Leon Introduces Premium Outdoor Bollard Speakers with Built-in Low Voltage Lighting

InfoComm 2022 Booth #W637

BollardAn addition to Leon’s Terra LuminSound TrLs50 collection, the new 32-inch-tall Terra LuminSound Bollard enhances outdoor areas with exceptional audio and adjustable lighting. 

[Ann Arbor, MI] – June 1, 2022 – Building off the popularity of its newly redesigned Terra LuminSound outdoor speaker line, Leon introduces a redesigned, taller model. The Terra LuminSound Bollard speaker features the same handcrafted components and built-in low voltage lighting as the shorter landscape version but stands taller thanks to a 21-inch aircraft-grade aluminum base. At an overall height of 32 inches and available with halo and adjustable pathway lighting, the Terra LuminSound Bollard beautifully defines and enhances any residential or commercial outdoor space.

“As we all continue spending more time outside, Leon wants to give integrators more design options that add audiovisual ambiance to commercial and residential environments,” says Noah Kaplan, Leon founder and president. “With premium customizable powder coat finishes, the Terra LuminSound Bollard delivers exceptional sound and style to pathways, rooftops, outdoor kitchens, and more.”

Incorporating audio and lighting in one compact, IP67-rated enclosure, the Terra LuminSound Bollard provides premium sound in a sleek, customizable package that is designed and built to withstand even the harshest of climates. It’s available with commercial-grade lighting that can be adjusted to illuminate pathways, landscaping, and architectural details. Hardscape mounting is the preferred installation method for the bollard model, and like all Terra products, it is handcrafted in the USA and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Where to See Leon Speakers
Leon invites InfoComm attendees to visit booth W637 to see the Terra LuminSound Bollard speakers, as well as other innovative design-friendly AV solutions for residential and commercial environments. To learn more about the Terra LuminSound Bollard, visithttps://www.leonspeakers.com/trls50). Information about Leon’s entire line of design-forward outdoor and indoor speakers can be found at https://www.leonspeakers.com/.


About Leon
Leon brings a creative approach to technology by designing and manufacturing customizable speakers and technology concealment solutions that enhance the sound and style of any space. For 25 years, the company has been a leader in the conversation about merging design with technology, creating innovative products that serve both the Residential and Commercial markets. Learn more by visiting www.leonspeakers.com and by following @leonspeakers on social media.


Media Contacts
Press Contact: Katye (McGregor) Bennett of KMB Communications, (425) 328-8640 or katye@kmbcomm.com

Company Contact: Carolyn Ceccoli, Sales & Marketing Director at Leon Speakers, (734) 926-4092 or cceccoli@leonspeakers.com




WALL-SMART Design-Friendly Wall Mounts Make Home Technology Disappear at IBS 2022

WALL-SMART Design-Friendly Wall Mounts Make Home Technology Disappear at IBS 2022

IBS 2022 (International Builders Show) Booth W5779

At IBS 2022, WALL-SMART shows broad range of flush wall mounts that help home builders, architects, designers, and systems integrators minimize the appearance of popular home technologies. 

ORLANDO, FLORIDA (February 7, 2022)WALL-SMART, displaying at the International Builders Show (IBS 2022), understands the challenges builders, architects, designers, and systems integrators face when adding popular technologies like touchscreens, tablets, voice assistants, security cameras, Wi-Fi access points, and more into homes. Achieving an aesthetically pleasing fit and finish can be difficult. Rather than let smart home technology impede on the home aesthetic, WALL-SMART offers to the build/design community a range of custom-designed and -manufactured mounting hardware that recesses devices flush with wall and ceiling surfaces. Developed for new construction and retrofit applications, the innovative wall and ceiling mounts turn home tech devices into natural parts of wall or ceiling surfaces, rendering them dramatically less conspicuous. Visit WALL-SMART in booth W5779 at IBS 2022. 

“Technology has become a necessity for most households, but that doesn’t mean the home environment must suffer from ‘wall and ceiling acne’,” says WALL-SMART Co-CEO and Founder Galia Ben-Dor. “This is the philosophy on which WALL-SMART was conceived and bases the design of every product we develop. We think every home should be as beautiful as it is smart, and our mounting solutions give builders, architects, designers, technology integrators, and their clientele even more ways to achieve this objective with ease and simplicity.”

