Is the custom electronics and high-tech home industry ready for green technology, green power and energy management? We may get a glimpse of that at this week’s CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) Expo in Indianapolis.
But I’m not holding my breath.
Oh, there will be energy management products. Some, like RoseWater Energy Group’s Residential Energy Storage Hub, offers up a $45,000 luxe home energy storage and power stabilization system that can be tied to a solar electric system or wind turbine and which might get a few of thousands of custom electronics contractors in Indy to turn away ever so briefly from the thundering home theater demos. RoseWater is hoping to enlist dealers on a limited basis—and we’ll see if the custom integrators take notice.
At the other end of the cost spectrum may be Panamax Furman’s BlueBolt home-wide system that extends the remote monitoring, IP-connected power conditioner system used mostly in home theater installs to plug-in modules and the like used throughout the home to monitor energy and control plugged-in devices. The Z-Wave Alliance can also be counted on to provide an assortment of plug-in modules and DIY-type home control from companies like Aeon Labs and Mi Case Verde’s affordable Vera system.
In between the super-luxe and DIY may be the high-end control systems, including Apple-based Savant, which may be showing some modifications to its SmartEnergy add-on that debuted at last year’s show. And Vantage is showing new Equinox LCD touchpanels and iPad interfaces with an energy monitoring component.
Future Tech Now?
The cool-looking and retro Nest Learning Thermostat, which has made more waves than sales, will be shown in the Future Technology Pavilion—and we hope it will be connected to a home control/automation system. That could generate some cool green buzz.
Previous Future Tech Pavilions have showed energy monitoring and control systems like that from Eaton, which can be connected to solar arrays and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, so I hope hope hope we’ll see something similar and even more dynamic this time around. Something closer to market than the vaporware we saw at CES would be appreciated as well.
CEDIA will also have a keynote address on Wednesday about what it calls the “Intuitive Home,” as well as a panel discussion on the topic Thursday morning. This should be a forward-looking topic going beyond “smart” or “connected” homes to homes that can learn our preferences and adjust system settings automatically.
Earlier this year CEDIA addressed the “Home of the Future,” looking ahead to technologies we may see in the home in 2016, including intuitive technologies such as RFID, digital home health and energy management.
I’m looking forward to both the keynote and the session, and I hope there’s some substance to report on there. Personally, I’d settle today for semi-automated smart homes with some energy management.
I’d really also like to see motorized shading systems that are automated by sensors to open and close window treatments in order to help heat or cool a home and thereby use less energy. Somfy may have some add-ons to its wireless TaHomA system that operates the “energy triangle” between shading, lighting and HVAC. And Lutron usually has something to say in realm of energy efficiency via shading and lighting.
Game on! (We hope.)
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