CEDIA's Tech Council Predicts the Future, Part 4

Ed Wenck | Aug 16, 2016

A 17-member panel has made 100 predictions for 2020. Here are predictions 31-40.

Take CEDIA Senior Director of Emerging Technologies Dave Pedigo, add 16 volunteers, and stir. Mix in some conference calls and Skype chats and a big ol’ cacophony of opinions on All Things Connected. The result? The CEDIA Technology Council’s list of 100 predictions for the year 2020. If you didn’t catch the first 10, you can find them here; predictions 11-20 can be found here; and here’s the link for 21-30.

This go ‘round, let’s talk security, energy, and our old pal called “the user experience.”

Prediction 31: We’ll have a seamless technology experience between devices and locations. Recently, Vin Bruno, the CEO of CEDIA, had a sit-down with Shelly Palmer — C-Suite adviser, LinkedIn bigshot, and cable-TV-techspert (and also a CEDIA 2016 Keynote Speaker, thankyouverymuch), and the topic drifted into the arena of voice control. Palmer gave the following soliloquy:

What’s the eventual end? The eventual end is that when you speak or when you write, some kind of system on the other side is going to be able to very accurately interpret what was said or written, regardless of the language and act on it. The device will turn information that it gathers from you into action, whether it’s a pattern recognized input, whether it’s a speech recognized input, whether it’s a visual recognized input, whether it’s a typed recognized input, it’s not going to matter. The input’s not going to matter and the output will be an action that you’re looking for.

If I’m an installer or integrator, I’m in the kitchen, what will a natural language processing or augmented intelligence system do for my customers? Cooking and recipes, inventory control, am I going to start tagging things in the house that I don’t want to have lost and be able to ask for where they are by name, not just where my car keys and have it pointed out but literary, where’s the cat, where’s anything. What happened to fill in the blank. Natural language questions, could ether and it comes back and tells you. That’s not even George Jetson’s house, that’s like Harry Potter’s world. It’s not 36 months out — in fact in some places, you can see it already [in a rudimentary way].

Prediction 32. Interoperability stays the same or becomes more complex — providing continued opportunities for CEDIA home tech pros. Industry expert Julie Jacobson (of CEPro fame) says, “The more logos, the more ‘standards,’ more devices that come into the home, the more complicated it’s going to become. Only home technology integrators will be able to support that.” Pedigo explains it thusly: “Suppose you’ve got Wireless Protocol X. So theoretically, all Protocol X devices should work together; however, there are revision numbers, so Protocol X.1a works well with all Protocol X.1a-z devices, but the latest and greatest is Protocol X.2 is not backwards-compatible — even though they have the same logo.” It’s an extension of some earlier predictions, sure, but the emphasis here is how important that integrator will become as a service provider — even for objects he or she didn’t install. It’s kind of like trying to upgrade the guts of your old toilet — only to discover you need a plumber after all.

Prediction 33. Connected door locks will be hacked, heck, EVERYTHING WILL BE HACKED. Can we bring Shelly Palmer back out for an encore, please?

Anything that can be hacked, will be hacked. So — are you going to bring in a security professional or are you going to become a security professional? Where is that line?

As this evolves, you're going to have to decide as an integrator where you want to take your own career. It's not cut and dried, it's not hanging TVs, it's not putting in stereo systems, it's not dropping speakers in the ceiling and making ambient music happen all over the place. The world we're coming into right now is a world we've never seen before. Not only will you be talking to the house, maybe you don't want Amazon listening, maybe you don't want Google listening, maybe you don't want Apple listening.
Who's going to be an expert in that? Clearly [physical] security is part of [many integration projects] — is that integrated with your online security?

Prediction 34. Consumer sensors will increase in sensitivity and function. The Internet of Things will become a lot like Santa: “IoT sees you when you’re sleeping/IoT knows when you’re awake/IoT knows if you’ve been bad or good…”


Prediction 35. Energy consumption will diminish, making energy management less important. “The growth of energy consumption is declining — not energy consumption itself, but the growth — due to more energy efficient appliances, tighter homes, that sort of thing,” says Julie Jacobson. “At some point, adjusting your thermostat to save energy isn’t going to be a thing.” In fact…

Prediction 36. Some places will require new buildings to have net-zero energy consumption. California’s leading the league in this universe (despite what are sure to be protestations from some pretty powerful lobbying groups). Not to fret: A structure that creates as much power as it uses (or more) can easily exist with no diminishment in comfort or quality of life. “Energy management will be inherent in everything we do,” surmises Jacobson.

Prediction 37. Solar power embedded into glass for energy harvesting is emerging. Why are your windows just sitting there when they could be recharging your phone?

Prediction 38. Energy harvesting is going to replace the need for batteries in some wireless devices. Why is your phone just sitting there when it could be recharging itself?

Prediction 39. Alternative energy systems will leverage POE (Power over Ethernet) lighting systems. Why is your Ethernet cable only carrying power to your entertainment systems and not your low-voltage LED lights?

Prediction 40. Demand response will be an opt-out for most energy tariffs. Because everything ultimately comes down to money, devices that react to peak power usage moments on the grid — or better yet, are using nominal amounts of power to begin with (hooray, solar-harvesting smart glass!) — will allow consumers to  dodge time-variant rates (and maybe have a chance to take the bill down to nearly nil).