CE Pro Names Top 5 Home Tech Trends and Opportunities for 2016
Audio and video analytics, DC power distribution, the 4K ecosystem, front-door technology and user empowerment in home automation named top 5 trends for home technology integrators in 2016.
After deliberating with integrators, manufacturers, editors and other consumer-technology pundits, CE Pro has selected the following five trends and opportunities for 2016.
Top 5 Trends: 2016 Preview1. Audio and Video Analytics In 2016, we will begin to see a decreasing need for dedicated sensors that monitor temperature, motion, smoke, fire and even personal states such as falls, sleeplessness and illness. That’s because many of these states can be tracked and analyzed through sound and video. Think: mics that can isolate baby cries, gun shots, falls and leaky pipes; cameras that can recognize faces, sleep patterns, temperature via thermal imaging and fires before they trigger a smoke detector; and combinations that can determine if a senior aging in place is showing signs of dementia.
2. DC Power Distribution 2016 won’t be the year that we chuck traditional AC power for PoE lighting systems and giant in-home batteries like Tesla’s and Rosewater’s. But it will be the year that home technology pros should start thinking about new ways of powering (and wiring) the home, because chances are we will see much more DC power-distribution options in the next five years.
3. 4K Ecosystem CE Pro first named 4K Ultra HD as a Top 5 Trend to Watch in 2013. In 2015, we included 4K in our “immersive entertainment” trend that included UHD resolution, curved displays, high-resolution and object-oriented audio, virtual reality and motion. This year, we give a nod to 4K because of the ecosystem that is finally building up around the format: content, media distribution, HDMI cable, standards, and most compelling of all: high dynamic range (HDR).
4. The Front Door It’s hard to imagine that the lowly front door could hold so much promise for integrated home technology, but start-ups like Ring and Skybell, along with social trends such as Airbnb, have delivered fresh new opportunities to the doorstep. Automated door locks, intercom stations, smart door bells, cameras, peepholes, facial recognition, motorized shades within doors and lighting all make the front door a new entry point -- so to speak -- for the smart home.
5. User Empowerment in Home Automation “User empowerment” is a follow-on to the 2015 trend of “engaging home automation.” Last year, we highlighted new products and industry philosophies that led to consumers to take more control of their “custom” automation systems. Customers themselves can now set scenes and schedules without having to call a pro. We’ll see that and more in 2016, with the ability for clients to enroll new devices into their systems, create their own user interfaces, turn their security monitoring on and off, and enrich their dealers through new business models.
Top 5 Home Tech Trends: Looking Back
- Production home building
- Immersive home entertainment
- Engaging home automation
- The aware home
- Cloud-based networking
- High-Resolution Audio
- Mass-Market Home Automation
- Cloud Video Surveillance
- More Sensor Opportunities
- Automated Door Locks
- Enterprise-Grade Home Networks
- Wireless Audio
- Motorized Shades
- 4K Ultra HD TV
- Self-contained security/automation
- LED lighting
- Computer audio
- Voice, gesture, alternative controls
- The cloud
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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