CEDIA Roundtable: The Future of the Specialty CE and Integration Markets
I don't think there is one single area where members are making their money, but areas of solid growth include systems integration and networking. That's really where it's going to be. You're seeing a lot of commoditized products, especially on the mobile side of things, which are changing people's viewing habits, tablets and such. You look at an Apple TV, as an example. It's a tiny, $99 box on the back of a TV, and you can get basically any content you want with it. What I think really will be the wave of the next five years is systems integration. People are starting to learn they can have their HVAC tied into their system, and their lights as well. Consumer awareness is finally starting to hit.
Energy management's growth is a bit slower than expected. I think it's just that we're at that tipping point now. Emerging markets that we look at regularly—energy management and home health—are still in an early-adopter stage, but that should pick up significantly. Another growing area should be remote monitoring. Energy management should pick up a little faster by 2012, and home health, perhaps a little slower, but certainly, you'll start seeing a significant uptick in the amount of work being done in those areas.
Michael Stein, Senior Director of Research and Technology, Russound, and CEDIA Technology Advisory Group Member: In the Tech Group, there's some struggle with this because it depends upon who the dealer we're talking about is. In some areas like security, intrusion dealers are probably very well-equipped to take advantage of the aging-in-home trend and some of the remote monitoring features, because they're already in a lot of homes for a short period of time. The traditional CI dealer who's been installing 15 or 20 large jobs a year doesn't really benefit from those technologies very much, because purveyors of those technologies make their money off monitoring fees. If you're not going to get a critical mass of customers monitoring, then it's almost more of a pain to administer than you'll generate in revenue. What we'll see is consumer electronics-grade products where audio and video are going to be "good enough" for most consumers. That means consumers are not willing to spend more money on things that would have traditionally been sold exclusively through the custom installation channel and would have required a tremendous amount of installation.