Internet of Things

The Home of the Future -- in a Parking Lot
September 14, 2006

Wednesday was CEDIA’s press preview day in which the handful of companies who held early press conferences showed off their new products and services to the media. The clear highlight of the day was the tour of a new exhibit, the Home of the Electronics Lifestyles. The HEL is a 2,000 square foot home built in a parking lot across the street from the Colorado Convention Center. Inside the house are the latest audio/video and home automation technologies on display to demonstrate how a truly integrated house can work. The chief sponsors behind the HEL are HP, who supplied numerous Digital Entertainment Centers and

From Custom Retailer: Legrand Acquires Vantage Controls
September 14, 2006

Legrand North America last week acquired Vantage Controls, the latest move in its effort to become a “leading provider of control and automation systems.” Vantage, renamed Vantage/Legrand, becomes the sixth Legrand business group in North America. It offers a system for controlling lighting, A/V, window treatments, heating, cooling, security and other functions. “Lighting control and automation are seeing significant double-digit growth, and this acquisition ensures we have the increased capacity, expanded product lines and sales channels to meet the growing demand,” said John Selldorff, president and CEO of Legrand North America. “This acquisition is a strategic move on Legrand’s part to further our leadership

Passwords: Frank Talk From the Front Lines of CE Retail
September 13, 2006

“Retailers need to find an upward path. They need to be selling ‘smart home’ products. Now that control is becoming easier to operate, IP-based appliances will become more popular. It’s the internet, not TV, that you want on your fridge. E-mail is not just work-related anymore. It tells me my son’s baseball game is going to be rescheduled because of rain. So we need internet in the kitchen. Appliance dealers are going to have to install or partner with intallers to deliver these IP-based products.” - Jeanette Howe, Executive Director of Specialty Electronics Nationwide

Control4 Rolls Out in Every Tweeter Store
September 8, 2006

Control4 announced on Thursday that it would be rolling out its line of home automation and control systems in all 153 Tweeter locations nationwide. Tweeter will not only carry Control4 products, but will design, configure and install systems as well. Control4 already has an established relationship with Tweeter, having introduced their products at Tweeter Consumer Electronics Playground concept store in Las Vegas last year. Says Control4 CEO Will West, “Experiencing home control and automation at Tweeter powerfully illustrates the practical application of this technology for any residence, dramatically expanding market opportunities for both companies and the entire category.” Adds Tweeter

The Next Frontier
September 1, 2006

Mention Internet Protocol (IP) to plenty of custom audio and video installers and you’ll likely solicit a slew of reactions, some of which may not be very kind. While IT professionals have long been hip to digital comeuppance, plenty of CE dealers aren’t necessarily ready to toss aside their speaker wire for what they see as nothing more than a glorified computer network. Whether one likes it or not, this difference of opinion nevertheless signals an important change in the industry compared to just a few short years ago, when the idea of IP-based home entertainment was considered far more theoretical than practical.

Lagotek on Lookout for Dealers
August 29, 2006

Lagotek Corporation plans to hang out its shingle at this year’s CEDIA expo. The home automation company is seeking international and domestic dealers for its line of home control, HVAC, distributed audio, surveillance, irrigation and security system solutions. The company looks to take advantage of what it forsees as the dropping price of home automation to a more affordable price point. Explains Lagotek President Ron Risdon, “Home automation will become a major profit center for CEDIA dealers in 2007 and beyond. Major homebuilders are beginning to offer home automation as an option for their customers.” Lagotek CEO Eugene Luskin adds,

ELAN Lays Out Training Program
August 10, 2006

On the heels of a sold-out, week-long training program in Las Vegas, Nev. in July, ELAN Home Systems has announced regularly scheduled full-scale training to be held at sister company Linear’s headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. The new program will serve as the West Coast arm of the current bi-monthly training at the company’s headquarters in Lexington, Ky. Said Paul Starkey, ELAN’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, “We believe it is of utmost importance to maximize the number of training opportunities we can offer, and have recognized a growing need to reach more of our Dealers throughout the country with our

Life|ware Enhances Home Automation
July 28, 2006

Exceptional Innovations (EI) recently announced the software launch of Life|ware 1.0.1, a software component that compliments, but is not limited to, the touch panels and system controllers they are producing for home automation. The product integrates with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 to support MCE-based installations while remaining hardware neutral. In addition to EI’s Life|touch, the software runs on a Media Center PC, digital entertainment center or Media Center extender. Life|ware uses the cross-platform Web Services for Devices (WSD) standard to communicate between systems. Each of these aspects is intended to make the product flexible and scalable, instead of

Retail 2006: A Mixed Bag?
March 1, 2006

The backdrop of another PMA provides a perfect time for the imaging industry to take stock of what is going on economically with their customer base and, more specifically, their spending potential as all this new product readies for rollout. The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently concluded their annual Big Show at the Javits Center in New York and among the many retail technology headlines that came out of that show the NRF also released their Retail Outlook 2006 report. The retail research organization is painting a cautious picture for the 2006 consumer retail shopping outlook, claiming that high energy costs, modest wage increases