is a big step forward for the industry, so CEDIA requests that its members take part in the consultation process, to ensure the standard is produced to the highest standard possible. Keep an eye out for information on the public consultation.
Welcome to CEDIA and thanks for joiningâ€Ś A&D Handel, Import und Export KG, Austria Anaheim, UK Automated Spaces, UK AV Fanatics, UK Beacon Lifestyle Solution LLP, India Berkeley Homes North East London Ltd, UK Bluewave Electrical, UK Desert Sound, Pakistan Domo-Sapiens, Spain ElecMec Wholesale Ltd, UK Electric Orange, UK Flux London, UK Freq U, India HI-CONCEPT, France HN Storey Ltd, UK Home Automations UK, UK Home Hub Installations, UK Home Media Ltd, UK Ineva Design, Netherlands Infinity Automation, UK Integrated Systems and Technologies Ltd, UK intelliHOME AG, Switzerland JUNG UK, UK K.D. Comms, UK Lifestyle Technologies, Cyprus LMG, UK Lode Audio Ltd, UK London Media Rooms, UK Looks Lovely Limited, UK Martin Watson AV Ltd, UK MSL AV Solutions (A Division of Motor Sale Ltd), India Multicoms Solutions, UK NGC Systems, UK Plentific Ltd, UK Precious Autosys, India Premier Blinds, UK Projectiondreams, Portugal Redwood Technologies, UAE Securilec UK Limited, UK Shepherd, UK Showman AV Ltd, UK Sigmac Concepts LLP, Indian Somerset Aerials, UK Sound Redefined, India Tech Innovance, India T5 Serviced Ltd, UK The Final Touch, India Trusted Technology, UK UDrem Sp. Z O.o., Poland Ultra Sound & Vision, South Africa Visual Control Systems LLP, UK Wynne Owen Engineering, UK
NEWS IN BRIEF
POWERFUL WOMEN IN CONSUMER TECH
The Dealerscope recognition programme has been designed to honour female industry leaders whose influence and vision extends beyond the brand or organisation they represent. Wendy and Tabatha have been recognised as a woman who inspires, motivates and mentors business associates and employees within the home technology industry.
FUTURE OF THE CONNECTED HOME REPORT Over the past 6 months, CEDIA has been gathering information to build a report on the future of the connected home, and the association is now ready to release its findings. Over 550 people have completed the questionnaire, from a number of different professional backgrounds. The report breaks the findings down by sector and provides key insights as to the sentiment towards the connected home.
Wendy Griffiths, Executive Director of CEDIA EMEA and Tabatha O’Connor, Chief Operating Officer of CEDIA US, have both been recognised by Dealerscope and the wider industry as Powerful Women in Consumer Technology. Launched in 2016, Dealerscope reached out to the industry to help identify strong female leaders who are innovating and helping to drive forward the consumer tech world.
Acting as Executive Director of CEDIA EMEA for over fifteen years, Wendy has helped support home technology professionals across the region. This award celebrates Wendy as an informed leader and respected professional within the wider industry, who has given as much to the technology industry as the industry has given to her. Tabatha O’Connor
Tabatha began her tenure at CEDIA 14 years ago, and cites association management as her true passion - and at CEDIA, she has been given the opportunity for that passion to flourish, as this technologist organisation’s Chief Operating Officer. Tabatha says one of her mandates in this post is to “encourage diversity in our industry, not just for women, but across the board.”
Key Findings • 63% of respondents estimate that there will be 10 or more connected devices per household by 2020. • 41% of respondents believe intelligent lighting and security systems will be commonplace in five years. • Cost savings and control of energy are the main drivers for installing smart home technology. • 32% of participants saw no barriers to adopting connected home technology. CEDIA has also developed personas that relate to the different market segments that were targeted as part of this research – architects, interior designers, mechanical and electrical consultants and residential property developers. These personas outline the sentiment towards the smart home in each group, and their wider mentality surrounding the built environment. These can be found as an appendix to the report. To access the report, email firstname.lastname@example.org
BRITISH GAS SMART STREET Earlier this year, British Gas launched a ‘Gogglebox’ style online series called Smart Street to promote the possibilities and consumer benefits of the connected home. The series, which ran from August to October, introduced three families to the world of smart technology, and followed them living with a range of devices, including smart meters, plugs and TVs. The aim of the series was to capture the families’ honest reactions, demonstrating whether smart tech can really make life smarter, easier and fun. As well as being filmed by OgilvyOne, the families also created their own video diaries, which provided a personal insight into living with smart technology. To view the videos, visit www.britishgas.co.uk/the-source/your-home/ smart-street
Introducing the TDC-7100 7â€? desktop controller
Wi-Fi remote control AV intercom Inductive charging base
A RECAP The Dallas show is in the books, and in addition to all the breathtaking audio solutions, incredible video displays, leaps in security and software, the themes that kept popping up throughout the show were the Internet of Things (IoT) and the evolution of the user interface. After a Tuesday and Wednesday full of training sessions, Mr. Chang K. Park of URC (Universal Remote Control) was presented with the 2016 CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award – which he accepted with grace and humility. Mr. Park’s brief but moving remarks (and video tribute) were followed immediately by the CEDIA Opening Keynote, which was hosted by cable-news regular and tech adviser to C-Suites across the globe, Shelly Palmer.
The Velocity of Data
Mr. Chang K Park URC (Universal Remote Control)
“The velocity of data is increasing and will always increase.” That was the mantra delivered by Shelly on Wednesday night, noting that four billion people will be online by 2020 – most of them on mobile devices. The level of data traffic is staggering enough when one considers the “big internet” (everything including the IoT), but the Internet of Things will be chewing through more than half a million zettabytes per year. Among those things, Uber’s autonomous car, currently being tested in Pittsburgh. With the rotten press that Tesla’s “auto-pilot” feature generated after one man died while using it (incorrectly, as it turns out), public
COMMUNICATES Shelly Palmer Opening Keynote speaker
discomfort with the coming new-machine age has become more palpable, a fact Shelly confronted. “For those of you who are afraid of this technology, autonomous cars don’t drink, they don’t text, they don’t fight with their wives or girlfriends while they’re driving …” The point: We’re already man-machine partners, right? How many of the numbers in your phone’s contact list can you recall by memory? Becoming the architect of the expandable, adaptable network – that man/machine partnership - is where the next opportunities exist, according to Shelly.
We won’t “talk” - we’ll really talk. Charlie noted that humans communicated by speech eons before the notion of written language. Computer interaction flipped that timeline – typing in commands, of course, came first. Charlie’s convinced that the next “flip” is coming, though, and his company’s taking some pretty big steps to ensure that the technology they’re developing will wind up in devices that range from the obvious (intercom systems that work instantaneously no matter the mileage between stations) to whole home control systems. Those parallel concepts were picked up in a pair of CEDIA Talks once the dignitaries had cut the ribbon opening the floor for the 18,700-plus attendees and 500plus exhibitors. Dave Evans (former Cisco Chief Futurist and present CTO of Stringify) rolled out the true impact and speed that the IoT brings to the table – and the benefits inherent as “dumb” devices become “smart” – that is, connected. Imagine fields perfectly sensorised to turn on irrigation only when necessary, turning that supply off at the precise moment water is no longer needed. Imagine sensors in your food telling you what really is ripe right now. Imagine a city that diverts traffic away from emergency vehicles. Imagine smart farms, smart clothes, video photography that can read our very pulses. (Note – the bandwidth that 1Gbps brings is enough to literally cover every square inch of a 1,500 sq. ft. home.)
The Disruption of Voice Speaking of that partnership, if one thinks about the pre-mouse days of computing, inputting characters was the way to command the machine. When the graphical user interface (GUI) hit, with a mouse controlling a pointer on a screen, the number of users spiked – and suddenly. Computing was no longer something mysterious, it was available to the masses. The next disruptions were about connectivity and portability – the sudden expansion of the internet followed by the advent of the mobile device. Mice soon yielded to touchscreens. At every step, some companies were left by the wayside, while others thrived. The Friday morning Keynote speaker at CEDIA 2016, Amazon’s Director of Smart Home, Charlie Kindel, is convinced that the world – not just the industry of smart home integration – is poised to broadly adapt a one-letter shift in the acronym GUI: the word “graphical” in front of “user interface” will soon be replaced by “voice,” and the new three-letter combo will be VUI. Charlie, naturally, has a good bit of skin in this game, so he’ll be a leading evangelist for VUI as a matter of course. Still, as consumers gravitate toward the kinds of interfaces Charlie’s speaking of (and, as CEDIA’s Tech Council has predicted, integrate those interfaces with gesture), it seems pretty clear that a major shift in the way we communicate with our machines is on the horizon.
Charlie Kindel Amazon’s Director of Smart Home
Couple that with a talk from Alex Capecelatro, the man behind josh.ai: his concept combines voice and gesture recognition – tiny cameras and mics – with the next generation of machine learning: predictive algorithms. All of this tech creates “NOUI” – NO User Interface, just a world in which the machines are commanded by a wave and a word. As always, the annual CEDIA gathering showcased the new while trying to help its members wrap their heads around the future. The takeaway from the latter? The coming universe may splinter into specialisation, or may require a firm to have experts in many fields. And no matter what CEDIA members choose to call themselves, the day of the “residential IT expert” – the man-machine architect – appears to be upon us.
GLOBAL AWARDS 2016 For the first time this year, CEDIA took the awards competition one step further with the introduction of the CEDIA Global Awards. Winners from CEDIA Americas, CEDIA Asia Pacific, and CEDIA EMEA were evaluated by a global panel of judges to determine overall winners in the following project categories: integrated home, home theater, and media room. We had a chance to catch up with each winner after the CEDIA Celebration at the show to learn more about their winning projects.
BEST HOME THEATER Zene Private Theater, Beijing, China This Star Wars themed theater represented one of the most time-consuming projects that Zene Private Theater has ever done. The end result not only looked amazing, but more importantly, delivered an amazing audio and video experience. Max Li, CTO of Zene Private Theater said: “In this process, we learnt that good communication with each stakeholder is key to the success of the project. The interior designer came up with the innovative look for the room that he
didn’t want to change. We spent a lot of time helping him understand the importance of proper acoustical treatment and he did finally agree to change part of his design to meet our technical requirements.” Max added, “My team and I feel very honoured and thrilled to be given this award. There are so many good players competing and Asia is a relatively young market for home theater. We have learnt a lot from home theater experts in the CEDIA family. Without CEDIA, we could never have come this far.”
BEST INTEGRATED HOME Look & Listen, Queensland, Australia Keyless security and cameras, distributed audio and video, an HVAC system that automatically works with the home’s natural cooling, electronic shutters that detect rainfall and flood sensors all had to be integrated in a manner that preserved this home’s aesthetic. The size and complexity of the project and overall outstanding integration makes this a deserving global honouree.
Craig Samson, Managing Director of Look and Listen, said of winning: “The feeling is just so surreal; you have no idea! Every time I relay the turn of events, I still get goosebumps as it was so unexpected. For me, it is an amazing accomplishment as my lead installer and programmer is from the UK and he constantly laughs at the size of our industry in Australia and claims it is so small that we are not even an industry. So, to beat the US and UK markets is just incredible.”
BEST MEDIA ROOM Audio Images, Tustin, CA, USA Audio Images was tasked with converting a living room in a luxurious Tuscan-style southern California home to a dedicated listening room. The team designed and engineered an environment that could support and enhance the very sophisticated audiophile system, as well as movie studio-grade AV performance. The end result was a system that meets all the CEDIA, THX, Dolby Atmos, and SMPTE standards and doesn’t detract from the stunning view.
“Our client was a serious audiophile and tried to reach his dream of audio excellence on his own before ultimately reaching out to us. In this industry, we often cater to clients who want nice audio and video, but they don’t often have a frame of reference for high performance sound and picture. This client did, so it was a thrill to witness his amazement at the result,” said Mark Ontiveros, President of Audio Images.