WALL-SMART showcases at IBS 2022, in booth W5779, a variety of design-friendly flush wall mounts from its portfolio, including mounts for a consumer-favorite, soundbar speakers from Sonos, as well as a mount for the newest tablet from Apple, the iPad Mini 6. These new products join WALL-SMART’s diverse family of discreet mounting solutions, customized and crafted for effective and simple installation using standard construction techniques in drywall, as well marble, glass, wood, concrete, and other solid surfaces. 

Each of WALL-SMART’s wall and ceiling mounts is custom-designed, -engineered, and fabricated with a specific home tech product in mind. This attention to detail ensures not only a seamless, completely flush appearance but also optimal convenience of use and quality of performance. Included in the WALL-SMART line are mounts for best-in-brand devices, including Sonos Beam and Arc soundbars, Apple iPad tablets, Lutron lighting keypads, Control4 touchscreens and keypads, Crestron touchscreens and keypads, Savant low-voltage keypads, Araknis Wi-Fi access points, IC Realtime security cameras, Honeywell home security keypads, Legrand light switches, and more.

WALL-SMART Hides Security and Surveillance Cameras
A top-requested technology of consumers is a security camera. Unfortunately, this increasingly common household device can be difficult to hide without hindering its ability to capture video. Mounts from WALL-SMART solve this problem by drastically downplaying the appearance of IPMX-W40F and IPMX-W20F security cameras from IC Realtime without any impact on their ability to detect movement and capture real-time video. The body of the camera tucks inside WALL-SMART’s specially designed mount, leaving only the lens exposed and trimmed attractively with a faceplate. 

WALL-SMART Enables Seamless Installation of Light Switches and Electrical Receptacles
WALL-SMART mounts recess light switches and electrical receptacles seamlessly within wall surfaces, providing the build/design community with a more attractive solution than conventional surface-mounted options. Available for switches and receptacles from leading manufacturers, including Lutron, Legrand, Control4, and Savant are mounts for new construction, retrofit, and solid-surface installation. 

WALL-SMART Clears Voice Assistants from Countertops and Furniture
In 2020, there were 4.2 billion digital voice assistants used in devices throughout the world, according to research firm Statista. This number is expected to reach 8.4 billion units by 2024. WALL-SMART is doing its part to minimize the visual impact of voice assistants on home environments via custom mounting hardware that recesses the technology flush with wall surfaces. Thanks to WALL-SMART’s design-forward line of wall mounts, builders, designers, architects, and systems integrators can offer their customers an eye-pleasing and space-saving alternative to placing voice assistant devices on countertops and tabletops. 

WALL-SMART Delivers Discreet Installations of Sonos Soundbars
A recent addition to WALL-SMART’s portfolio is a line of flush wall mounts for Sonos’ popular Beam and Arc Soundbars. The mounts enable the soundbars to be recessed within wall surfaces, giving builders, architects, designers, and systems integrators an installation alternative to placing soundbars inside furniture or attaching them directly to displays. The mounts are available for retrofit applications, in black and white with acoustically transparent grille covers to match. They have been designed for quick and easy assembly and installation.

WALL-SMART Blends Apple iPad Tablets Into Home Designs
According to research firm Statista, as of February 2021, approximately 53% of adults in the U.S. owned at least one tablet, with Apple’s uber-popular iPad leading the way. Chances are, many of these iPads are used within homes. Rather than let tablets clutter countertops, WALL-SMART has developed custom wall mounts that recess Apple iPads, including the new iPad Mini 6, flush with wall surfaces. Builders, architects, designers, and systems integrators can now blend tablets beautifully into the home environment.  WALL-SMART’s mounts for Apple iPads are available for new construction and retrofit applications. 

WALL-SMART Conceals Wi-Fi Access Points Within Ceilings
Customized for a variety of leading-brand Wi-Fi access points, WALL-SMART’s innovative mounts take a device that would ordinarily protrude from the ceiling and recess it completely within the surface. Builders, architects, designers, and systems integrators can deliver their customers high-performance Wi-Fi 6 connectivity without compromising the aesthetics of the home environment. Without design limitations, access points can be located where they provide the strongest, fastest, most reliable Wi-Fi signals for optimal connectivity and a better customer experience. 


