The annual Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES, was held a few weeks ago and it did not disappoint. The pre-audit attendance of 115,000 made it the largest show since early 2020. While most of the event is not targeted at integrators, there were some interesting exhibits that bode well for the future. CE Pro editor Jason Knott spoke with CEDIA senior vice president Giles Sutton about what they saw at the show and what it means for integrators.
“It’s quite overwhelming to see the amount of connected technology and what is really available now to consumers and to professional installers as well,” comments Sutton. “And some of the demands that technology is going to place on the home network and the opportunity that it brings to integrators.
“Another impression I have is that there seems to be fewer products at CES that are professional integrator ready. For example, Sony did not really have any consumer electronics in its booth, which instead was very gaming-focused. And this sort of emphasis on “buzzy tech.” Things like home robots, designed to draw attention to some of the booths, and technology that’s not really ready to go just yet. So, it’s just incredibly broad. That’s my takeaway from being there for a few days,” he continues.
Sutton adds,. “There’s certainly some products that I think are going be very interesting to integrators… some some wearable gesture technology that I thought was kind of interesting… some wellness technology as well that I saw.
“As an overview. I think it really just goes to show that the work. The role of the integrator is probably more important now than ever before to guide homeowners through their decision-making process when it comes to the right technology to put into the home. Also just making sure that the home network can support all this, all of these products because it really is immense.”
Among the CES booths discussed in the podcast are LG, Sony, Samsung, Amazon Ring, Schneider Electric and Harman.
The podcast discussion also centered on the growing automotive technology focus at CES.
“A lot of integrators in this in this channel came from the automotive audio space, so it’s kind of interesting that these are becoming truly immersive AV experiences within the cars themselves,” says Sutton, noting voice control and electric power being two primary emphases at the show. He noted that vehicles are essentially being positioned as an extension of the home with the ability through the dashboard to access home cameras or control home heating,” says Sutton.
He adds, “I think the real area that an integrator can add value is in the power management that’s needed around these vehicles. Clearly the vehicles will require connectivity. This goes not just beyond the automotive space, but I think integrators increasingly need to focus on power management as being a necessity within the home. How many electric vehicles are now being released over the next 12 to 18 months? With that comes significant demand on the home and the need for potentially surge protection and proper power management. I think that’s where the integrators can add value to this really sort of changing scene around automotive. CES is becoming more of an automotive show than it is a consumer electronics show.”