A WINDOW INTO THE FUTURE
TECHNOLOGY PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 The CEDIA Technology Council is a group that attempts to make concrete predictions regarding what’s next in the smart home industry. Ed Wenck
Content Marketing Manager, CEDIA
The 17-member panel has made their predictions for 2020. Here, we focus on the (Mostly) Entertainment Edition.
Screens will be revolutionised in the near future as adaptable and movable surfaces for video appear. Suppose you had a screen in your home that simply adapted its physical shape to the aspect ratio of whatever you’re watching? Say goodbye to letterboxing forever. Additionally, television screens could also take the form of movable tiles. Tile TV 2.0 will be a screen that doesn’t fog up in the shower. As for audio, high-res immersive sound will become standard. Like 3D displays, by 2020, you’ll feel like you’re really IN the movie, no headset required. Immersive audio will also require fewer speakers. “Gone are the days where you really need seven surround sound speakers for 7.1 systems,” notes Tech Council member and industry expert, Julie Jacobson. Then, immersive personal audio will soon follow suit. Yep, headphones that create an illusion that sound is occurring at a point in a virtual sphere surrounding the user’s head is coming. All of this means we’ll see the resurgence of high performance audio and video. As Tech Council volunteer and owner of cyberManor, Gordon van Zuiden puts it, these devices will be able to “replicate what the artist or producer wanted.” The amount of streaming data for entertainment alone will ultimately render copper wire, ending its useful application. For those not streaming, physical media will be analogue only. (And you’ll see pricier vinyl for the purists.) Broadcasting will undergo a return to The Days of Live TV with the end of (most) free TV: linear TV will be reduced to news and sports. On-demand TV content producers have proven
that consumers will pay for content, and the big holdouts among the cord-cutters have been sports fans. That’s where the exceptions hit: Broadcast television will hang around for breaking news and realtime sporting events. That live TV feed will be everywhere, though: Intelligent glass will be used as a control interface, entertainment platform, comfort control, and communication screen. “What if all the glass that’s around you in the house could have some level of projection so that shower doors, windows, and mirrors could be practical interfaces?” asks Gordon. Additionally, all media and games will stream directly to smart displays which become apps on walls. Sending the kids chasing a virtual Pikachu all over the house sounds like a pretty good way to wear them out on a rainy day. Need more stimuli all around you? Check: Full-wall video with multi screens will appear in the home. Projection mapping will begin to appear on surfaces throughout the home, too. Think about a distortion-free plaid pattern surreptitiously projected onto a neutral-coloured couch. Sick of Tartan? Tap the app and make it blue denim. The IoT will stretch into other rooms of the home. In the garage, autonomous vehicles become more ubiquitous – that’s great, but how does it impact the CEDIA channel? Simple: All new cars will be internet connected. Meanwhile, user-programmable platforms based on interoperable systems will be the new control and integration paradigm. YOU: “Alexa, please find Casablanca on Apple TV and send it to my Android phone. And order a pizza.” IT (ACCURATELY): “Stuffed crust with pepperoni from Dominos?” (Oh, and: All that name checking we just did means that IoT platforms will retain their brand identity — but become interoperable.) Here comes the part of the discussion where contradictions come in: We will have the same level of interoperability as we do today. Julie points out that some providers are moving away from interoperability “so they can more tightly control the user experience and tech
all media and games will stream directly to smart displays which become apps on walls
support system. Comcast is a perfect example: they offer a small list of curated devices that they allow to interoperate with their system.” On the other hand, interoperability could become more complex, even when devices have the same logo. Dave Pedigo explains it: “Suppose you’ve got Wireless Protocol X. So theoretically, all Protocol X devices should work together; however, there are revision numbers, so Protocol X.1a works well with all Protocol X.1a-z devices, but the latest and greatest is Protocol X.2 is not backwards-compatible.” Always-on high-bandwidth connections will make everything virtualised and/or stored in the cloud. Goodbye, laptop memory, hello: Big data – which will continue to drive innovation at a pace never seen before (and therein lies a monetisation strategy for IoT devices). “Owning the data, analysing the data, and improving and innovating become the keys to corporate success – all empowered by a connected digital society.” – Mark Barrenechea, CEO, OpenText. As far as physical devices, Moore’s law (the doubling of transistors on a chip every two years) will come to an end and we’ll move on to the next paradigm. It appears that silicon chips can only keep shrinking for five more years. Collecting and connecting this amount of data and things has a con: The con? Everything that can be hacked will be hacked. The pro? We’ll have a seamless technology experience between devices and locations. A combination of gesture and voice recognition means we’ll see “No User Interface” replacing GUI and VUI (graphical and voice) everywhere we turn.
TAKE THE FINAL STEP Have you passed CEDIA’s ESC-T certification exam? If your answer is yes – great – step one is done. Step two - have you sat the ECS Health and Safety Assessment? If you can answer yes to this question, then great, you are making the most of your CEDIA membership. If your answer is no, then why not? By not completing this quick and simple assessment, you are missing the last step to gaining an ECS Home Technology Integrator card.
What is an ECS card?
tax refunds and van insurance.
Home technology professionals require access to construction sites on a regular basis, but can be prevented from entering the site if they do not hold valid identification documents. The ECS card is a simple and effective way to overcome this problem as it is the recognised ID and competence card scheme for anyone working in the electrotechnical field in the UK.
As an ECS Health and Safety assessment centre, CEDIA can help members qualify for the ECS card.
“We get asked to show our ECS cards on a regular basis” said Andy Kimberlee of Kimberlee Communicates. The ECS card is not only your passport for getting onto construction sites, it allows you to show your hard-earned credentials. It also presents many more benefits – CEDIA members with an ECS card are entitled to additional cost savings negotiated on cardholders’ behalf, including private health cover, public liability insurance,
How do I get an ECS card? CEDIA administers applications for the card on behalf of home technology professionals who have successfully completed the CEDIA ESC-T certification exam and passed the ECS health and safety assessment.
include questions which are not covered in the one-day course, therefore revision of the booklet is essential. An ECS Question and Answer Book is available to help candidates prepare for their ECS Health and Safety Assessment. This can be accessed via www.ecscard.org.uk
The one-day Health and Safety training course is designed to help home technology professionals understand the industry’s necessary site competency skills.
“Having completed the EST2 (now ESC-T) certification and appreciating the importance of health and safety, it seemed a logical step to attend the Health and Safety training course and apply for the ECS card” commented Jools Browning of Brownhen Solutions.
The ECS examination consists of 45 generic health and safety questions, which will be selected from a variety of 400. All questions will be randomly selected for each candidate, and cover all aspects of health and safety on site. This is controlled by the ECA and may
On successful completion of the exam, certified attendees will be eligible to apply for the ECS Home Technology Integrator card. So, what are you waiting for, take the two steps to that are needed to ensure you receive your own ECS card.
For more information, visit www.cediaeducation.com/courses/ecs-card
The Ultimate 4K, HDMI 2.0 & HDCP2.2 Pattern Generator & Analyser 4K HDR
3D HDMI2.0 HDCP2.2
As any experienced integrator will testify, the need to fully test AV installations is essential to ensure the highest possible system performance for the ultimate, trouble-free, end user experience. With the increase in 4K compatible products, having a trusted piece of test equipment which can interrogate both hardware and cable infrastructure is crucial to help troubleshoot and diagnose any potential signal issues, thus enabling an effective and efficient install process. Offering over a thousand different combinations of test scenarios, our new XA-4 Advanced HDMI Pattern Generator and Analyser offers 54 resolution settings, 47 test patterns and 6 analysis tests, making it the perfect test tool for any AV installation. With support for HDMI2.0, HDCP2.2, HDR and 4K timings including 4K@60Hz (YUV4:4:4) 8-bit for full 6G signals, this device has all of the latest technology and features packed inside. As well as supporting HDMI data packets, the XA-4 provides EDID and HDCP analysis, EDID emulation, audio test signal generation for up to eight channels, cable testing, and error logging capabilites.
The OLED screen allows for quick viewing of current status information. Control is via frontpanel buttons, IR, RS-232, and Telnet allowing users full flexibility in controlling the device. Our XA range of HDMI tools are an installerâ€™s best friend in any AV environment.
Other AV 4K
Switchers & Splitters
Scalers & Converters
DISCOVER OVER 350 ADVANCED AUDIO VISUAL SOLUTIONS AT
w w w.cypeurope.com
VOICE Voice control is taking the industry by storm, thanks to companies such as Amazon, Apple and Google launching products into this market space. This technology presents our industry with a great opportunity. CEDIA talks to five industry experts to find out their opinions on voice control technology.
Alex Capecelatro Josh.ai
Rob Sutherland Inspired Dwellings
Richard Sagar Sagar Solutions
Rayner Sheridan Meridian Audio
Mal Fisher AWE
How is voice control set to improve the connected home experience for homeowners? Alex In many ways, voice is the great equaliser in the home. It is natural, ageless, and efficient. My father struggles to use a computer and still carries a flip phone, but he understands effortlessly how to say “make it cooler” or “turn on the kitchen lights”. Voice control allows for a clean aesthetic in the home, void of complicated visual interfaces or touch pads. Voice control also enables fine-tuned control without any preconfigured setup, with examples such as “open the shades to 25% in the living room and play music like Chopin on the first floor.” When the experience is easy, powerful, and pervasive, the homeowner’s experience goes from frustrated to delighted. Rob I think that voice control will become a big part of the connected home. In the UK, we are naturally reserved and shy of saying “Alexa: House On/Off” or “Alexa: TV On / Off”. Eventually, the concept of speaking commands and talking to systems will become second nature and the home control experience will be improved immensely for the young and old.
Richard Voice control in the mid-tolong term will genuinely revolutionise how users interact with, not just their homes but, technology in general. While current technology offers low level integration, it provides a valuable platform from which to complete relatively simple commands such as “lights”, “music” and a Google style virtual search bar. The ‘always listening’ feature, included in Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, provides a much more natural base for engagement than traditional voice control methods that require the user to trigger the device by pressing a button. Rayner The improvement has already started if we look at the solutions that are on the market, although I think it’s fair to say we’re not there yet. You can certainly envisage that speech will become the universal interface of the home as the technology improves. This vastly opens up the user base from young kids to the elderly. However, at this stage, and depending upon the application, it may still be easier to use a switch than voice command. Mal Voice control is the next method for homeowners to interact with the building they live in. We’ve evolved through the remote control to the keypad to the tablet (and back again!). Using an Echo to control their lights won’t suit all customers, but it
gives installers another weapon in their arsenal in fighting the fear of technology. For some, it might break the barrier and bring new users to the world of a connected home.
What will be the most common applications? Alex Voice control shines at facilitating complicated, hard to reach, and onerous tasks. For example, choosing a specific song to play in the living room typically involves opening an app, selecting the group or device, selecting the service, and then typing a text command. Compare that to simply saying, “Play the song Ride in the Living Room.” If you want to go in the hot tub, you can simply say, “Warm up the hot tub,” without going outside and fidgeting with it directly. Remote access is another area where we see frequent use, often while driving or gone for extended periods of time. That being said, it’s hard to imagine an application that won’t make use of voice in the near future. Rob To start with, I think that voice control products will be used for simple commands such as “House On” or “TV On”, but as systems become more advanced, I think that our use of them will become more granular and high level commands will become second nature. My son has already discovered that he can use voice control systems to help him with his English homework for spelling! Richard Voice control will gradually supersede the majority of existing user interfaces for day-to-day home control. In a well-designed, connected home this will include light switches and thermostats, to handheld remotes and smart phones for TV and music. Having said this, there will still be a place for traditional interfaces for more tactile navigating like changing TV. Rayner One of the most common applications will be playing music and controlling heating, lighting and shades. For music, it’s so much easier to say
“Play Artic Monkeys” instead of opening an app, scrolling through the menu, typing in the name of the band and selecting the right option. Looking into the future, I believe that voice will be very useful for more complicated tasks and functions. For example, if you want to program your home to play music, draw the shades, set the temperature to 23°, and lock the doors every day at 8pm, you currently have to call your installer to program that manually for you. With voice, you can just easily say, “At 8pm every day I want to play music...” Anyone will be able to program their own home. The team at Josh.ai has developed a feature called “complex commands,” that allows you to string together multiple commands at once, to do this easily. Mal In the short term, this will be used to control music, heating and lighting, often with more DIY-type equipment. This is because these tasks require short and simple commands – “Turn on my music” or “Switch off the heating” for example. Installers need to capitalise on this and make it personal for their customer.