WALL-SMART Tames the Appearance of Home Control Touchscreens
Touchscreens are quickly becoming a mainstay in modern smart homes as a means of control, communication, and access to the Internet and video, like real-time images captured by security cameras. To grant homeowners quick and easy access to these features, touchscreens are best positioned in high-traffic areas. To minimize their appearance in areas like kitchens and foyers, WALL-SMART offers mounts for home control touchscreens from leading manufacturers, including Crestron, Control4, Elan, and Savant. Versions for installation in new construction, retrofit, and solid-surface applications are available, as well as retrofittable low-profile bezels in black, white, or unpainted so as to be custom-painted or material-matched to the adjacent surface. WALL-SMART bezels feature imperceptible perforations to enable clear, uninhibited audio transmission for intercom and voice control via the touchscreen. 

WALL-SMART Affords Quick and Easy Installation During and After Construction
Comprising moisture-resistant, chemically treated MDF, WALL-SMART’s design-forward mounts install similar to that of any drywall application. The mounts recess into standard stud bays and ceiling joists for a flush appearance. Finished with drywall or a low-profile, paintable bezel, the mounts enable technology to become a seamless part of the surface, significantly minimizing its visual impact on the home environment. 

WALL-SMART mounts can be used in any home construction or remodeling project, installed into virtually any surface, including drywall and plaster, as well as concrete, brick, wood, marble, glass, and metal. Installation in new construction follows standard Level 4 drywall procedures. Retrofit installation typically takes less than five minutes and does not require a drywall expert. The mounts can be ordered directly from WALL-SMART or from its partners for any technology that’s specified for the residence, further simplifying the deployment process. Should a device require maintenance, repair, or replacement, it can be easily removed from the mount. 

Where to See WALL-SMART Mounts
To see WALL-SMART’s extensive portfolio of technology concealment solutions for the design-build community, visit Booth W5779 at IBS 2022, as well as the New Product Zone. For more information about its extensive line of flush-mount products and to view instructional installation videos, go to www.wall-smart.com.


 About WALL-SMART Ltd.
WALL-SMARTis the leading designer and manufacturer of custom flush ceiling and wall mounts for high-end home electronic devices, including tablets, touchscreens, Wi-Fi access points, security cameras, voice assistants, and more. Dedicated to providing cutting-edge, creative, and cost-effective concealment solutions for technology in new and existing homes, WALL-SMART inspires homes that are both technically advanced and exceptionally beautiful. A wide range of products, combined with simple installation, and fast, hassle-free shipping, poises WALL-SMART as a valuable smart home resource for home systems integrators, home builders and contractors, architects, and designers. 

For more information about Wall-Smart, please find and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn

Media Contact
For interviews, reviews, or more information please contact Katye (McGregor) Bennett of KMB Communications by phoning (425) 328-8640 or emailing katye@kmbcomm.com.

All products, product names, trademarks, and registrations mentioned are the property of their respective owners, all rights reserved.

WALL-SMART Launches New Wall Mounts for Sonos Soundbars 

WALL-SMART Launches New Wall Mounts for Sonos Soundbars 

WALL-SMART’s new flush wall mounts for Sonos soundbars minimize the appearance of audio technology in homes where cosmetics are just as important as sound quality. 

ORLANDO, FLORIDA (February 1, 2022) WALL-SMART, the leading manufacturer of innovative mounting hardware that conceals a wide variety of smart devices flush with wall and ceiling surfaces, debuts at IBS 2022, Booth W5779, Sonos Soundbar Wall Mounts, a new line of flush wall mounts for Sonos’ popular Beam and Arc Soundbars. The mounts enable the soundbars to be recessed within wall surfaces, giving builders, architects, designers, and systems integrators an installation alternative to placing soundbars inside furniture or attaching them directly to displays.  

WALL-SMART makes the installation of the Sonos Beam and Arc soundbars simple for retrofit applications. The wall mounts, which are available in black and white, are covered with an attractive, matching acoustically and IR transparent grille cloth, allowing sound to transmit to the audience unfettered. For convenient and affordable shipping and delivery, the mounts ship as a kit ready to assemble on site. All the materials to build and install the WALL-SMART Sonos Soundbar Wall Mounts, as well as detailed instructions and documentation, are included for quick, easy assembly and installation. 

