The CEDIA Talks -- Part One

Ed Wenck | Sep 16, 2020

The CEDIA Virtual Expo Experience includes, of course, a virtual CEDIA Booth – and the Booth is playing host to 2020’s round of CEDIA Talks.

CEDIA’s Director of Government Affairs Darren Reaman was the opening act with an overview of what his department has been up to – legislation continues in the midst of a pandemic, after all. Reaman’s been handling this particular desk for decades, keeping watch for legislation (especially at the state level) that might impede CEDIA members from doing their business.

Reaman notes that, “The majority of state legislation that we look after deals wtih state-wide electrical licensing related to PoE and low-voltage licensing, alarm and security legislation related to home automation, connected devices, and workforce development.”

Reaman says that he’s currently registered to lobby in eight states: Arizona, California, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Oklahoma. (He registers as a lobbyist when a state has legislation pending that needs to be addressed.

“In 2020 CEDIA lobbied on legislation and regulations related to the industry in Maryland, New Jersey, and Oklahoma,” says Reaman, noting that the busines of governance has been disrupted by the pandemic.

“During the 2020 legislative sessions, CEDIA has tracked 605 legislative bills in all 50 states and Canada, and 70 regulations in 28 states.” Notably, about half of the legislation that’s gotten on Reaman’s radar has been Covid-related.

The Surveillance Show

CEDIA Board Director Michael Cogbill began the Wednesday slate of sessions with a talk on “Trends in Video Surveillance.” The headline: It’s all digital now, of course.

“The sweet spot for cameras will be 4k very soon in the IP universe,” says Cogbill, and the technologies that are advancing in this realm make the images better and better. “Low light images are improving dramatically, and WDR – ‘Wide Dynamic Range’ – is a big help.” The example he gives for the latter: If a camera is sitting inside a dark garage with a door open to the sunny outdoors, the camera can process the variance of light and give a good picture of what’s both light and dark.

Recording solutions and lens technology are making strides, too, as are video analytics – it’s an area that Cogbill finds incredibly interesting, since analytics will ultimately replace a human’s attention span (which is limited) when it comes to monitoring a security camera system.

“When we talk about AI, it’s important to understand the difference between ‘machine learning’ and ‘deep learning’,” he explains. “Machine learning means that you send a set of rules that the device follows those rules: Thing A moves like a car, thing B moves like a person. Deep learning means the device is being trained to create its own rules and learn from the massive crush of data it receives.

“We’ll see cameras with deep learning capabilities by the mid-2020s,” says Cogbill. “And by the later ‘20s, cameras won’t just recognize a ‘car,’ they’ll be able to ID, say, a vintage 1990s Ferrari.”

Workforce Notes

CEDIA’s Ian Bryant checked in on the work he’s doing as VP of Technology Application and Workforce – particularly that last part. “By end of 2021 we’ll have hands-on CEDIA training via a network of providers, and we’re establishing links between jobseeker pipelines and member employers,” notes Bryant. “We had a big win at ISE 2020 this past February – we connected with 400 students, and that outreach is planned for other events such as next year’s Expo and Tech Summits.”

A good number of the wins for Bryant’s team have been covered by Your Humble Blogger (for example, the successful launch of the CEDIA Electronic Systems Integration Technician Training program, but one big project Bryant’s especially excited about that hasn’t seen much publicity (yet) is the new CEDIA Cabling and Infrastructure Technician textbook -- five years in the making.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” says Bryant.