Voice control will gradually supersede the majority of existing user interfaces for day-to-day home control
If you visited CEDIA in Dallas, you couldn’t escape the proliferation of voice control. URC showed three examples of sub-system control, along with the ability to customise Echo’s answer. The command to “Turn on my home cinema” can elicit a reply of “Your home cinema is ready for you Mr / Mrs Homeowner”. As long as the manufacturers make simple and effective voice control systems, this will expand in the long term. Unlike most new technology which follows a trickle-down process (i.e. home automation becoming progressively more affordable), the intervention of major players such as Amazon and Google ensures that voice control will lead homeowners to enquire what more can be done with their smart systems. If it’s not simple and effective, it will go the same way as voice control in TVs and be quickly removed.
Where do you see voice control developing in the near and distant future? Alex Pervasive microphones in every room are still not a reality. We believe that this will enable truly ubiquitous voice control throughout the home. At Josh.ai, we’re currently working on speaker detection technology so you can provide privileges based on who’s speaking. A multitude of sensors will enable more contextual aware commands. We’re also going beyond voice control with a full home AI capable of learning and understanding the environment. We
believe it’s this combination of voice with sensory awareness that will truly transform the home. Rob I believe the next step will be when systems are capable of learning new commands without having to programme them. There is a very exciting future ahead for voice control. This will happen even quicker if the big players, such as Google, Amazon and Apple push as hard as they say. At CEDIA 2016, Amazon’s keynote mentioned that it has $5billion to spend on voice control/command devices and technology. Richard In the short term, voice control will continue to act as an organic interface with modern technology, offering a variety of basic tasks, becoming more integrated and complex as users’ reliance on the technology increases. In the mid-term, manufacturers and developers will inevitably respond to the demand with more functionality and integration, increasing the amount of everyday voice control products such as boiling the kettle or setting the oven. As the technology becomes more widespread, the exponential amount of data provided should hopefully accelerate the development of more complex reasoning platforms, driving an increasingly dynamic end user experience. The longer term is harder to call. The optimist foresees a personal assistant in the style of Ironman’s Jarvis, however this represents a paradigm shift in artificial intelligence as a whole, not just voice control, which we are currently a long way from achieving.
Rayner There is currently a bit of disconnect with the majority of voice control solutions. You either have to spend thousands on a custom integrated system to connect them together, or you need to have 20 different apps to manage them. I think the pace of development will be rapid, especially when you consider the organisations now committed to developing solutions. Long term, we see voice being combined with other natural interfaces (gesture recognition, facial recognition) to provide a seamless intuitive and natural experience. Mal First, if it doesn’t provide a simple UI, it will develop more slowly
As voice control develops further, I believe that we will see it be adopted into the assisted living and ageing markets
than planned. Anyone burnt by a bad experience with Echo is not going to rush out to get Google Home. While driving, I don’t get road rage, but I’ve suffered from a bad case of Siri-rage on many occasions. As voice control develops further, I believe that we will see it be adopted into the assisted living and ageing markets. If installed in these environments, the technology can make a substantial lifestyle difference to the occupant. For most homeowners, it will be a quirky luxury that allows them to quickly and easily turn on their music. However, for these markets, it becomes a useful and beneficial tool. For elderly and disabled people who aren’t able to get up to switch the lights off or turn the heating on, the simple command of “Heating on” from where they are sitting will make a great difference to them. I think this is a really exciting prospect and with appropriate training, it’s a natural evolution for our industry.
What are the most important facts installers need to communicate to clients about voice control? Alex This is an ever changing landscape with technology improvements happening frequently. It’s important to communicate the fact that some voice solutions offer features that others don’t, and all the major platforms are advancing and becoming simpler. It’s also important to understand that voice control today doesn’t necessarily integrate with every product a homeowner might have, but that too is quickly changing. There is also a major focus on English speaking households. While we expect this to change in the coming months, voice control for non-English speaking homes isn’t yet at the same level. Lastly, I would communicate the fact that voice is impressive, and it’s getting more and more natural, but it’s still nothing like communicating with a human and it’s important to set expectations properly. Rob At the moment, we are looking at a very simple integration between different systems, but there is also a far more complex level of programming that will make our custom commands simple to use. In order to benefit from more complex programming, clients will need to install more comprehensive networks and high speed internet connections, as the processing and software for these
the systems will respond to anybody who presents the right command, so it would seem sensible to limit commands to those devices within the home. You could, for instance, have a microphone by your front door, but this would make no sense from a security point of view.
systems is mostly cloud-based. As a new technology, homeowners will need to get used to and confident with using the technology. It is important for installers to understand the homeowner’s expectations and requirements. Richard Voice control will be an incredibly powerful tool, but without the correct supporting infrastructure, clients may be disappointed with its potential shortcomings. To maximise the benefits of voice control, it is important to have a well-designed home automation system that is flexible enough to be easily integrated into future voice control platforms. It’s key to encourage clients to engage with the technology as much as possible, they will quickly wonder how they ever lived without it! Rayner Quite simply that not all voice applications are the same. Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are broader in their approach and have been developed with other applications which mean that they are capable of commands such as ordering a pizza, but they haven’t been developed with home automation/control solely in mind. Josh.ai’s application is different as it has been developed and built to focus solely on home control. This means that every command that is given is linked to home control, meaning that it’s more accurate and more flexible for home automation. Mal Clients need to understand that this isn’t a single control technology to replace other platforms. For maximum efficiency, it should work alongside other parts of an integrated system - tablets, touch panels, remotes and simple switches, as a complementary control solution. There are practical considerations too – the homeowner may not realise
that cloud-based systems need a reliable internet connection to perform fully. If they live in an area with poor broadband speed, it might not be the best solution for them. No one wants to walk into a room, ask the voice control system to turn on the lights, and have to wait 5-10 seconds for it to perform the action.
Is voice recognition technology prone to security threats? How can installers ensure client data protection when using voice control? Alex It is often said, if a system can be hacked, it will be hacked. However, I don’t believe voice technology is inherently any more vulnerable than your email or social media. In the case of stationary microphones in the home, there’s always the threat of the audio feed being hacked and listened to, but a close watch of your network traffic will reveal if that’s the case. In many ways, this issue is similar to that of security cameras, a threat we don’t often see present itself. Unless you’re specifically being targeted by a world-class hacker, voice technology is no more insecure than the already ubiquitous network controlled devices in your home. Build a robust network, make sure the traffic is monitored, and security threats will be at a minimum. Rob It would seem that there are a number of potential threats, but I think that these are related to the limitations of the current technology. There is no “login” at the moment and
Richard I don’t believe voice control currently has any inherent security threats, mainly due to the low level interface available. As the technology becomes more feature rich, with higher level integrations, biometrics should begin to play an important role in protecting the users’ data and information, while also contributing to a much more personalised, natural experience. As a cloud-based system, there will likely be reticence to the thought of relinquishing too much personal data and control to major tech companies, which may serve as a security concern for some potential users. As always, the key to protecting client’s data is a well-considered and robust network security protocols, with adequate hardware and software in place. Rayner Until the technology advances to identify the speaker, there will be a security issue for microphones that are always listening in the home as anyone is able to issue commands. Installers should be mindful of these sorts of challenges. One option to overcome this is to use an authenticated decide for the voice input, such as a phone, instead of using microphones around the home. In this case, the user will have to take out the phone, unlock it, and touch a button to speak. Although this can be cumbersome to do and takes away the convenience of just being able to speak out, it is an option for those users who are sensitive to privacy and security. Mal Yes, unfortunately, this technology could be prone to security threats. You would hope that with the security protocols that companies such as Amazon and Google have, that this would not be the case, but there are no guarantees. Installers will want to consider their own terms and conditions with these products. Also, it is important for installers to consider what systems they are attaching to this technology. While it is great for certain elements within the home, others should be avoided. For example, linking locks and alarms to the system could result in security issues. Imagine the follow-up conversation with your customer after a potential burglar shouts “Alexa, unlock the door” through a window.
ARE YOU READY FOR A GOOGLE HOME INVASION? Google Home may be late to the AI party, but that could be a smart move, suggests Steve May. Amazon may have kick-started the smart home voice control market, but it’s not going to have the last word. The recent reveal by search giant, Google of a rival control platform, Google Home, shows that artificial intelligence is going to become a CE staple over the next few years. From a custom install viewpoint, the timing of such systems couldn’t be better. Consumers already have an ongoing relationship with Siri, and to a lesser extent, Cortana, on their portable devices, while IoT devices are fast becoming commonplace. The massive cloud-based infrastructure required to enable these devices is already up and running. Explaining the benefits of next generation smart home control to clients has never been easier.
So what is Google Home and how does it compare with the Amazon Echo? Ostensibly, both devices are very similar. At launch, Google is playing catch-up with the Amazon Echo, and there are plenty of similarities between the two propositions. Like Echo, the Home device is a network and Bluetooth enabled speaker with voice control and smart functionality. As a casual sound system, it looks decent enough, and cosmetically it’s interiors-friendly (apparently designers were inspired by candles and wine bottles). Rather than settle for a Pringle-shaped black or white plastic tube, Google Home has an interchangeable base. There are six different
finishes available, both fabric and metal – allowing owners to swap their base to match their décor. There are no buttons on the unit per se, just a touch sensitive interface offering limited hands-on control. Two far-field microphones constantly listen for voice commands. The gadget will offer “best in class voice recognition” insists Google and have access to the world’s most comprehensive information database. Questions which routinely stump Alexa should prove no problem. What’s more, the Google Assistant will be able to answer follow-up questions, something currently beyond Alexa, making it much more of a conversationalist. Beyond that, everyday functionality seems comparable to the Echo. Users can ask about upcoming events, weather information, traffic updates and the like. It performs trivia party tricks and news updates. Google Home will also stream music from the cloud - supported services include Spotify, Pandora, YouTube Music, Google Play Music and TuneIn. Alternatively, owners can cast tunes from a smartphone or tablet. The device is already compatible with more than 100 Chromecast enabled apps. On the debit side, it appears to lack the faux intimacy offered by the Echo. The default wake-up word is ‘OK Google’, rather than the more personable ‘Alexa’. One of the joys of the Amazon device is the perceived personality which resides in the cloud.
But look further down the road and the long game for Google Home begins to look rather different to that of the Amazon Echo, and also to Apple for that matter. It’s clear that Google already envisages Home as part of a much larger, smarter technology landscape. The device natively supports Google Cast. This is hugely significant, and immediately gives the Home device a significant edge over its Amazon rival. Google Cast has been widely adopted by CE companies for multiroom music streaming. LG and Sony are just two mainstream brands which have built Google Cast support into speakers, soundbars and Blu-ray players. A device which can at a spoken command stream music to all connected speakers around the house has obvious consumer appeal – could Google Home be a legitimate challenger to SONOS in the whole-home music system market? And there’s more to come. CEDIA Communicates has it on good authority that a number of high-end audio specialists will be announcing Google Cast integrated into separates during 2017. Google Home with Google Cast could also be used to voice control video playback. It’s not unreasonable to expect integration with the Android TV operating system (used by Sony and Philips) as well as services such as YouTube. And it’s a given that there will be native support for Google-owned Nest products, alongside a host of smart home functionality as the API is made available to the development community. At present, there’s no launch for Google Home outside the States, where it retails for $129. When we asked Alexa when Google Home was arriving in Europe, she played uncharacteristically dumb.