“We are thrilled to bring the WALL-SMART Sonos Soundbar Wall Mounts to the custom integration and design/build communities. They were developed specifically to provide more options to install Sonos’ incredibly popular soundbars into luxury homes to the delight of homeowners,” says WALL-SMART Co-CEO and Founder Galia Ben-Dor. “While these Sonos soundbars are beautiful in their own right, sometimes furniture is not desired or possible underneath the display. For these applications, WALL-SMART Sonos Soundbar Wall Mounts deliver a clean, minimalist appearance.”

Where to See WALL-SMART

IBS 2022 attendees can see WALL-SMART’s Sonos Soundbar Wall Mounts and other home technology concealment solutions at Booth W5779, as well as at the New Product Zone, which features 75 of the most cutting-edge products for the building industry. To learn more about WALL-SMART’s complete portfolio of innovative mounting hardware and view instructional installation videos, go to www.wall-smart.com


WALL-SMART is the leading designer and manufacturer of custom flush ceiling and wall mounts for high-end home electronic devices, including tablets, touchscreens, Wi-Fi access points, security cameras, voice assistants, and more. Dedicated to providing cutting-edge, creative, and cost-effective concealment solutions for technology in new and existing homes, WALL-SMART inspires homes that are both technically advanced and exceptionally beautiful. A wide range of products, combined with simple installation and fast, hassle-free worldwide shipping, positions WALL-SMART as a valuable smart home resource for home systems integrators, home builders and contractors, architects, and designers. 

For more information about WALL-SMART, please find and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn

WALL-SMART Media Contact:
Katye (McGregor) Bennett, KMB Communications
email: katye@kmbcomm.com 

WALL-SMART® is a trademark of WALL-SMART Ltd., registered in the US and the UK. All other products, product names, trademarks, and registrations mentioned are the property of their respective owners, all rights reserved.

Screen Innovations Unveils Design-Forward Screens, Shades and Accessories at CEDIA Expo 2021

Screen Innovations Unveils Design-Forward Screens, Shades and Accessories at CEDIA Expo 2021

Screen Innovations demonstrates its dedication to the success of home systems integrators involved in the motorized shade and screen business by introducing a host of problem-solving new products at CEDIA Expo 2021. Always striving to make integrators’ jobs simpler and more profitable, SI drew inspiration from its network of systems integrators to develop technologies, products, and systems that overcome common challenges in the field effectively and efficiently, while providing end-users with beautiful, convenient, and fun smart home environments.

Whether it was an integrator’s wish for a simpler means of programming; sleeker, smaller motorized shade and screen cassettes; or more affordable installation hardware and software, SI listened, quickly pivoting to engineer and design the ideal shade and screen solution. By catering to the specific needs of its integrators, SI has carved a niche for itself, as a manufacturer that focuses its energy on providing integrators with meaningful products that make a real difference in the design, installation, and profitability of motorized shade and screen projects.

“SI is more than just a supplier, they are a partner that not only encourages suggestions from us but brainstorms with us to develop new products with one specific goal in mind—to help our business grow,” says Matt Uhl, owner of Gulf Coast Shades & Blinds, Pensacola, Fla. “It’s so refreshing to work with a manufacturer that’s open to discussion and builds the types of products we need to do our job better. The entire team at SI really cares about our success and time and again does whatever they can to help.”

It’s this open line of communication with integrators that has helped SI move consistently up the ladder as a leader in the motorized shade and screen market. Recognized this year as a Bullet Brand in CE Pro’s annual Brand Analysis Report, SI now commands second position in the motorized shade category and first in the motorized screen category.

“Despite a rocky pandemic-ridden 2020, we never stopped listening to our integrators,” says SI CEO Ryan Gustafson. “They are the reason we do what we do, and our top priority has always been to develop the types of shading and screen products they want. They tell us what we can do to improve, and we take their suggestions to heart.”

SI’s CEDIA Expo Presentation in Booth #5212 will include a range of indoor and outdoor entertainment and ambiance-enhancing solutions, including:

NEW Outdoor Entertainment Pavilion Featuring Shades and Screens

Outdoor entertaining is a hot trend that integrators, designers, architects, and homeowners are clamoring to capitalize on. SI has dedicated a 10-by-10-foot section of its CEDIA exhibit to shade and screen solutions that create comfortable, enjoyable outdoor environments. Within a custom pergola, SI will demonstrate a variety of motorized outdoor shades that turn decks and patios into year-round living spaces featuring SI’s next generation of outdoor projection screens that bring the excitement of home cinema to the backyard and beyond.


