Here’s an anecdote from a focus group of one: Recently, a relative of Yours Truly told me she was building a new home. I asked her if that project included smart home technology — distributed audio, perhaps? Maybe a custom security system, automated lighting and blinds, or a dedicated media room? After said relative ran me through her list of must-haves, I asked her who was handling that stuff.
“My builder’s got a guy,” she replied brightly. (Note: This answer could have only made me happier if she’d said: “My builder’s got a CEDIA guy [or woman].”)
As you’ve likely heard, this little tale is representative of a much bigger trend — and it’s why CEDIA’s back at DCW.
CEDIA’s first appearance at Design and Construction Week as “collaborative exhibitor” came last year at the annual event in Florida. After attending prior DCW events — and mingling with reps from the relevant trades — CEDIA helped the joint venture of the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) International Builders’ Show and KBIS (the Kitchen and Bath Industry show, owned by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, or NKBA) by working with them to implement the concept of a smart home pavilion.
That concept returns in 2018 with the CEDIA Technology Solutions Pavilion, to be located on DCW Highway in the West Hall of the Orlando Convention Center during the run of the show (Jan. 8–11). Like last year, this 10,000-foot space will “offer our members the opportunity to develop relationships with design and build professionals,” says CEDIA’s Senior Director of Industry Relations Dave Chic.
This has been a relationship that’s growing as fast as the IoT: “Through our ongoing collaborations with DCW, more and more opportunities are presenting themselves,” says Chic. A big part of this initiative — bringing technology integrators to the building trades — will focus on education. “There will be member-to-member training and tips on value propositions, budgeting, resource and product procurement — name it,” Chic adds. “More and more builders are making what CEDIA members can provide part of their business model.”
The models CEDIA has already built to get the word out — the popular CEDIA Talks and the new CEDIA Open Sessions — will be on display at DCW.
So What’s Big for 2018?
“I hear a lot of buzz about the IoT, of course — people are looking for advanced yet reliable ways to be entertained, to feel safe, to create an energy-efficient home,” said Chic. More specifically, he’s hearing more about the emerging technology surrounding the concept of “Aging In Place,” and even “multi-generational technology in one home — that sandwich generation has needs, as do their kids, as do their elder live-in relatives.”
As Laura Mitchell, a “smart care consultant,” told us during her talk at the last CEDIA show, two-thirds of all the people 65 and over who have ever lived on Earth are alive right now. 111 million people in the US are over 50. 90% of the folks activating their AARP cards say they want to live at home.
Remember that earlier mention of a “value proposition?” America’s sandwich generation, tasked with caring for both parents and children — will soon learn that the cost of care, having jumped overall 63% since 1997, is really pricey when Mom or Dad or Grandma needs constant monitoring. Simply put, it’s vastly cheaper to put the tech in the condo than to hire someone to perform the same functions (if you can find that someone — there’s a caregiver shortage in full swing).
CEDIA’s continuing collaboration with DCW is designed to get messages like that one in front of designers, builders, architects, and other important influencers in the industry. The models CEDIA has already built to get the word out — the popular CEDIA Talks and the new CEDIA Open Sessions — will be on display at DCW. And that commitment to getting the word out to sympathetic trades goes above and beyond CEDIA’s few days in Florida — just take a peek at the CEDIA Outreach Instructor program.
The Pavilion’s currently a work in progress — stay tuned for a list of products, exhibitors, and educational opportunities CEDIA will bring to the 2018 edition of Design and Construction Week.