This press release came through from CEDIA Australia’s Stephen Miller and it makes for interesting reading.
Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association compares technology trends across the globe
While the buzz over 3D, tablets, and other hot technologies has been a global phenomenon, upon a closer look, the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) has found that homeowners have different expectations for their technology depending on where in the world they call home.
CEDIA, the leading authority on residential electronic solutions, recently compared home technology trends in different parts of the world. With a global network of more than 3,500 member companies who design and install residential electronic systems, CEDIA has found some telling differences in the way homeowners around the world use technology.
“In today’s connected world, people are finding they can get more than they ever imagined out of technology in and around the home,” said Utz Baldwin, CEO, CEDIA America “These trends show that homeowners are seeking technology applications that are tailored to their unique needs and lifestyles rather than one-size-fits-all solutions.”
While certain technologies may be equally popular around the globe, often homeowners’ motivation for installing these systems varies. For example, in the United States, eco-conscious homeowners may opt for energy monitors out of a sense of personal responsibility for the environment, but in the U.K., for instance, the motivation for the same technologies may be mandated by the government. According to CEDIA experts, the electronic systems categories that will trend high for 2011 and beyond are ones that are provide ease of access, can improve quality of life, reduce economic and environmental impact and are easy to use.
TOP TRENDS IN ASIA PACIFIC
According to CEDIA Asia Pacific Members
1. Safety is Important
Homeowners depend on their homes to guard them against the elements. Now, with integrated technology, homes can be set up to communicate safety warnings in advance of disaster. UPS (uninterruptible power supply) devices are gaining popularity as strains on power supplies are inevitable, especially in warmer months. Smoke alarms can report to a monitoring center through security systems and can automatically take necessary precautions like shutting down air circulation to prevent smoke from spreading.
2. Sports Fanatics
It’s fair to say Australians and New Zealanders are sports-crazy, especially for supporters of Australian Rules Football, which regularly attract large crowds. For fans who want to enjoy the experience from the comfort of their homes, CEDIA professionals can make them feel like they are at the stadium, enhancing all of these sports with flat-panel, 3D and high-definition screens, immersive surround sound and fully integrated media rooms.
3. TV: The New Date Night
As belts tighten, TV sales increase as homeowners save money by staying at home on a Friday night. Home theaters have gained in popularity as they are seen as a way of improving people’s entertainment spend and quality of life by delivering the full cinema experience in the comfort of their own homes.
Interesting fact: In 2009, the Australian government gave all households a $900 bonus to help stave off a recession during the global financial crisis. Jokingly referred to as the ‘plasma bonus’, many retailers dropped the price of their best-selling flat panel TVs to around $900.
TOP TRENDS IN THE UNITED STATES
According to Dave Pedigo, senior director of technology, CEDIA
1. TV of the Future
Going forward, TVs will be more like computers, growing more compatible with cameras for video conferencing, social-media-enabled widgets and media receivers. According to a July 2010 survey by DisplaySearch, by 2014 nearly all TVs 42″ and above will be 3D-ready. DisplaySearch also projects that 42.9 million 3D-ready TVs will be sold by 2014.
2. App-Driven Technologies
The adoption rate for applications will continue to grow rapidly, allowing third-party developers to offer a vast array of products, games and interfaces that allow consumers to customize their viewing habits.
3. Home Theaters, Gaming and Media Rooms
A Parks Associates survey indicates U.S. revenues for home theaters and multi-room audio systems will continue to grow, from $6 billion in 2007 to $11 billion+ by 2012. Homeowners are increasingly seeking an all-immersive entertainment environment with such technologies as motion chairs, 3D surround sound and giant 3D screen, offering the ultimate movie-watching experience.
TOP TRENDS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
According to Rufus Greenway, marketing chair, CEDIA and director of Sound Environment
1. Control Applications for Smart Phones and Tablets
Applications for smart phones and tablets allow homeowners to control the home’s lighting, HVAC, entertainment, and other systems. While apps for mobile devices do not yet offer a singular solution for home control, the app market has emerged as a complement to dedicated remote controls and touchpanels.
2. TV On-Demand
The UK is experiencing a growing number of clients interested in on-demand TV content. BBC i- player and similar services are in high demand as clients with busy lives find it difficult to be at home to watch a particular program at the same time every week.
3. 3D and Blu-ray Content
3D technologies will improve as more content is released and screen prices drop. Picture quality of 3D screens in standard-definition and high-definition channels is also improved, since the increased processing speed required for 3D makes screens better by default. Additionally, standard DVD players are fading out, being replaced by Blu-ray HD players, which have become more affordable.
4. MP3 vs. CDs vs. Vinyl
The MP3 has become the new standard in audio enjoyment in the home, replacing older CD players, but there will be always a market for those who wish to listen to uncompressed music. The high-end audiophile will always search for quality over convenience, as proven by the stabilization of vinyl sales.
CEDIA is an international trade association of companies that specialise in designing and installing electronic systems for the home. For more information on CEDIA, visit the association’s website at www.cedia.com.au