TOUCH SMARTER With backlit touch panel controls and an all-aluminum design, the new MHUB 4KPRO is the ﬁrst HDA multiroom system to feature an onboard IP gateway for generating IR commands. IP2IR-GENTM technology enables the control of sources and displays via the free uControl App or via MHUB 4KPRO’s API. In a world of emerging home automation options, such as apps, universal remotes and voice control, the possibilities are endless with an MHUB 4KPRO.
M H U b 4 K PRO
How they did it:
Two New Zealand-based CEDIA members embarked on a residential project together which resulted in them winning two CEDIA Awards this year.
THE LODGE This New Zealand project — a job that spanned six years — morphed considerably over time. The vision for the build was a private residence that was as luxuriously-appointed as one of the world’s “super-yachts,” but later it became a commercial lodge catering to guests with high-end tastes. Auckland-based installers, ABL Group and Liquid Automation, were literally involved at the ground floor — under it, in fact. Working with the electrical contractor, the team designed an underground network of ducts and pulling pits with extra cabling to accommodate future growth. Because the build was slated to take more than half a decade (partially due to the remote location of the
property), care was taken to create a flexible system that could adapt to emerging technologies. A fibre IP network and a wireless Ruckus network helped in that regard.
User interfaces also had to be profoundly intuitive - after all, they’d be handled by an ever-changing number of guests and not a single homeowner. The controls for the staff also had to be user-friendly (cutting training time for newbies) while powerful enough to control any part of the system. A Lutron Homework QS system controls 360 lighting circuits and a TriplePlay IPTV system was installed, although the extra cabling will easily allow the video system to upgrade to 4K in the future. The network is monitored by Ihiji and
the integration includes an on-site generator, as the lodge is so far off the beaten path that power outages are a regular occurrence. One of the biggest challenges? “The change in technology over those six years was daunting,” said Sam Ashton of Liquid Automation.
This project won Best Special Project and Best Documentation in the CEDIA Awards. Jason Bridger of ABL and Sam Ashton of Liquid Automation shared the awards, which they received at CEDIA 2016 in Dallas.
Allied Telesis network gear Aminet A140 Amino A140 IP STB APC racks Apple Airport Express AppleTV Apple iPads Atlona Transmitter and receivers Atlona AT-HDRX HDMI receiver B&W speakers Bose DS100SEW FreeSpaceÂŽ surface mount speakers Crestron touchscreens and control systems Crown DCI-8/300N Drivercore Install Series Blu-link amplifiers Crown DCI-8/300W/CH DCI Drive Core Network 8CH Dell TZ400 Sonicwalls Gefen digital to analogue audio converters HP ML350 HP server Ihiji remote monitoring system Ikusi IFRD-400 Optical receivers Ikusi IFTD-420 Optical transmitters Lutron interfaces, processors, and dimmers Marantz SR7008 AV receivers Marantz SR7007 AV receiver Netgear GS724TPS edge switches 2 Oppo BDP-103AU Blu-ray players Panasonic Smart TVs Panasonic IP phones 2 Qnap NASQNP4514 NAS server Ruckus controllers and access points Sonance speakers Sonos SON-CONNECT media players Sound web processors Terra speakers Terra amps
CONNECTIONS YOU NEED
Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2017 returns to RAI Amsterdam on 7-10 February 2017. The 14th edition of the world’s largest AV and systems integration show promises to build on the momentum that the event has grown over the last decade to deliver an AV technology showcase like no other. For the 2017 edition of the show, taking place at the award-winning RAI Amsterdam conference and exhibition centre, improvements will ensure that ISE 2017 is the biggest and best so far. The most obvious example of this is the addition of a new hall (Hall 9) and the reorganisation of the show floor layout to make sure that it maximises the attendee experience. These changes mean an increase in exhibitors and exhibitor space, and an expected increase in visitors across the show’s four days. “ISE 2017 is set to be another ground-breaking year for the show. We’re unveiling an updated show floor, which will allow the show to
grow without compromising the quality of the experience we offer both visitors and exhibitors,” explained Integrated Systems Events’ Managing Director, Mike Blackman. “By giving even more across the four show days, we’re sure that everyone involved will have an extremely productive ISE.” ISE 2016 drew a record number of registered attendees (over 65,000) who flocked to see the products, services and solutions being presented by over 1,100 of the world’s leading AV equipment manufacturers and service companies.
An undoubted highlight of the 2017 show will be the Friday Closing Keynote speech. ISE’s organiser has confirmed that Daniel Lamarre, the President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, will present the show’s Closing Keynote speech on Friday 10 February 2017. For over 30 years, Cirque du Soleil has been at the cutting edge of live entertainment creation and production with shows such as Varekai, Amaluna, TORUK - The First Flight, inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar, The Beatles LOVE and Michael Jackson ONE combining stunning acrobatics, theatrics, visuals and music. Cirque du Soleil has consistently shown how creative expression can benefit from the adoption of the latest audiovisual technologies when used to enhance and complement a show’s key storylines. Today, the company operates across five continents and is the world’s largest theatrical production company.
EDUCATION AT ISE CEDIA brings a varied and extensive education programme to ISE 2017. Attendees will be able to access more than 30 high quality training sessions over the four days of the event, on a vast range of technology and business topics with “all you can eat” passes available for pre-booking at an early bird discounted rate, available until 15th January 2017. From a technology perspective, courses will cover future innovations heading our way, led by CEDIA’s VP of Emerging Technologies, Dave Pedigo. CEDIA will provide a full day Rack-Building session, a full day Home Cinema Design course, and an Advanced Networking course. During the show, there will be sessions on Technology Integration for SuperYachts, Remote Management, Re-occurring Revenues, Immersive Sound, Design Thinking and much, much more. Renowned business expert, Leslie Shiner, will also be
presenting sessions at the show for the first time: These include: Warning! Avoid these 10 Simple Things that Can Put You Out of Business; Understanding Labour, Cost, Productivity and Efficiency and a Work Smarter, Not Harder Workshop for business owners. Whatever the skill-set you wish to develop, the CEDIA ISE Training Programme will have relevance for you. It’s full of content, packed with important information for businesses keen to succeed and delivered by excellent, very knowledgeable presenters. In addition, attendees can join free CEDIA Talks, a series of 20 minute TED-style sessions, hosted on the CEDIA booth every day of the show. Here, thought leaders in the industry will take a look at a huge range of issues facing the industry today. For more information and to book your place on training visit www.iseurope.org.
Experience the latest smart building products, technologies and solutions ISE is at the cutting-edge of smart building and home automation technologies
Integrated Systems Europe 2017 introduces a new smart building hall and showfloor theatre dedicated to smart building, building control technology and solutions. This exhibition floor space is applicable to both commercial and residential installations.
Find out more: www.iseurope.org
Integrated Systems Events A joint venture partnership of
u need. Al the connections yo
Need Insurance? Sure thing. Why you need a smart home insurance cover and what should it include? Malcolm Richards, Director of Veresure provides the answers.
The trend of having smart technology installed in the home is continuing to develop. Currently, 41% of UK homeowners have some form of connected technology installed in their home. Research by Frost & Sullivan: The Future of Smart & Connected Homes: Key Trends in Customer Attitudes 2015 shows that by 2020 there will be 10 connected devices for every household. With the demand for home technology on the up, so is the need for home technology professionals. This is great news for the industry, but what it does highlight, is that there is a need for dedicated smart home insurance cover.
THE ISSUE In what is a rapidly maturing industry, with a growing number of home technology professionals, there is a need for the provision of specific smart technology protection, delivered by knowledgeable and FCA regulated service providers that establish the right level of support for both home technology professionals and clients alike. When a claim is made under a home insurance policy, it is up to the insurer to determine whether the items are covered before either paying out to the value of the item, or in some cases, a reduced cost if there is fair wear and tear. It can come as quite a shock to the client when they are left having to pay additional, often significant, costs to put themselves back into the position they were in prior to their incident. In the past, when there was a fault with a product or installation, the home technology professional had to return to the project to fix the problem, but they weren’t always guaranteed to be paid for this. As with any product, occasionally things go wrong, and it isn’t the fault of the installer, yet they are responsible for it. For this reason, it is important for home technology professionals to have some form of protection against the cost of correcting faults, so that they aren’t spending time on projects without getting paid.
THE SOLUTION The solution is a policy provider that offers a dedicated smart insurance cover that is targeted at home technology professionals. Ultimately, the cover needs to protect the whole automation system, including the products, devices, cabling and installation. This will mean that the work the installer will have to do to fix a fault is always covered. I would suggest looking for a policy that offers three packages: • Parts/devices only • Parts/devices, including installation costs • Cover for selected items only i.e. 3 key pieces of kit This type of policy will ensure that the home technology professional gets paid for time spent on repairs/ replacement. Veresure is a new, exciting and innovative insurance provider of custom policy protection for the smart automation industry. Working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the company was founded at the beginning of 2016 as a direct result of not being able to find an insurer, or warranty provider who had a solution for the automation market, nor who understood the intricacies and design of smart residential automation. No provider was able to offer protection for whole or part home automation covering installation and programming as a standard part of the policy’s cover. Our background as home technology professionals gives us a greater and broader understanding of the automated market, as well as the complexities of automation and what this actually means to the client.
Bio Adaptive Lighting
Humans have evolved for tens of thousands of years with the daily cycle of a rising and setting sun mostly responsible for setting their internal circadian rhythm. But now, we spend most of our time indoors, where light is unnatural and doesn’t represent the lighting that our bodies are used to. So, what can technology do to replicate outdoor colour temperature in a way that makes people more energised when they need to be, but also sleepy when it’s time for bed?
by Peter Aylett Technical Director at Archimedia
The answer - bio-adaptive lighting. The background Decades of research into lighting has revealed a great deal about how light affects humans. From sleep habits to productivity a lack of correctly timed, type and strength of light can be detrimental. It is proven that late evening light exposure to certain wavelengths delays the circadian rhythm, resulting in later sleep and wake times, while early morning light exposure advances the circadian rhythm, resulting in earlier sleep and wake times.
Why is this important to us? Lighting is an important part to our jobs, as residential projects – whether a whole home installation, or single room setting – requires a certain level of lighting. However, unlike the quality process that we go through when considering audio and video equipment and programming, doesn’t seem to transition into lighting design. We look at which lamps we are going to use and consider creating different lighting scenes with different brightnesses, but we don’t consider the quality as well as quantity of light in our designs. For example, did you know that blue light between 475 and 525nm wavelength is beneficial for dealing with emotional challenges and moods, and while most people receive enough blue light in the summer due to sunlight, they receive much less in the winter? Therefore, to combat the lack of blue light in the winter, researchers suggest adding blue light to indoor environments. Similarly, did you know that the elderly’s sleep and wake cycles are hard to maintain if they are not exposed to daylight early in the day and sleep in a dark room at night? The principle of bio-adaptive lighting is to balance artificial and natural light in a way that is controlled to match the needs of human circadian rhythms in the most effective and
appropriate way for a building and its users. This means that before you begin working on the lighting design, you need to fully understand who your client is and what their requirements are.
How do we implement bio-adaptive lighting into our projects? There are three parts to implementing a bio-adaptive lighting system - software, hardware control and luminaire. Software – The nature of bio-adaptive lighting is that the colour temperature of artificial light sources is being constantly managed and potentially changed by a software-driven system. These can operate either by fixed programming of via daylight tracking. Hardware Control – Bio-adaptive lighting is being made possible by an abundance of sophisticated LEDs. To change colour temperature, multiple light sources need to be mixed within a single fitting. The Luminaire – Apart from connected luminaires, most light fittings have no active electronics built into them. An LED (or a set, or array of red, green and blue LEDs) needs a driver which will then be controlled with a suitable protocol. Though outwardly simple, the world of light, light quality, and how it affects humans is incredibly complex. Though in its infancy, systems are now available that can deliver bio-adaptive lighting into almost any space. Over the next few years, these systems will mature and become largely standard. For the moment, however, we are early on in the growth of these technologies coming together, which means that they need expert design, installation and configuration to become a reality. This is a big opportunity that can be leveraged by suitably skilled CEDIA members. CEDIA has recently released a white paper on Bio-Adaptive Lighting. To download this document, visit www.cedia.co.uk/white-papers
light & sha ENLIGHTEN YOUR CLIENTS Light and shading control is a beacon of 21st century home technology. Offering clients more than just on / off control, CEDIA looks at the latest products that help create the optimum balance of natural and artificial lighting and the right ambience at the touch of a button.