NEW Zen 2 Design-Inspired Outdoor Motorized Shade Cassette

The first décor-minded outdoor shading solution, Zen 2 boasts an elegant, customizable, architecturally friendly design that effortlessly transforms decks, gazebos, patios, and other outdoor areas into comfortable, stylish living spaces. Zen 2 finally gives architects and designers an option that seamlessly blends into today’s home designs, thanks to a custom paintable, primed option for a perfect color match. Accommodating popular outdoor shading fabrics to 25 feet wide and 16 feet tall, Zen 2 includes everything needed for a complete installation. Another perk: Zen 2 installs in half the time of other outdoor shading systems, thanks to its unique snap-in tube and hidden bracket attachment.

NEW Fabric Wizard Ensures the Perfect Fabric Choice

To help guide integrators, designers, homeowners, and end-users through the fabric selection process, SI’s new Fabric Wizard provides one convenient place to learn about and quickly and easily determine the best shading fabric for any indoor and outdoor application.

More than 850 indoor and outdoor fabrics and insect screens from leading designer shade suppliers, such as Phifer, Mermet, Serge Ferrari, Wilson, and more, have been thoughtfully categorized according to the installation location, function, color, and other parameters, significantly streamlining what could otherwise be an overwhelming and complex exercise. SI’s Fabric Wizard starts by asking website visitors to identify the purpose of the shade, be it for UV protection, privacy, heat reduction, glare control, or insect prevention. Based on those answers, as well as color preferences, Fabric Wizard cultivates a manageable list of the most appropriate fabric choices. Integrators can present these options to their customers, confident that whichever material is selected will look and perform optimally for the intended application.  


NEW Outdoor Projection Screen Options

SI offers those attending CEDIA Expo a sneak peek at its new outdoor screen cassette, Solo Outdoor. Expected to ship Q4, the weather-rated Solo Outdoor cassette features a small form factor and a zipper track and a high-wind rating that keeps the fabric taut even in challenging conditions. Also showcased in SI’s outdoor pergola is its Maestro outdoor-rated screen material, and 360, an outdoor screen material that can be viewed on both sides. These outdoor screen solutions will be paired with the latest Epson video projectors.

SI’s focus on outdoor shade and screen applications at CEDIA Expo inspires integrators to explore the outdoors when engaging with customers. SI’s range of options and ability to customize its products to suit the specifications of any job ensure integrators that they’ll have everything they need to succeed in the outdoor shade and screen business.




Screen Innovations TroyNEW Troy IP Control Gateway Simplifies Shade and Screen Programming

The Troy IP Control Gateway enables integrators to program the movement of motorized shades and screens efficiently, simply, and affordably. A task that once took hours to accomplish on a dedicated windows PC, with multiple software applications for keypads, RF remotes, and motor configurations, now takes a few minutes from any standard web browser. Through Troy’s programming interface, shades and screens can be assigned unique ID addresses, particularly useful when grouping products together and delivering repeatable designs, like those for MDU installations. In a similar fashion to shade and screen configuration, Troy walks integrators through the process of assigning commands to specific buttons on keypads and handheld remotes.


NEW Kratos Low-Voltage Power Supply Breaks Cost Barriers

When Matt Uhl, owner of Gulf Coast Shades & Blinds, approached SI president Ryan Gustafson about the need for an affordable power supply for low-voltage shades and screens, SI immediately went to work, introducing Kratos a few weeks later. Although dramatically less expensive than SI’s flagship Janus power and control hub, Kratos sacrifices no build quality or operational performance. The durable steel chassis runs cool to the touch and is plenum-rated for in-wall, riser, and general plenum installations. Plus, each of Kratos’s eight ports is protected against electrical shorts and mis-wiring. As an ideal complement to SI’s Zigbee 3.0 low-voltage motors, at a suggested retail price of $389, Kratos gives integrators a complete, turnkey low-voltage shading solution as an alternative to hardwired 485-based shading designs.

NEW Fontus Dongle Enables Two-Way Power and Control Over Two-Conductor Wire

SI introduces integrators to Fontus, a revolutionary new product that enables SI low-voltage motorized screens and shades to be powered and controlled via any type of traditional two-conductor wiring. SI’s Fontus allows integrators to utilize wire that may already exist inside a commercial building or home to connect screens and shades to a modern control system.

