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Home Automation a Rising Trend at CES 2014

CES

In January the annual Consumer Electronics show will once be taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center. From January 7th-10th 2014, all the latest products will be debuted, from televisions, to tablets, PCs to speakers.


Last year, we saw the arrival of
4K Ultra HD TVs, and 2014 will no doubt bring similar products from Sony, LG, Panasonic and more. Another possible big star is the arrival of high-resolution audio. As Gary Shapiro, CEO and President of the Consumer Electronics Association, said, “We expect major HRA announcements over the next year and believe that the technology will have a strong presence at the 2014 International CES.”

On top of that, monster amps and soundbars, essentially speakers that sit underneath your TV, are another new tech choice. Music and sound systems, like Chord Electronic’s new Huga DAC/headphone amp, will definitely make appearances. Smartphones will no doubt be integral due to their role as the remotes and devices for wireless streaming, both features that are integral in CES’s home automation.

A recent report from Gartner has claimed that by 2020, The Internet of Things, or rather the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology in order to communicate, sense, or interact with their internal states or external environment, will grow to 26 billion units - and that’s excluding any use of PCs, tablets and smartphones. It’s not difficult to believe. At last year’s Consumer Electronics Show, home automation was a major game changer, and rumours so far have insinuated that this year’s smart home advancements will be no different.

Last year ADT home security impressed us with the advanced features added to their home integration system, Pulse, which was first released in 2010 - one of the first mass-market deployments of home automation. ADT Pulse partnered with Samsung and made waves by displaying an additional television interface to control the system, energy management and even integration with audio.

Control4, perhaps the most popular home automation system, debuted its improved system that could transmit Ethernet, IR and serial commands over a single cable and a new 16x16 audio matrix switch at CES 2013. On top of that, they recently introduced a new line of fully featured wireless lighting devices, including adaptive phase dimmers. A press release on the 18th described the smart lighting that would have fully advanced CFL and LED bulbs with advanced dimming, scheduling, and occupancy sensing capabilities. With incredibly expansive customization options, and proven energy-saving capabilities, Control4’s smart lighting solutions will cater to both residential and commercial lighting projects.

The Wireless Lighting line from Control4 is created in order to transition smoothly from previous old lights, and integrates seamlessly with Control 4’s Audio/Video and climate-control systems. For example, if a shade is opened, an unnecessary light may turn off. The Control4 system can also configure advanced lighting scenes, such as setting the lights in the entertainment room to dim if the home theater turns on, or, having a light turn on as soon as the garage door opens. The system will also include motion sensors, auto-off timers, and a one-touch button to turn off everything within the home.

Another major component of the rise of the “internet of things” at CES should be the presence of a plethora of digital products that gather data and share it with other connected devices. Everything from health and fitness gadgets, smart automotive accessories and more will continue to add to the already huge home network. The additions will lead to improved safety, security and loss prevention. Consumers can also expect increased sensor technology, necessary for smart building technology, and a home that essentially takes care of itself.

Guest Blog: Elizabeth Eckhart