Loxone The Loxone Miniserver processes the logic for shading and lighting control. The Miniserver intelligently automates blinds and lights based on the time of day, room function, weather conditions, light levels and more.
Should a room become too cold, the Miniserver will decide whether to open the blinds to harness the natural warmth of the sun, or to turn the heating on. This logic is also applied to lighting control; the Miniserver turns the lights on after dusk once the blinds have closed to give its occupants privacy. If you get up in the night, dimmed lighting in the bathroom ensures other family members are not disturbed. Should you go on holiday, the Miniserver can switch lights on and off and raise and lower blinds to make it appear as though someone is at home.
QMotion UK QiS is a ZigBee operated two-way wireless control solution for a range of motorised roller shades. This breakthrough development allows installers to integrate blind control seamlessly into a whole house or single room automation system, whilst simultaneously enabling accurate feedback on shade positioning for improved performance, remote monitoring and maintenance.
Ultimately, the Loxone Miniserver acts like an autopilot - managing your lighting, blinds, heating, security and more.
QiS utilises ZigBee HA 1.2 to integrate natively with all compatible devices in a Control4 home automation system. Drivers are available for easy integration with Vantage, Crestron, Savant, URC, RTI and other popular control platforms via a compact QMotion Qube integration device. Each Qube can support up to 32 blinds or up to 60 blinds when used with a QMotion Range Extender on larger installations. Stand-alone control is also provided from tablets and mobile devices via QMotion IoS or Android apps.
Using KNX and the Theben MIX series, you can control lighting and blinds on the same system and on the same device. This makes panel wiring simple and allows installers to configure actuators to meet the requirements of the project, reducing the number of costly spare channels. With the flexibility to choose from 230VAC or 24VDC blind control modules and a dimmer that can dim up to 400W of LEDs, project specification is simple.
QMotionâ€™s patented technology also allows homeowners to operate the blinds by hand, without damaging the automated mechanism.
If you are looking for automatic control of the blinds based on the suns position, then the above can be linked with the Theben range of weather stations. These have all the integrated logic to control the blinds and can even factor in shadows created by trees or buildings.
Theben (Available via Ivory Egg) Controlling lighting and blinds together can often involve multiple actuators or interfacing between different systems and protocols, which can increase the complexity and cost of projects.
de control Control4 Get started with smart lighting in just one room, or brighten up the entire house.
Philips Dynalite (Available via AWE) The Philips Dynalite Antumbra Display is described as a stylish and easy to use lighting control keypad. With a sensor-rich display, including discrete backlit buttons and a clear central LCD display, it presents multiple pages of functions and system information in one wall panel. The keypad means that wall acne is reduced to a single item for control, incorporating the ability to integrate and control lighting, as well as heating, AV and window treatment. Via field effects technology, the panel automatically detects a person’s presence by their body’s own magnetic field, waking up the control panel with the wall-wash effect that Antumbra has become known for. An internal light sensor will ensure the light in an environment is adjusted to the appropriate level. When the user moves away, the lighting will fade appropriately. The panel also responds to a user’s selection with audio feedback. A built-in temperature sensor automatically measures the local ambient temperature and can adjust the HVAC when integrated into the network system. Each button is completely configurable through the Philips Dynalite Envision Project commissioning software, to perform a vast range of functions, including lighting, HVAC and blind control. .
The Control4® Square Wireless Configurable Keypad, C4-SKC-N, provides a stunning interface for any Control4 smart home, combining flexible button configurations with beautiful colours and finishes. Customisable, backlit engraved buttons allow for quick control of favourite scenes. Buttons can be configured using five different button sizes for a total of 38 possible configurations and can be reconfigured whenever a change is needed or desired. LEDs provide quick visibility to which lights or scenes are currently activated. The bottom button can be designated as up and down volume controls. Mix-and-match engraved buttons with sleek, screw less faceplates in 12 stylish colors and finishes. Motion sensors provide hands-free illumination and automatically turn off lights when no one is in the room. The home can even alternate lights to appear occupied while you’re away.
Rako Controls Ltd Rako’s quest to improve the ease of integrating a lighting control system into a home continues with the introduction of the RCI-4L and RCI-7M interface units. For projects and applications where a standard Rako wired or wireless switch is not suitable, the two modules allow users to select their preferred switch style, such as ‘dolly’ switches for historic buildings or more conventional light switches and integrate them into a full Rako system. The modules can accept inputs from either latching (RCI-4L) or momentary (RCI-7M) switches meaning that virtually any switch can be used. Both modules are battery powered, eliminating the need for cabling and are designed to fit in a standard UK back-box behind the switch plate. Programming is achieved with Rasoft Pro software and the RAMPI programming interface using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Inputs can be mapped to select scenes or control individual channels. For wired systems, the existing WCM-D interface provides the same functionality.
COMMUNICATES PRODUCT FOCUS
light & shade control
Basalte Sentido, by the Belgian company, Basalte, is an innovative, touchsensitive light switch that integrates with smart home systems. Sentido combines high-tech features with a minimalist, yet elegant design. The entire surface of the switch is touch-sensitive, which creates a unique user experience. Lights, shades and scenes can be controlled at the slightest touch. The switch is made of high-grade metals and was recently released in four new finishes: the sophisticated gunmetal, the classic bronze, the sparkling rosĂŠ finish and the soft copper finish.
The award-winning Leviton Omni-Bus DIN Rail Lighting Control creates a robust system for controlling lighting and window coverings. The Omni-Bus network runs on a low supply voltage (24VDC), where all modules of the system are connected using CAT 6 UTP. Power modules feed power to switches (dimming and nondimming), and each switch (wired or wireless) connects to a DIN rail module acting as a relay or dimmer. Utilising a Leviton control system like Omni security or BitWise AV, advanced scheduling is available to turn the lighting on every morning or off every night at preset times for convenience. Alternatively for manual control, users can use a touchscreen or mobile device to raise or lower shades and brighten or dim lights from anywhere in the world. Leviton Omni-Bus lighting control offers brand new enclosures, powerful control modules, and custom wall station interfaces for a complete solution to meet every customer desire.
Lutron Lutron lighting and blind control systems can be customised to the size of any home, budget or functionality and can be managed via wired or wireless control. Lutronâ€™s system for residential households, HomeWorks QS, provides essential control of its most logical lifestyle components: electric light, daylight, and temperature. The Lutron Palladiom keypad allows architects, designers and building owners to elevate the user experience with sleek and intuitive design. Equipped with large and easyto-use buttons, these keypads offer tactile feedback and dynamic backlighting based on ambient light levels to enhance user comfort and maintain readability. Buttons and faceplates are flush to each other and feature consistent material, creating a clean, minimalist look, while the wide range of finishes and colours available provides aesthetic options for every project and price point.
Vantage (Available via Habitech) The Vantage Equinox 41 is an elegant high-bright LCD on-wall touchscreen for the versatile Vantage lighting control system. Incorporating all types of control, including phase dimming, switching, 0-10v dimming, DALI and DMX, Vantage offers the installer a way to create simple interfaces, which streamline system design, installation and programming. With the effortless utility of swipe/touch navigation through the implementation of pre-defined application ‘widgets’, the Vantage interface offers easy control of lighting, as well as synergy with shades by QMotion. A unique profiles feature offers users the ability to personalise their experience, allowing them to schedule, edit, and prioritise the functions that matter most to them. Extremely versatile and user-friendly for installers and clients alike, the Vantage Equinox 41 touchscreen is a beautifully designed interface for a lighting system.
For those looking to get into lighting control, CEDIA offers an ideal two-day course – Lighting Design Package. Lighting control can be a profitable area for home technology professionals. However, systems need to be designed, installed and documented correctly for long-term reliability. Recognising the importance and increased market demand for lighting design and energy conserving solutions, CEDIA offers this two-day Lighting Design Package to help installers provide the best application of lighting to clients.
DAY ONE Introduction to Lighting Fundamentals
Premier Blinds and Awnings The Roof Zip Blind is a motorised fabric blind that glides across any window at the touch of a button. Available in translucent or blackout fabrics, the solution can provide either a soft lighting filter or a full blackout effect. The Roof Zip Blind is suitable to be fitted at any angle, including roof lanterns. The seamless installation and taut fabric provides a clean and professional look for any environment. With over a decade of development and installations in some of the most challenging situations, you can be assured of the performance of a Roof Zip Blind.
Takes students through the theory of lighting and the science behind the ‘art’ of lighting before moving onto more practical sessions. In accordance with current electrical standards, attendees will test different dimming control types, including resistive dimming, LED, DALI and DMX.
DAY TWO Residential Lighting Control Provides a more in-depth understanding of lighting. The session focusses on the practical applications of lighting control in the residential market, including common pitfalls to avoid, different types of dimming available and regulation and safety standards BS7671 and Part L compliance. Using hands-on sessions, attendees leave this course with a strong understanding of the complete technical solution for lighting control systems.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.CEDIAEDUCATION.COM/COURSES
TRAINING & EVENTS CALENDAR Nov 2
CEDIA Outreach Instructor
CEDIA Tech Forum & AGM
Health & Safety Course
Essential Technical and Professional Skills for Installers
Audio, Video and RF Systems for Installers
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
Cables, Connectivity and Structured Wiring Workshop CEDIA HQ, St Neots
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
Rack Building and Wiring Fundamentals
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
ESC-T Certification Exam
Advanced Residential Networking
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
Wireless Residential Networking
Home Cinema Design Package
CEDIA Outreach Instructor
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
Pulse Cinemas, Stansted
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
CEDIA Accredited Presenter
ESC-D Certification Exam
ESC-N Certification Exam
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
Introduction to CAD
Introduction to Smart Home Technology
Home Cinema Design Workshop
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
CEDIA HQ, St Neots
Book training at www.cediaeducation.com/courses
EXPERIENCE After successfully running the home technology solutions business for 9 years from its Mumbai HQ and having more than 100 esteemed clients across the country, Trescent Lifestyles has now expanded its business by opening an electronic lifestyle showroom in the capital of India. The new showroom comprises a music lounge and a state-of-the-art private cinema, along with office space for the Delhi team. The Trescent Lifestyles team collaborated with Celebrity Designer, Gauri Khan on this new showroom.
The Music Lounge The Music Lounge is very inviting, featuring a beautiful fireplace, the latest collection of acoustic wall panelling by NappaTile and a stunning rose-gold bar where visitors can sip their favourite drink. Trescent Lifestyles invites customers to come and listen to a wide selection of music stored in the Kaleidescape Premier Line Media Server or to play any song they like through popular music streaming services such as Spotify or Sonos. The room is equipped with Steinway Lyngdorf’s Flagship Sound System–Model D, designed to perfectly recreate a live performance in any room and India’s very first Sony Ultra Short Throw Laser 4K Projector, which turns the lounge wall into a life-size window to another world. The Steinway Lyngdorf Model D is one of the most exquisite audio experiences in the world. This flagship masterpiece is designed for an audio aficionado. Combining state-of-the-art innovations in sound reproduction with finely-crafted aesthetics, the Model D is the first— and best—system of its kind. The award-winning Sony VPLGTZ1 allows visitors to immerse themselves in a gorgeous 4K image, four simultaneous HD images, or edge-blend several projectors to create a seamless virtual environment. With a throw of just zero to seven inches, project a 66” to 147” diagonal picture using floor, ceiling or rear projection— and get up close without blocking the light cone.
The Private Cinema The Private Cinema is a result of astute planning and technical design. This high performance room is a dream-come-true for any movie lover. Packed with the latest movie watching technologies, including 4K projection through Sony’s Professional Series SRX-510p Projector, Sony D-Cinema Server to playback DCP Movies in 2K and 4K, 3D Surround Sound and custommade luxury seating designed by Trescent Lifestyles, the company promises to “knock your socks off” with this one of a kind room!