No bigger than a pack of gum and easily mounted to a DIN rail, Fontus can make a two-conductor wire perform 485-based communications as if it were an eight-conductor wire, significantly simplifying the installation. As long as there is a two-conductor wire available near the screen or shade location, Fontus, a dongle that plugs into SI’s new Janus power and control hub, converts low-voltage communications signals and power from a five-conductor system for distribution over two-conductor wire. The signal is decoded for reception at the screen or shade via a second Fontus dongle with no loss of signal.

NEW Janus Power and Control Hub

In the past, integrators have had no choice but to mount huge panels or run conduit to deliver power and control multiple motorized screens. SI’s revolutionary Janus hub, however, can do the job at a fraction of the size of traditional panels, without the need for conduit. Janus is 75% smaller than its closest competitor yet has the capacity to accommodate connections for as many as eight screens and eight accessories, such as keypads. Its ultra-compact form factor combined with huge capacity for commercial and large residential projects sets Janus in a class all its own. Ideal for projects requiring the installation of multiple screens, the expandability of Janus is limitless. It can utilize all wire topologies, even a Cat5 or Cat6 can be run 45.7 meters or more to SI’s largest screen motor.

NEW Zigbee 3.0 Mesh Controller and Edge Router

SI introduces two new products enabled with Zigbee 3.0 technology, the latest iteration of the Zigbee wireless communications protocol. The Zigbee 3.0 Link Pro Z Mesh Controller and Zigbee 3.0 Smart Outlet join SI’s previously introduced Zigbee 3.0 enabled line of ultra-compact Nano indoor shades and improved Smart Plug to create a complete communications ecosystem that seamlessly interoperates with a wide range of Zigbee 3.0-compliant third-party devices and systems, including automation systems from Crestron, Control4, Savant, Elan, and others. Additionally, SI’s new Zigbee 3.0 devices enable the control of Zigbee 3.0 and RTS shades (Radio Technology Somfy) via the Somfy TaHoma app on any smartphone or tablet, as well as voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and soon Josh.ai.

To see SI’s entire portfolio of shade and screen technologies and accessories, go to https://www.screeninnovations.com/accessories/?pa_product-category=shade.

Where to See Screen Innovations
To see SI’s new motorized shade and screen, connect with the SI team, and learn how shades and screens can contribute to a more lucrative business model, visit Booth 5212 during CEDIA Expo.

For those unable to attend CEDIA Expo and who would like to learn more about the brand and its offering, please contact sales@screeninnovations.com.

For more information about SI and its growing portfolio of products and technologies, go to www.screeninnovations.com.

About Screen Innovations
Innovative shades & projection screens, making life beautiful, convenient & fun. Dedicated to developing the most innovative and design-forward projection screens, window covering, and outdoor shading and screen solutions for home and corporate environments, Screen Innovations engineers and hand-builds every product it sells in its 75,000-square-foot factory in Austin, Texas. Always putting the customer first, SI listens, learns, and delivers a wide variety of design-forward products, services, and online tools. Committed to doing its part to limit the company’s impact on the environment, SI follows LEAN manufacturing principles and monitors production processes closely to minimize waste wherever possible. For more information about SI please visit screeninnovations.com and follow the company on social media platforms Facebook @screen innovations, Twitter @SIScreens, Instagram @siscreens, and LinkedIn screen-innovations.

Media Contact
For interviews or reviews of CEDIA Expo please contact Katye (McGregor) Bennett of KMB Communications by phoning (425) 328-8640 or emailing katye@kmbcomm.com.

All products, product names, trademarks, and registrations mentioned are the property of their respective owners, all rights reserved.

