Sep 29, 2011 - Audio Visual, Technology    No Comments

Amazing CEDIA Gear

As I stated in an earlier post, I’m not going to site here and attempt to write an all encompassing review of all the wonderful things that CEDIA had to offer. There are many other writers ridiculously more talented then I whose entire jobs are to cover our wonderful CEDIA events. So yeah, if you want the entire show review, go hit them up! What I want to talk about are the few things that I saw that stuck with me. Let’s roll:

To start, I was blown away by Lutron’s Cellular Motorized Shade. Your probably thinking ‘Matt, wasn’t this an AV show… Didn’t they release a 4K projector, and your talking shades!’ You can guarantee I am, and let me tell you why! I go to shows like this all the time. They are always releasing some amazing product that is a “game-changer” or “light years ahead” which is very cool and all but….. As cool as they are, I’m all about products I can use today! Is that a 4K projector? I’m not sure, but if you’re reading this and you’ve got 50 friends who are ready to plunk down their AmEx Black Cards and order on, let me know, we can hook them up!
So back to why I think these shade are the true star of this show, these shades are stellar. When we look at automation and motorized shades, our customers love the products and the concept all the way until we present the proposal. That’s when most people start to get cold feet when we’re quoting or speccing shades. Let’s face it, they have always been expensive. We tell customers to budget anywhere from $1,600 – $2,000 a window and it can go up from the depending on what you, the customer or designer, want! These new shades from Lutron start at $299! That is the key to why they new cellular shades from Lutron are so important to our industry. They allow us to get in the door of so many more homes and potential clients. Not only that but they are wireless to boot! Wireless I tell you! How ridiculously awesome is that. Now I can sell a shade, go the the customers house, unpack it, put in some brackets and install the shade, and presto… We’re done! In and out with out cutting a hole or running any wire! I spoke with David Wienstien from Lutron regarding these shades and he told me that they estimate there are 180 million windows in America that hit the target demographic for these shades! That is a huge market people! For only a bit more then regular shades, we’ll be able to spec these shades! I like any product that allows me to reach more customers!
So let me break it down: Lutron Wireless Cellular Shades! Starting at $299 a shade, runs for approximately 3 years on regular D-cell batteries, with wireless control and famous Lutron build quality. Three different form factors: Single cell, Double cell; and Blackout! What more could you ask for!

The second cool thing I saw at CEDIA was Crestron’s new 3″ touchpanel! Now there was so many cool things I could talk about from Crestron’s awesome booth. I could talk DM, I could talk 29″ touchpanel monitors, I could talk the custom iPad dock/mount Ralph Fieldstien crafted himself just days or hours before the show! So why did I pick the almost random pick of a 3″ touchpanel? Again, back to my previous statement about things I can use! This 3″ touchpanel is something that allows us to spec a amazing touchpanel into every room or zone. What makes it so special is that it’s a Crestron panel, this ain’t no girly panel, this is Crestron! The leader in automation and with amazing quality! Not to disparage any other company but after using Crestron gear for years, we know we can make this work and we know it will work no matter what the end user does to it! Not only that, it’s priced right and can run the new Crestron Core3UI!

The third thing is one thing that I’ve heard alot of buzz about and never seen fully effective in our industry is the concept of true remote access or cloud control. Yeah I said it! CLOUD! When we look at automation, this is the true crown jewel! The ability to completely and easily monitor and make changes to a customers automation system remotely is the holy grail. Notice I said easily! That’s the key here. Many companies provide remote access and many companies provide the ability to make changes remotely but who can say they do both AND they do it easily! Ha! The third interesting thing that I discovered was Claire Controls. They are a company that has developed a completely cloud based automation system. They are a software company that isn’t overtly interested in creating hardware, but want to own the software system. Their system is designed to allow the integrator to install a system and control an entire house over ip. All of this control is natively available in the cloud. Where this gets super cool is when you need to update something for your customer, you just log into your account and make the changes and the system updates itself. No remaking each touch panel design and hours of code for a single change. — Now I can’t wait to see a installed demo of this system, if it works the way in which it is supposed to… It could very well be the game changer we have been waiting for!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my CEDIA 2011 wrap up. I covered what I found to be the three most interesting products I found when walking the show floor! I had a great time and there were many other things that deserve their own write up, if you’d like more coverage… Go hit up my friends at, they have some great stuff!

May your future be bright and your lights dim!

Thanks for reading,

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