The room is a master-piece, designed by Harshul Parikh, CEO & MD and Trescent Lifestyles, who now launches his Collaborative program for home cinema and entertainment room design. Harshul is a design aficionado who is inspired by the great creations of Zaha Hadid, Dilip Chabbria and even first-class aircraft cabin design. With the Private Cinema, his intent was to create a design synonymous to Delhi’s opulent lifestyle and the desire of luxury homeowners to have a stateof-the-art entertainment space at home. To top everything off, he designed a customised DMX lighting system, which includes the capability of having a laser-show and C02 jets firing to create a unique experience. When asked about this, Harshul said: “Why not bring the Tomorrowland festival experience to your home! You can play 4K video effects on your big screen, mix your favourite music and create a whole new lighting experience with your best friends around. I believe in embedding the latest technologies used in different industries - from aircrafts to music festivals - all simplified by us to use with a touch of a button!” The cinema is equipped with motorised lounge seats, also designed by Harshul. In 2016, he plans to launch custom made seating for entertainment rooms and home cinemas, which includes unique features such as champagne chillers, service call buttons to summon the butler for more popcorn and other trendsetting features. Trescent Lifestyles invites customers to come and watch their favourite movie or experience a concert they’ve never been able to go to in this immersive environment.
Equipment List: Music Lounge: • Steinway Lyngdorf Model D Sound System • Kaleidescape M300 Player • Sony GTZ-1 Short Throw Laser 4K Projector & 4K Media Player • Screen Innovations Short Throw Screen • Sonos Connect • Apple TV • BlueSound Node2 • Definitive Technologies W-Adapt • Control4 HC-800 Processor • AXIS M1054 IP Cameras Private Cinema: • Sony SRX-510 4K Projector • Sony XCT-S10 D-Cinema Server • Steinway Lyngdorf P200 Processor • Steinway Lyngdorf LS Concert Studio Speakers (Left & Right) • Steinway Lyngdorf LS In-Wall Speakers (4) (Center) • Steinway Lyngdorf In-Wall Surround Speakers IW-26V (6) • Steinway Lyngdorf LS Boundary Woofers (6) • Steinway Lyngdorf In-Ceiling Surround Speakers (8) • Steinway Lyngdorf A2 Digital Amplifiers • Kaleidescape M500 Media Player • Kaleidescape 1U Server • Kaleidescape DV700 Disc Vault • Sonos Connect • BlueSound Node2 • Definitive Technologies W-Adapt • Apple TV • Oppo 103 Blu-ray Player • Control4 HC-800 Processor • AXIS M1054 IP Cameras • Harkness 180 inches wide 2.35 Mircoperf Screen
EVENT | Mumbai, India
EDIA continues to grow its membership base throughout India. To support this impressive growth, CEDIA once again travelled to Mumbai this October to host a week-long training and networking event to provide new, existing and prospective members with relevant training and certification.
The event was very well attended, with
Nichani, CEDIA Board Member and
exchange of ideas from people operating
a great number of industry professionals
owner of MACBEE, presented a range
in different parts of the world and the
joining CEDIA for a range of courses
of courses, including Designing Rooms
understanding of different perspectives,
each day. CEDIA was delighted to
for Immersive Audio, 4K, 8K and HDR
added to the information we learnt
sign up six new members at the event,
– What is the Future of Video?, Future
in the seminar. This information helps
bringing membership in India up to just
Technologies: The Silicon Valley Scoop,
under the 60 mark.
and Residential Networking.
Day one was incredibly successful,
Rajiv Jain, Co-Founder of PLAY
with the five event sponsors hosting
attended Peter’s course on Future
manufacturer product training. Headline
Technologies and commented: “My
sponsor, Trescent Lifestyles presented
favourite class at the event was the
a full day session on Steinway Lyngdorf
Future Technologies: The Silicon Valley
and Lyngdorf Audio. The associate
Scoop session. The course blew us out
sponsors, including Casadigi, Lutron,
of the water and got us to think about
Prince AV Concepts and Trinnov also
where we will exist as an industry in
hosted courses throughout the day.
the next 5 years.”
Harshul Parikh, CEO of Trescent
On Wednesday, CEDIA hosted a
Lifestyles & MNH Bespoke was delighted
further four courses, including HDMI
to be the headline sponsor for this
Fundamentals & Troubleshooting, How
event, and commented; “The 2016
to Work Profitably with Architects,
CEDIA India event was extremely
Residential Networking and Principles
successful. We launched MNH Bespoke,
of Project Management. Local CEDIA
a new B2B platform for the custom
members, Jay Nihalani of Sound &
install industry in India as the headline
Vision and Harshul Parikh from
sponsor and had over 80 industry
Trescent Lifestyles & MNH Bespoke
stalwarts attend the launch party. CEDIA
hosted a session each.
plays an important role in the growth
Abhishek Mehra from Beacon
story for the custom install industry in
Lifestyle Solution LLP commented:
India and I look forward to supporting
“The training at the event in Mumbai
next year’s event as a sponsor.”
was very interesting. What I liked the
On the second day, Peter Aylett,
most was that there were so many
Technical Director at Archimedia, Ken
courses on offer and we had the choice
Erdmann, co-founder and president
of which particular area we wanted to
of the Erdmann Electric, Inc., and
delve into, including networking, home
CEDIA member since 1993, and Sawan
cinema design and lighting controls. The
CEDIA plays an important role in the growth story for the custom install industry in India
us in identifying avenues for growth,
On the last day, attendees had the
as well as ways to deal with common
opportunity to attend the Design Process
problems faced in the industry. The fact
and Documentation training course, and
that CEDIA is a ‘collaborative space’ is an
undertake CEDIA certification.
Rajiv Jain returned to the event on
Following a full day of training on
the final day, and attended the Design
the Wednesday, CEDIA hosted its
Process and Documentation session.
popular Connect event, sponsored by
“Having worked in an environment where
Audio Excellence. This event provided
paperwork and processes don’t exist,
attendees with the opportunity
Peter’s course gave us the opportunity to
to network with peers and CEDIA
learn from an industry expert and insight
professional staff. During the event, all
into design thinking and document flow,
three Indian CEDIA Award winners from
to ensure a smooth completion of project.
2009, 2015 and 2016 were in the same
The whole event was well planned and the
room, including Mehernosh Pervez from
courses were very well laid out”.
Sound Decisions Consultancy & Services,
Following the event, Gurpreet Singh
Sawan Nichani of MACBEE and Ankur
from AV Nirvana India said: “We are
Bhatt from Sound Sense.
extremely happy with the way the CEDIA
Peter and Ken both hosted a session
event was conducted in Mumbai. Since
on Thursday, focussing on Design
the event, we have received a lot of
Thinking and Client Discovery, and
positive feedback from our dealers who
Advanced Networking. Zohir Ramodiya
had an opportunity to personally meet
from The Boom Store attended a
and interact with Arnaud Laborie, CEO
number of courses, and commented:
of Trinnov Audio and Luc Guillaume,
“Attending CEDIA training is a must for
Managing Director of Wisdom Audio.
every individual and organisation. After
We are thankful to the entire team at
participating in the technical courses
CEDIA for bringing the Indian AV industry
for the last couple of years, this year,
together under one roof, and giving us
we concentrated on the sales and
the opportunity to be a sponsor of the
documentation sessions. These courses
event. Special thanks to Matt Nimmons
allow us to achieve and maintain a
and Sawan Nichani, whose efforts made
professional edge over the competition
the CEDIA event a great success. We look
thus helping us win more contracts.
forward to welcoming CEDIA back to
Skills picked up during this year’s
courses have helped a great deal in fine tuning our project management and documentation process.”
CEDIA ON TOUR
eptember and October have been busy months for CEDIA, as the association visited Poland, Italy and South Africa. CEDIA is committed in its efforts to grow the home technology market within the EMEA region and to provide its members with access to training, resources and local CEDIA representatives. It is very important that CEDIA remains dedicated to developing high levels of knowledge and skills in locations where membership continues to grow.
CEDIA headed to Poland from 10th September to 16th October, as it toured the country as part of the renowned Apartment and House Fair (Targi Mieszkań i Domów). Starting in Trojmiasto and finishing in Poznan, visitors had the opportunity to meet CEDIA members and discuss the latest in smart home technology. Poland’s number one home show, Apartment and House Fair (www.mieszkaniowi.pl), travelled across five cities, including Trojmiasto, Wrocław, Kraków, Warszawa and Poznań between September and October 2016. Aimed at homeowners or those interested in purchasing a property, Apartment and House Fair invited over 100 industry experts, including lawyers, finance professionals and real estate experts to exhibit and meet visitors. Exhibitors also had the opportunity to take part in its extensive seminar programme, educating
visitors on the rules and principles that are associated with buying, selling or renting a home. New for 2016, Apartment and House Fair introduced a Smart Home Zone in Warszawa and Kraków for exhibitors in the field of electronics and appliances, innovative technology, design and interior decorating or ecological solutions for the home. CEDIA members, including SmartSpace, FDtech, Intelidom Group Sp. z o.o. and 3Logic I Art Cinema were available on the CEDIA stand to meet visitors, answer questions and provide advice on the integration of smart technology. CEDIA’s renowned Smart Home Recommended Wiring Guidelines, its Designing Integrated Future-Ready Homes CPD, Home Technology Guide and ‘Why Use A CEDIA Member’ leaflet were all translated into Polish for this event. Visitors could also take the opportunity to watch CEDIA’s ‘Life Lived Best at Home’ video, which has also been translated into Polish.
Home technology professionals and the world’s construction industry met in Bologna, Italy, on 19th to 22nd October for the All Digital, Smart Building SAIE event. Now into its 52nd year, the event educates attendees on the modern built environment, from design to construction, to work maintenance and management. Innovation and sustainability were the focus of this year’s exhibition, confirming that the sector is responding to environmental concerns in the industry. SAIE 2016 provided attendees with the opportunity to learn about new tools and procedures. Due to
the recent changes introduced by the Procurement Code, a particular focus was given to BIM technology. This year’s event was a beacon for technology and smart materials, low impact products and machines, capable of dealing with modern challenges such as u r b a n r e g e n e r a t i o n , s u s t a i n a b l e r e development, seismic and soil protection. On the last day of the event, CEDIA® hosted a free CPD course. Aimed at architects, interior designers and builders, the one-hour session educated participants about the benefits and processes involved in custom installation. The course also helped attendees understand the benefits of preparing a home for technology and why clients would want to include it.
In October, CEDIA took its training, networking and insightful discussions across South Africa. Stopping in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, CEDIA members and non-members were invited to attend the carefully curated programme of manufacturer product training, CEDIA workshops, industry discussions, and networking events throughout each day. CEDIA members, ELAN Systems, iLed, Kordz, Sphere Custom and TrendyStuff were the event sponsors and provided a variety of product training sessions, specific to their products and services.
ELA N Systems explored H DMI, EDID and HPD in its session ‘HDMI – It’s Under Control,” whilst TrendyStuff discussed the rise and application of window coverings. Distributor, iLed presented its latest technologies such as its innovative eZi Home Solution, whilst Kordz explored HDMI 2.0b, HDCP, HDR, chroma subsampling, deep colour and Rec. 2020. Sphere Custom imparted its wisdom on sales techniques, design, products and décor tricks to succeed in the home technology realm. Also integrated into the road show were CEDIA’s most popular workshops, which were presented by industry experts, Peter Aylett, Christiaan Beukes and Craig Potter. These courses included the renowned Future Technologies: The Silicon Valley Scoop, Advanced Home Cinema Design, Residential Networking and an exam session for its respective certification. CEDIA also hosted its new CPD session ‘Smart Home Cabling Requirements for the Modern Home’ in Johannesburg. This CPD explores the importance of a secure infrastructure for a modern day connected home. Following a day of training and workshops, home technology professionals, as well as design professionals who attend the CPD, had the opportunity to network with the day’s presenters and fellow peers at CEDIA’s popular Connect networking event.
