ConnectedDesign walked the CEDIA Expo floor to find the newest market additions integrators can add to their “toolkit.” Smart homes are the talk of the town, with new homes rarely coming without at least one smart device. Therefore, integrators should seek out companies that can consolidate networks and power. 

Network Connectivity Systems

First, we wanted to start with the network systems integrators can use to monitor and protect a space. Consolidation was the hot topic of the Expo, providing integrators with a one-stop shop for their networking and connectivity needs.

Access Points for Connectivity. Image: Access Networks

Access Networks, a Snap One brand, offers dealers pre-configured networking products with access points, switches, and firewalls. Access Networks encourages integrators to send a project’s parameters, and then Access Networks customizes the networking system so it is ready to install on-site quickly and efficiently. According to Access Networks, when dealers collaborate with Snap One, they “can quickly and efficiently obtain all the components they need to deploy a fully integrated smart home solution.”

Connectivity is a key factor for integrators when designing a space, and Future Ready Solutions takes on the job of connecting and purchasing products from various retailers and offers products, services, and support from a single source. This strategy allows them to produce “a complete solution of fiber optic and copper connectivity products, advanced HDMI cables, audio/video distribution products, and AV Over IP Systems.”

Power and Storage

For those who constantly worry about power surges, SurgeX promoted its surge protector technology that not only protects against power surges but absorbs the energy to protect and preserve power. SurgeX also provides diagnostics on its website for virtual monitoring, making this an ideal product for integrators. Now, an electrician does not need to check every outlet. Instead, an integrator can log into the SurgeX system and identify issues or spots that need repair. 

Wall-Smart Flush Ceiling Mount

Power boxes and outlets are necessary, but they are not necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing. Integrators are designing more sleek modern homes, meaning no cords or boxes should be visible. Wall-Smart has an extensive line of wall and ceiling mounts that line up flush with any surface, including outdoor decor. For example, at the CEDIA Expo, Wall-Smart demonstrated how a Wi-Fi or game controller can be magnetically attached to a mount and disappear into the wall or ceiling. With products like those provided by Wall-Smart, locations for boxes and modems are no longer an issue for integrators designing homes because they can be seamlessly integrated into any room.

Controlling a Smart Home

Apex Technologies Smart Remote: Image: Apex Technologies

Smart home systems can ensure a simpler setup, installation, and maintenance process for integrators. Now that power and connectivity can be controlled from such systems, integrators can begin planning how to design a smart home and how it will be controlled. 

Smart home controllers are becoming increasingly popular, with brands like Apex Technologies announcing a new Smart Remote designed for integrators to control AV equipment and smart devices. Major technology manufacturers also offer the freedom to control lighting, energy, and security from a phone or tablet. 

SAVANT Metropolitan Keypad. Image: SAVANT

SAVANT is a smart living solutions company that offers smart home solutions for any design, including smart lighting, security, and entertainment. What makes SAVANT especially unique is the company’s smart user interface. The smart user interface is designed for Android and iOS users to personalize their smart homes and control them from a single app. The Savant Pro Remote and keypad can give users control of all their entertainment, lighting, and thermostats from one place. It is also compatible with Siri, Amazon Alexa, and other integration assistants. In May 2023, SAVANT introduced the SAVANT Smart Network in partnership with Juniper Networks. The Smart Network applies artificial intelligence (AI) to build a learning ecosystem and provide immediate data analytics to create a more accurate and personal customer experience.

Key Takeaways

CEDIA Expo 2023 showed that integrators have options when building a unique space. The event provided an opportunity for Smart Home companies to showcase network and power systems and centralized control systems for all home layouts. These tools and products all demonstrate that smart living is the future of integration, and manufacturers are rising to the challenge.