Search CE Pro

Print  |  Email  |  Share  |  News  |  Follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or RSS

Most Important Innovations of Past 20 Years?

Help CE Pro pick the most influential technology innovations from the past two decades.


Lutron dimmer: most important technology innovation?

Recently, we asked CE pros to nominate the most influential people of the past two decades, in celebration of our 20 years in print. We’re in the process of putting those names to a vote.

Now, we’d like to solicit the top technological innovations of the past two decades.

Lutron’s dimmer? D-Tools’ project management software? Z-Wave? ZigBee? HDMI?

Which products and technologies changed the game and set the trends for the custom electronics industry?

Nominate the important innovations in the comments section below, and we’ll put them up for a vote.

The winners will be part of our special 20-year anniversary coverage in the February 2013 issue of CE Pro.

Behind every successful custom installation is a CE Pro

And CEPro magazine is there keeping you up-to-date on the latest products, techniques, designs and business practices. From HDBaseT 2.0 to cat5e wiring, from UHDTV to wireless lighting control, CEPro explains how they work and how best to use them. Each issue delivers constructive, real-time content to help you find innovative ways to successfully build and maintain your business.
Discover how to make smart use of today's current technologies...and those that are emerging...subscribe today!

Subscribe to the CE Pro Newsletter

Article Topics

News · · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

9 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Andrew Southern  on  12/20  at  02:12 PM


Posted by bosser55  on  12/20  at  02:15 PM

The learning remote and IR repeating

Posted by Joe Whitaker  on  12/20  at  02:25 PM

The Zigbee / Zwave battle in itself was innovation. Creating a low cost / low power wireless communication protocol that has become common enough and affordable enough to be seen at home depot but still strong enough for custom solutions is amazing.

Lutron: Seriously they have the patents to prove why their innovations have changed the world. Both in the ideas of dimming tech and wireless control.

Universal Remote Control. Maybe not the brand…although that actually works considering that they Have been OEM’d at one time or another by a large segment of Home Automation and Control Companies.

HDMI…. Good or Bad

HD: nuff said

Digital Media Content…. You can say it started with the Laser Disc and has gone to the Cloud next who knows? Many storage and delivery methods in many formats…. But it still Digital Media Content.

IPTV. I know your probably like whatever. But in my mind GoogleTv, Hulu, and the rest of the services in this catagory have helped a lot of people cut the cord and save some bucks. If you are watching whats going on out there you see this innovation is the future that we will probably be lucky enough to see come to fruition in our life time.

Digital Amplification…... Less weight / heat. Bob Carver may just hunt me down for saying that “Love you new tube amp by the way!”

These are a couple for me. I would add LED technology for consumer use but since it started back in the 60’s I don’t think it fits

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  12/20  at  02:40 PM

Bosser ... who gets the credit for that?

Posted by Joe Whitaker  on  12/20  at  02:44 PM

oh yeah, what Andrew said. But rephrase as iAnything

Posted by bosser55  on  12/20  at  03:26 PM

Xantech for IR repeating. The first learning remote I can remember programming was a Pioneer CUAV200. There was probably someone before them, but it was the first real legit effort I can recall.

Posted by Rick Murphy  on  12/20  at  05:46 PM

Here are more from my perspective:

- Philips TiVo
- ReplayTV

DSS mini-dish satellite systems:
- DirecTV / USSB
- PrimeStar
- Dish Network

Easy to program touchscreen remotes:
- Philips Pronto & ProntoEdit software
- Lexicon 500t / 700t & LexiDraw software

Single lens ‘point and shoot’ projectors:

Flat-panel displays:
- Plasma

Posted by paulcunningham  on  12/21  at  01:46 PM

Most important innovations for consumer electronics in the past 20 years has got to be:

- Multi-core processing
- Audio and video compression (e.g. MP3, H.264)
- LCD/DLP advancements
- Capacitative touch screens

Posted by Rick Murphy  on  12/26  at  01:33 AM

A few more, this time some shifts in the business paradigms of our industry:

- The trade specific magazines for custom a/v.

- The web forums that specialized in custom a/v, like Remote Central and

- The progressive reps who opened distribution warehouses back in the day.

- Buying groups that included custom a/v companies and brands.

Page 1 of 1 comment pages
Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

Sponsored Links

  About Us Customer Service Privacy Policy Contact Us Advertise With Us Dealer Services Subscribe Reprints ©2015 CE Pro
  EH Network: Electronic House CE Ideas Store Commercial Integrator ChannelPro ProSoundWeb Church Production Worship Facilities Electronic House Expo Worship Facilities Expo