For information on upcoming events, visit www.cedia.co.uk/cedia-events
MEMBERS’ GUIDE TO SUCCESS (PART 2)
CEDIA membership delivers big, exclusive access to the connections, resources, insights, and gatherings of the world’s leading home technology association. When you join CEDIA, you step into a community of industry peers and change-makers with the skills and tools to help your business thrive.
TRAIN FOR TOMORROW Following on from an article in the last issue of Communicates where CEDIA focussed on community benefits, the association now turns its attention to training benefits.
Educational Programs From boot camps, conferences, and trade show courses, to webinars, online classes, and hands-on workshops, CEDIA members get extraordinary access to the most comprehensive educational programs available.
New Hire Training Track Give new hires comprehensive training to supplement their onthe-job experience with nearly a dozen eCourses that cover the broad scope of the residential technology industry.
CEDIA’s four certification credentials allow industry pros to demonstrate their expertise at every level and enable businesses to show their commitment to best practices. Members receive significant savings and access to key preparation tools for certifications. Member companies with certified employees receive premium listings on the CEDIA Finder Service.
An intensive two-day summit, CEDIA Business Xchange helps you create a winning strategy to tackle your biggest operational challenges. Learn from experts and peers how to build a better business.
Tech Forums Gain valuable product knowledge and grow your network at the CEDIA Tech Forums, a series of regional product training and networking sessions offered free to members.
For more information and to reap the benefits, visit the members area of the website www.cedia.co.uk/member-benefits
Since the beginning of time, humans have formed communities; to be part of something, to find safety and action in numbers, and to surround ourselves with those who share common interests, values and goals.
CEDIA Community Blossoms Whilst endorsement, education and resources all play a major role in the benefits of being a CEDIA member, another powerful aspect is becoming part of the community - surrounded by like-minded professionals who are ambitious, have a positive view, and are focussed on changing the industry for the better. Earlier this year, CEDIA launched an private online networking and sharing forum exclusively for its members. The CEDIA Community allows members to meet, share and learn from each other in a non-competitive setting. Members join the online community to share their expertise and knowledge, whilst engaging in current topics and trends with fellow home technology professionals from across the world. The online platform reaffirms the association’s commitment to putting its members in the centre of a thriving community where connections are formed, competition stays alive and new opportunities for growth can be tapped into. Benefits for All All CEDIA members can benefit from the Community. The opportunity to network, make new connections, ideashare, and broaden industry knowledge with fellow peers is endless. “For me, two of the most compelling benefits of CEDIA membership are the networking and the friendships I have established at CEDIA events” comments Mitchell Klein, Executive Director, Z-Wave Alliance, Fremont, CA “With the launch of the online CEDIA Community, I now have a year-round way to network with my peers and e-meet new ones; not only to ask or respond to questions
and comments, but to learn from what others are wrestling with, talking about and experiencing in their businesses. With the daily Digest email, I am in always in touch. Let’s connect!” This platform is a fantastic resource to enhance one’s professional network. Making connections is crucial in any industry and engaging in conversations on the hub will help forge your position in the increasingly growing market-place. The Community also provides users with support from other members, whether this is used to reach professional goals, answer industry queries or problem solve in a safe and secure online platform. The online forum also provides an environment for members to brainstorm and share ideas with subject matter experts and thought leaders for honest and constructive feedback. The platform encourages members to share files, view templates, and browse strategy documents uploaded by fellow professionals. Many industry members share a common story of another member being critical to their success, offering guidance and wisdom whether it was in the beginning of their career or as a seasoned business owner. The CEDIA Community creates an environment where these beneficial
relationships can develop and thrive, connecting you with peers both near and far. “The CEDIA Community is an excellent platform for CEDIA members across the world to connect on different topics” says Harshul Parikh, CEO of Trescent Lifestyles & MNH Bespoke, New Delhi, India. “It is now so easy to reach out to the community and discuss a variety of topics. Industry experts from around the globe are now at your fingertips. I would like to thank CEDIA for creating this invaluable tool.” Join the Community All CEDIA members are automatically added to the online community and are given a unique profile that can be personalised. From the dashboard, users are able to view member and CEDIA staff directories and a list of upcoming events. The community section focusses on the various working groups, committees and volunteer opportunities that are open to members. Discussion posts and relevant documents can be added to these sections, and private messages can be shared with others, either on a one-toone basis or on general view.
CEDIA members can access the CEDIA Community at www.cedia.net/community
WITH INDUSTRY STANDARDS As smart technology becomes more widely used it has never been more important to keep up with industry standards and regulations.
As products, services and industries develop over time, professional standards also change and evolve. In the last two years, the rise of the smart home has been exponential. In fact, recent findings from Statista, the statistics portal, found the smart home market in the UK is expected to show a revenue growth of 57.4% by the end of 2016. As smart technology becomes more widely used and new products come into the market, the need for a smart home standard is vital. What Happens If You Fail to Follow Industry Standards? Failing to follow industry standards can result in serious consequences, such as penalty charges, no right to continue working within this trade and even business liquidation. Other side effects of failing to follow industry standards include: • Compromised employee safety – for most home technology professionals, the risk to life is quite minimal. However, as with any job that involves working with electrical systems and equipment, regulations have been put in place to ensure the safety of the technician and client is protected. The Building Regulations Electrical Safety Dwellings Part P is the latest document to outline electrical safety in residential projects. • Damage to equipment – home technology systems require care and attention to ensure safe, optimal performance. Complying with industry regulations keep equipment operating at or near its designed conditions so that it will efficiently deliver the performance required when needed. The Latest Standards Last month, CEDIA collaborated with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to contribute to its latest publication, the ‘Code of Practice for Connected Systems Integration in Buildings’. These standards have been designed to promote good practice in the specification, design and integration of connected systems in buildings. The newly published ‘Code of Practice for Connected Systems Integration in Buildings’, also known as ‘IET Standards TC4.1 Connected Systems Integration’ or ‘IET PSSI001P’, has been developed to promote good practice
in the specification, design and integration of connected systems in buildings. The document outlines the importance of a robust planning process - an essential foundation for any successful project. CEDIA provided the IET with expert advice and knowledge to ensure the best code of practice for industry professionals. This includes recommendations for necessities such as the layout of cable routes, equipment space and ventilation, alongside the consideration of network bandwidth and power distribution. The document explores how to improve connectivity, communications networking and connected systems integration for user access in residential and commercial buildings. Stay Up-to-Date with Industry Standards It is imperative to stay up-to-date with new and on-going standards to ensure you are providing clients with the best service possible. However, this can be a time consuming and confusing process if you are unsure of where to look. To help home technology professionals keep on top of the latest standards, CEDIA has created a dedicated section on the website that provides a list of the latest Standards, Code of Practice and other recommended documents that it believes are relevant to professionals in the smart home industry. All CEDIA members are entitled to receive a 25% discount code off all IET Standards and can receive the code by visiting cedia.co.uk/standards. Another way to stay up-to-date with industry news and standards is attending relevant events and educational sessions. CEDIA hosts a vast number of educational events throughout the year, which outline the latest skills, standards and requirements. CEDIA also offers official qualifications for passing industry skills tests or completing a home technology programme, providing professionals with certified credibility. Not only does this provide clients with extra recognition of one’s skills and profession, but builds personal confidence and assurance in personal development.
For more information, visit www.cedia.co.uk/resources
Smart Home =
In September, more than 70 Coldwell Banker estate agents were huddled in a room for a presentation from Ryan Herd, CEO of 1 Sound Choice and Dave Siroty, a Coldwell Banker Realty VP. The message? Simply put, tech sells houses – so let’s learn how to talk about it. “Coldwell Banker wanted to learn what the term really meant,” Ryan explains. “They reached out to CNET, did some work on their own… and got some really great information.” Dave Siroty provides some more background: “Before the Great Recession, a lot of people looked at their home as a piggy bank. Now, there’s again an emotional attachment to the home. About twoand-a-half years ago, we realised the home was changing with this new technology: the home itself was trying to simplify our lives … and save us money.” A connection with Lutron provided an introduction: Siroty met Dave Chic, CEDIA’s Senior Director of Industry Relations, and soon a curriculum and certification program was being constructed. “The whole idea of this training is to have the agent understand the basic moving parts – think thermostat, think door locks, think lighting control – give them the ability to identify it and then be educated about this stuff,” says Ryan. An estate agent “doesn’t necessarily have to know how to hook the stuff up,” says Ryan, “but if they walk past a Nest thermostat, the consumer expects them to be knowledgeable about it.” Knowledgeable to the point where the estate agent receives a certificate
and a badge – something that’s part of an agent’s marketing tools. So far, 2,000 agents have received the certificate, and Coldwell Banker fully expects that the majority of their 85,000 agents worldwide will see the training as key. The fundamental awareness of smart home tech means fresh opportunities for everyone in the CEDIA channel – and Siroty has the research to back that claim.
decoupling and careful calibration. Still, by giving the estate agents a solid working knowledge of home tech products and fundamental integration, the attendees felt that Ryan had given them a few more arrows in their quivers. In fact, the unsolicited comments Ryan received afterward were downright glowing. A small sample: “I do indeed appreciate the opportunity to learn about this new technology and to earn this new designation that you have provided for your agents.” “I attended, and I am so glad I did! Thank you for the opportunity to stay ahead of the competition. You rock!”
Thank you for the opportunity to stay ahead of the competition. You rock!
“Our latest research indicates that 71% of Americans want a move-in ready home - what was shocking was that of those, 44% believe ‘smart home ready’ is part of that equation.” In short, the tech doesn’t just make the home more liveable – it makes it more sellable. Granted, the technology that Ryan presented wasn’t what he calls “the big stuff” – no dedicated home cinemas requiring drywall
Siroty’s reviews are pretty positive, too – he calls the CEDIA/Coldwell initiative “a tremendous marriage.” CEDIA understands the importance of targeting estate agents, and is aware that there is huge potential here. The association has already made some ground in the US, and is now looking at mirroring this within the EMEA region. @ColdwellBanker
Laser revolutionises the silver screen
Introducing JVC’s DLA-Z1, 4K native D-ILA Projector, quite simply, it’s the ultimate expression of cutting-edge technology in home cinema projection, designed for enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike, who enjoy uncompromised pictures on large screens. The DLA-Z1 4K projector, combines our newly developed, (World’s smallest) 4096 X 2160 DILA devices and new “Blu-Escent” Laser phosphor light source delivering exquisite native 4K high dynamic range (HDR) images at a brightness that fills every inch of a massive screen. With ability to deliver resolution beyond UHD at 80% BT.2020 coverage. Compatibility with High Dynamic Range content, and high native contrast creating home theater images that need to be experienced to be believed. More info http://uk.jvc.com/native4k/
60 SECONDS WITH…
Wesley Siu Who are you? Wesley Siu – Product designer at heart and full time technology addict and co-founder of Lithe Audio. What’s your company and where is it based? Lithe Audio is a company that I co-founded with my business partner, Amit Ravat in 2008. Based in Crawley, West Sussex (UK), we design and develop consumer lead products for today’s and tomorrow’s home improvement market.
design and manufacturing, Amit and I were both avid technology geeks, but we were finding products on the market to either be bland in design or too techy. So, we founded Retrotouch and began producing glass wiring accessories, including touch and remote controlled and retractive switches. Our experience in wiring and lighting and our passion for music led us to the world of audio, and the problem of not being able to install ceiling speakers without ripping down the walls. This, and the need to have ceiling speakers in my life, led us to design and develop the Bluetooth ceiling speaker and as such, Lithe Audio was born. Which home technology do you consider the most important today and why?
