Saturday, September 8, 2007

Is CEDIA Becoming a Mini-CES?

Many have expressed the opinion that CEDIA EXPO is becoming like a smaller version of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). There’s no question that the focus is custom, custom, custom. But as the custom installation business increasingly involves things like home security, lighting, automation, and music streaming, the breadth of products and technologies on display has expanded considerably.

In fact, two of the most prominent product categories I’ve noticed on the floor this year are media servers, and home security. There’s someone offering up what they deem the latest and greatest in music servers on pretty much every corner on the show floor, from Harman Kardon, to Sony, and Sooloos. In terms of security, I’ve seen everything from the standard video surveillance system, to a neat system that includes a “magic mirror”. Place the mirror in your living room, and a talking genie pops up on its surface to verbally alert you when someone has arrived at the front door. Not only does the genie let you know that someone is a-knockin’, but a security camera outside displays a live feed onto the mirror, so you don’t even need to get up from the couch to see who it is. Nope, I’m not kidding.

The bread and butter of CEDIA EXPO remains custom audio/video. But as things like video cameras, computers, and interior design pieces like drapes, lighting, and furniture, are more often finding themselves part of a system design in the home, the show attracts new and exciting vendors. The consensus among those I’ve asked is that this year's show is better than last, with tons to see and experience.

Industry members, stay tuned to Marketnews Magazine for in-depth coverage of the show.

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