Matt Nimmons, CEDIA’s Director of Operations (EMEA) sits down with Get Connected magazine to talk about all things custom install. Discover more...

  1.      What are the fastest-growing areas in custom install?

In recent times, we’ve been in an evolutionary phase, where we’ve seen steady, incremental improvements to a range of products, devices and systems.

Nothing though has quite matched the revolutionary impact of the Apple iPad and iPhone.  In the space of just a few short years, the industry has transformed from highly customised touchscreens and control interfaces to very accessible control on mobile devices. 

Voice control is rapidly becoming a viable source of control in the home. Even though we’ve had Siri and Cortana for some time, Amazon has changed everything with Echo. Voice control adds an efficient and complementary capability to existing primary control options in the home which adds real value.

Residential broadband speeds (peak and average) will continue to improve. With faster speeds, the average streaming needs of consumers should present little issue to the network and will also drive more digital content towards the cloud.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will continue its exponential march forward. This trend is supported by Frost & Sullivan research which indicates projected growth in IoT home appliances to 36 per four person family home by 2020. This growth will be led by smart thermostats in Europe with 2 million likely to be installed by the end of 2016.

Audio and video fidelity will continue to improve, opening up the possibilities for our industry to deliver premium, added value experiences to their customers. This embraces continuing innovations in hi-resolution audio and video performance which will appeal to the luxury end of the market. 

Immersive audio from Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D and DTS:X is seeing really great traction in home cinema applications.

Most recently, the rise of wearable technology has caused an increase demand for connected devices. The latest wearable tech works with a range of home automation systems, allowing users to control smart home appliances, lighting or heating systems through a smart watch or ring. Installed correctly, these products can transform a user’s everyday duties.

Watch this space.

  1.      Are any sectors declining or being subsumed by others?

The smart home technology industry is only heading one way – up. The connected home landscape is evolving each year, as more and more products become available and smart home technology becomes accessible to wider audiences, the sector is set to continue to grow into 2017 and beyond.

  1.      What are the biggest sales drivers (e.g. extra convenience, ease-of-use, ease-of-installation, future-proofing?)

Earlier this year, CEDIA® produced an interactive survey aimed to engage professional and consumer audiences on The Future of the Connected Home. One of the key findings to come from the report was that home technology professionals and consumers view ‘cost savings’ and ‘control of energy’ as the biggest drivers for installing smart home technology. For homeowners, this is closely followed by increased home security. We’ve also seen that consumers are driven by a desire for the premium experience, whether that be in entertainment, comfort or convenience. Our industry is perfectly placed to deliver technology solutions that provide that premium experience, and maintain it for the customer. 

  1.      Are standards still a barrier to some installs?

As smart technology becomes more widely used and new products come into the market, the need for smart home standards is vital. Standards are designed to keep the installation process safe for technicians and to ensure a high-quality service is upheld for the client.  

The only way standards can be viewed as a barrier is when they are not followed correctly. Failing to follow industry standards can result in serious consequences, such as penalty charges, the right to continue work within this trade and even business liquidation.

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 CEDIA believes is 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.

5. What advice can manufacturers give on the ‘essential basics’ required to bring customers’ homes into the automated 21st Century? 

Staying up-to-date with the latest education and training sessions is the best way to stay informed with the ‘essential basics’. Education remains at the forefront of CEDIA’s commitment to the custom install industry. Professionals in  the world of home automation can benefit from a wide variety of CEDIA led training sessions, furthering the skills, knowledge and certifications required to bring customers’ homes into the automated 21st century. Attending education or industry events also helps installers stay ahead of the competition and up-to-date with the latest trends, products and news. Manufacturers can support these programmes with their own training courses on brand specific technologies.

For more information and to see a full list of CEDIA’s education courses, please visit www.cediaeducation.com.

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