September 05, 2011
| by Lisa Montgomery
Next week in Indianapolis the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) will host its annual Expo. Featured will be hundreds of new products demonstrated by key manufacturers at their booths on the exhibition floor. In the weeks prior to the show, the editors of Electronics House have been inundated with announcements from exhibitors from every sector of the home electronics industry: audio/video, home control, security, lighting control, equipment racks and mounts, and more. Here are three that caught my eye immediately:
SmartEnergy Monitor from Savant (pictured above)
As the manufacturer of an Apple-based home control system, Savant strives to make every product it introduces as visually appealing and engaging as possible. They’ve been highly successful in the past, but can they do it with something as boring as an energy monitor? According to some pre-Expo literature, the SmartEnergy Monitor “measures energy usage and production in real-time and can also deliver historical usage data from multiple energy management devices …” Ho-hum. It’ll be interesting to see how Savant delivers that information visually. I’m sure some of the graphics will be gauges and dials, but I’m hoping they jazz up the interface with something fun and unique that’ll make consumers want to read and react to their energy usage
Sliding Panel System from Future Automation
For every flat-panel TV that gets hung on the wall, there’s some product that can help it blend in better with the wall surface. Future Automation’s solution is one of the most effective. Instead of covering the panel with canvas artwork or playing a DVD so that the screen looks like a fish tank, the Sliding Panel System conceals the TV with a panel that matches the existing wall surface. The TV sits completely flush with the wall surface so that none of the TV’s inner workings are visible. When the panel is closed, it’s as if the It’s hard to explain in words, so be sure to check out the photo.
Voco from Navvo
Anytime a company announces a “voice-controlled” product, I’m skeptical. Still there’s a little part of me that’s rooting for the underdog. I want to see voice control work, and work well in the home, I really do. And I can’t wait to see how the Voco system from Navvo works at the CEDIA Expo. As the “world’s first voice controlled wireless music system,” the Voco streams music from iPods, Internet radio, PCs, USB devices and Android phones and tablets to speakers throughout the house. From what I can gather from the literature, you tell your smartphone or tablet what you want to hear, and the Voco system plays it. Expect a full report after I see it in action at the show.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.