How did you get into the industry? Around 15 years ago, I started out in the visual displays industry, designing training simulators for the military and aviation industry, with the addition of designing the world’s first digital planetarium in Denver. As a product designer, I got my teeth into premium consumer products such as toasters, kettles, blenders and mixers with high end design. With a rounded background in
Voice control within smart home. This technology enables the use of commands, without the need for a device such as a phone or tablet. We have effectively swapped remote controls for apps/devices over the past 15 years. However, if you leave your device in another room, the ease at which to address the system with voice control is far simpler, for users of all age spectrums. How long have you been a CEDIA member? This is our first year of being a CEDIA member. What do you enjoy most about being a CEDIA member? Speaking to others and bouncing off other people’s enthusiasm in the industry. It’s nice to know that CEDIA care about you, and are not just looking to get you to join as a member and then leave you in the lurch like other
organisations. The support and technical guidance for innovators like us to enable the industry to cohesively develop products that work together and complement each other is invaluable. If there was one thing you could change in the industry what would it be? The way we think is simple. Technology should harness our lives, rather than be the dictator of it. If a technology can harmoniously work without us knowing it is there, without the need for complex instructions or commands, then technology has worked. With so many technologies and companies fighting to win the smart home customer and the rise of IoT, the one thing we would change in the industry is to introduce a
common protocol. This would mean that all brands adhere to one protocol and develop products which work in unison and integrate seamlessly.
What’s the next focus for Lithe Audio? Next year, we will be launching a multiroom audio ceiling speaker range with Apple certified AirPlay built in, no additional hardware. Just Power it - Pair it - Play it. IP addressable, this product will be a real problem solver for the audio industry, as no wires back to the host are required. In addition, a new range of motorised TV brackets are now available. At a price that is no more expensive than the TV itself, they offer great value and provide that all important home tech feel. If you weren’t in the home technology sector, what would you like to be doing and why? I would be a painter/artist, as I have loved drawing (generally being creative) ever since a young age.
IT’S NICE TO KNOW THAT CEDIA CARE ABOUT YOU www.litheaudio.com @LitheAudio
What’s the best product that Lithe Audio has launched into the home technology market in the last year? Our Lithe Audio Bluetooth ceiling speaker, with built in amplifier and Bluetooth driver is a simple concept. There is no need for complex wiring to run though the walls (wires to existing lighting circuit) and it requires no app. It is available as a single speaker, or in pairs. There is also a bathroom IP44 rated version available.
HOMEOWNERS EMBRACE SMART TECHNOLOGY WHEN RENOVATING HOMES, HOUZZ SURVEY FINDS Renovating homeowners are integrating “smart” features into their homes, according to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Smart Home Trends Survey, conducted in collaboration with CEDIA. The survey of nearly 1,000 homeowners in the midst of planning, or who have recently completed a home renovation project, found that nearly half of renovating homeowners are incorporating smart technology. In fact, renovated homes are more than twice as likely to include a smart system or device than before the renovation.
Homeowners are installing smart devices for security (25%), entertainment (18%), climate control (14%) and lighting (12%) in their renovated homes. The top smart security devices include fire and gas alarms, and cameras, followed by motion, glass breakage and/or door sensors, and door locks and/or video doorbells. A third of upgraded alarms and twothirds of upgraded cameras have smart features. Additionally, 12% of renovated homes include a smart thermostat. 8% of upgraded homes feature a smart TV, and 7% include smart speakers or video or music streaming devices. When it comes to lighting, 11% of renovated homes include smart indoor lighting, and 4% include smart outdoor lighting. “Our data sheds light on how renovating homeowners are embracing smart technology,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “These homeowners aim to improve the comfort, convenience, safety, and energy usage of their home during their renovations, and smart technology appears to address many of their needs. While many homeowners report difficulty learning about and finding the right smart products to fit their needs, high levels of adoption and
satisfaction among renovators are sound predictors of a wider reliance on these technologies among the general public in the near future.” Smart Spending Spending on smart systems and devices differs depending on the technology type. 75% of smart home security upgraders spend less than $1,500 or less on their new or updated features, while only 5% invest more than $5,000. There is greater variability in the cost of smart entertainment upgrades, with half spending $1,500 or less, and another half investing more than $1,500. One-fifth of entertainment upgraders spend more than $5,000 on their new technology. Similarly, nearly half of smart lighting upgraders spend $1,500 or less, while just over half spend more than $1,500. In terms of smart climate control technology, homeowners rarely spend within the $1,501-$2,500 range. Instead, 50% of renovating homeowners report spending under $1,501, and 46% spend more than $2,500. Similar to entertainment upgraders, a fifth of renovating homeowners updating climate control systems invest more than $5,000 in their new features. Motivations Homeowners select features with smart technology for a variety of reasons. For security devices, protecting their homes against intruders, and monitoring and controlling the safety of their home when they are away or from anywhere in the home are of primary
concern. When it comes to smart entertainment devices, improving the entertainment experience, the comfort of the home and the desire to have the latest technology or to change the mood or vibe of the home are paramount. Smart climate control features are selected to improve the comfort of the household, reduce energy consumption and to monitor or control their device while away from home. In terms of lighting, 59% of homeowners are motivated to include smart tech to reduce energy consumption, 54% focus on improving the comfort of the household and 34% want the ability to change the mood or vibe of the home. Challenges and Barriers The top two challenges renovating homeowners face when it comes to incorporating smart home features are educating themselves about available options and finding the right products or technology. This is consistent for security, lighting, climate control and entertainment features. Over half of renovating homeowners opted against adding smart technologies during their renovation projects. Among those non-adopters, only a third gave the technologies some consideration, but ultimately decided not to go the smart tech route due to a lack of interest, cost concerns, or privacy concerns. A Helping Hand The majority of renovating homeowners rely on professional help for the installation of both smart and non-smart security, climate control and lighting products, though they are even more likely to turn to pros in the case of smart technology upgrades in these categories. This is especially true for the installation of smart alarms and fire/gas detectors, motion-sensing lighting and cameras. However, renovators upgrading entertainment systems enlist professional help to a lesser extent than those upgrading security. TVs and music streaming devices with smart features are more likely to require professional installation than those without smart capabilities.
HOUZZ ACTIVITY IN THE UK HOUZZ & HOME 2016 REPORT Houzz UK has created a report entitled Houzz & Home 2016. This report focusses on the responses of 9,175 UK homeowners. The findings include: • 19% of renovating Houzz users rate smart home integration as very to extremely important • Nearly a quarter (23%) of renovating homeowners on Houzz installed home automation systems as part of a renovation in 2015. 14% upgraded their home entertainment systems • 14% of renovating Houzz users planned to invest in/purchase electronics within the next 6 months and 10% said they were going to invest in home automation 2015 BEDROOM TRENDS STUDY Houzz UK also has some insights from its 2015 Bedroom Trends Study, which saw 1,824 UK homeowners provide responses. • Almost a fifth of renovating homeowners on Houzz commit to keeping their bedrooms electronic and media free (17%) • A fifth (20%) will replace or purchase new electronic items as part of their bedroom projects • Of those homeowners updating electronics, 70% will add a TV, and 38% will install speakers or a stereo system.
SEEING IS BELIEVING : DESIGNING HIGH-END Virtual Reality (VR) is one of those current techie sounding buzzwords that seems to be long on promise, but which can’t seem to find its practical footing. Is VR going to provide the next level for immersive video gaming? Will it become the ultimate training tool for intense jobs like police officers, soldiers, and pilots? Or is it destined to just become another outlet for the porn industry?
US-based custom integrator and technology reviewer/blogger
At CEDIA 2016, REAL Audio Video, based out of Utah, USA unveiled its Private Cinema previsualization software, demonstrating how VR can be used as a sales and design tool for ultra-high-end cinemas. “REAL Audio Video has been selling high-end home cinemas for over 18 years,” company president, Jonathan Law, explained, “and one of the challenges has always been sharing our vision of the design with the customer. Most people struggle with visualising a future space, the dimensions, the finishes, etc. Using our Pre-Visualizer tool in VR
accurately solves this issue because customers can now physically walk between a seat and a wall to feel how big the space is. You can even crouch down and see things in better detail.” REAL partnered with another Utah-based company, Fractal Mob, to create this software which proved to be not only incredibly innovative, but also potentially game changing in its use of VR to aid in the design and sale of high end cinemas. I experienced REAL’s demo and it was my standout experience at CEDIA, literally opening my eyes to just how powerful VR can be as a
sales and presentation tool. Every visual element within the virtual demo cinema was built from scratch, but based on one of REAL’s previously constructed cinema installations, a Dennis Erskine design. Fractal Mob created 4K scans of every element within the room – speakers, chairs, projector, carpeting, fabric, mouldings –letting potential clients explore and examine the virtual space to insure every detail is perfect “before a single nail is driven.” Experiencing the room requires wearing a VR headset, headphones, and carrying two “wands” to navigate the room. One wand is a virtual flashlight to highlight objects for examining in further detail, while the other allows you to “jump” to different parts of the room. This is important, as the virtual cinema might be significantly larger than the “real life” space the user is occupying. Once “in” the cinema, you are truly immersed in a different space where you are completely free to roam around, looking in every direction and examining every detail. Crouch down to get a better look at the carpet pattern. Sit in different seats and no longer wonder if a 3m screen is the right size. Walk over to a wall and examine the wood colour and grain, or inspect the detail in the mouldings and sconce designs. Look back towards the projector room and you’ll see lens flare and micro dust particles floating through the light. Because everything in this “VR world” is digital, making changes like moving a row of chairs up or back or enlarging/
design tools and the software’s core engine, however it was “easily a couple of months’ worth of work for the first one.” “Our primary objective with the Pre-Viz tool is to provide a premium service for high-end projects,” Jonathan stated. “At this point, we feel a VR experience will cost roughly 1-3% of the total project cost. For example, a $1m job would have a VR pre-visualization cost of around $10k-$30k. Lower cost projects may need to sacrifice VR fidelity (less photo-realistic) or forego VR altogether. But, as our tools and process matures, we’ll be able to open this up to projects of all sizes.” The promising news is that pricing for this level of design and presentation will come down, and as more assets are modelled and a digital “library” is created, building a new room will be much faster. And cheaper. Since its development, VR has become a regular part of REAL’s sales tool, and the company has already closed several Private Cinema projects since returning from CEDIA. The reaction from clients has also been phenomenal.
CINEMAS IN VR reducing the screen size “would be trivial an d p a r t of the review and refine process,” according to Jonathan. REAL also engineered the pre-vis software to demonstrate room acoustics, a concept often difficult for clients to understand. With a button click, the room’s walls are peeled back to reveal locations of sound treatments and speakers. Further, reflection points can be generated to show the room’s effect on audio at the listening position. Additionally, bass modal frequencies can be plotted, appearing as rolling waves in the room. Even more impressive, clients can move around the room as bass notes play, experiencing uneven bass performance as they move in and out of nulls and peaks. As of right now, this is cutting-edge technology that comes with a bespoke price tag. Fractal Mob said they don’t know exactly how long it took to complete the design on the room, as programming occurred in parallel with building
“We are hearing phrases like, ‘Mind-blowing!’ and, ‘This is the coolest thing I have ever seen!’” Jonathan added. “Another benefit is the speed with which we have been able to educate our clients. Being able to see what goes into our design decisions, and how changing something can affect so many other things has really improved their understanding of the design process.” Ultimately, REAL would like to put clients into a “virtual showroom,” letting them walk through different cinemas to explore rooms of different sizes, colour schemes, and budgets. And this is far more than some bit of tradeshow vapourware. In fact, REAL has “several internationally recognised Cinema Designers already committed to the platform,” Jonathan stated. “As we move forward with their projects, we are constantly refining our product, and our intention is to roll out a more polished solution to other dealers as soon as possible. You should also expect to hear from us in 2017 with additional product announcements.” For high-end cinema sales and design, REAL’s pre-vis software proved that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a VR walk-thru is like reading Homer’s The Iliad.
doeS Your Client’S SYStem NEED SOME MUSCLE? introducing meridian audio’s 258 Eight Channel Power Amplifier. at just 1u tall and with a five year warranty, the cool-running 258 is a compact and powerful way to deliver Hi res audio.
R ACK- M O UNT E D
PU R E POWER
Find out more: Call 01480 445678