CEDIA Expo 2019 – That’s a Wrap

CEDIA Expo 2019 – That’s a Wrap

CEDIA Expo has historically been the time and place manufacturers choose to “Wow” home systems integrators and the media with innovative new products, systems, and technologies. This year was no exception. From amazingly vivid displays and smart lighting solutions to motorized window fashions and user-friendly home automation systems, all the “regulars” came out to play during CEDIA Expo 2109, held recently in Denver, with cool new features, functionality, and form factors. This year’s show also served as the coming out party for a few exciting new trends for the home systems industry. KMB Communications was on hand to witness these promising new market disruptors, and many of its clients are leading the charge:

Health and Wellness: In the past when people thought about healthy homes, indoor air quality came to mind. While this is still an important component of healthy living, the ability to create a home environment that’s more serene and peaceful and establishes a closer connection with nature is the current focus. Lighting that simulates sunrise and sunset and syncs with our circadian rhythms is a good first step. Taking the concept further is Rayva. The company’s collection of turnkey home cinemas are engineered and designed with all the best technology and accouterments to deliver a stellar movie viewing experience, but as demonstrated at CEDIA Expo 2019, they can also function as a wellness retreat. With a shift in colored lighting, video, and audio, the room can transport viewers to a forest, beach, or yoga studio. “Wellscapes” are a huge initiative of Rayva’s, offering home systems integrators another avenue of differentiation and end users an exciting new way to utilize technology. 

Home Cinemas Outdo Commercial Theaters? As technology advances, it’s possible for the performance of home cinemas to match if not surpassed the AV quality delivered by commercial theaters. Demonstrating this trend at CEDIA Expo 2019 was Zappiti and Cortex VIP Cinemas. A newcomer to CEDIA, Zappiti draws from years of tech experience designing high-end media servers for the European marketplace, and for its U.S. debut demonstrated the AV industry’s first ISF-certified media player. The certification ensures that the color reproduction and fidelity of content delivered by the Zappiti is accurate and engaging. 

When it comes to the ultimate cinema experience, nothing outdoes a commercial Dolby Cinema theater … unless you consider Cortex VIP Cinemas. The company is bringing a Dolby Cinema experience to home theaters via a groundbreaking new product, the Dolby CP850-C Audio Processor. Demonstrated as a component of Pro Audio Technologies’ Sound Room, the processor paired with specially engineered Pro Audio Dolby Atmos speakers.  The audio improvement over residential Dolby home cinemas was clear … literally, as sound room theater goers could hear Lady Gaga’s footsteps as she walked onto the stage during a clip of “A Star is Born.” Without a doubt, this represents a completely new performance standard for home cinema.

Artistry in Audio:  Speakers are going through a major cosmetic makeover. Models that can be recessed into the wall and ceiling surface are being joined by speakers that double as pieces of artwork. Leading this trend is Leon Speakers, which showcased a remarkable assortment of eye-catching loudspeakers designed to be admired just as much for their visual appeal as their audio performance. Grabbing attention at the booth were wall-mounted speakers covered with grilles customized with images from celebrity photographer Roberto Rabanne and custom metal artwork from Gabriel Urist. The Ente SoundTiles represent a completely new way of looking at loudspeakers—as an art form not just a piece of technology. When speakers weren’t masquerading as fine art at the CEDIA Expo, some were functioning as useful pieces of furniture. Leon’s Horizon Denza Modular Credenza, for example, sounds like a soundbar but looks like the perfect spot to display framed photos, vases of flowers and other decorative items.  

Residential and Commercial Crossover: Home technology products and systems have become so reliable, powerful, and sophisticated, that many of the solutions initially intended for home use are finding their way into restaurants, bars, offices, retail shops, and other light commercial environments. AltasIED is making it easier for residential integrators to transition into commercial through its new line of EZSYS solutions. All of the necessary parts for sound masking, paging, and music distribution are packaged together in a single carton to simplify installation and configuration. 

Networking is another area that’s inspiring manufacturers and integrators to span residential and commercial sectors. As homes become increasingly more reliant on Wi-Fi, networking systems that support bigger bandwidth—the kind historically found in businesses—are making huge inroads in the residential marketplace. Delivering enterprise-grade wireless networking solutions is Access Networks. At CEDIA Expo the company displayed its entire range of products designed for both businesses and homes. The focus, however, was on products designed for the custom residential market, including a new entry-level wireless access point for homes, the A320, and a new line of switches powered by Ruckus.

Behind-the-Scenes Systems Share the Limelight: It’s easy to get swept away by bright, vivid displays; amazing audio systems, and elegant, smart lighting when scouring the CEDIA Expo show floor, but systems that work behind the scenes to ensure the reliability, stability and optimal performance of these products are crucial to the livelihood of the home systems marketplace. D-Tools, for example, has refined its Cloud platform to streamline the development and management of projects for integrators; Torus Power debuted its AVR Elite, a power control system for high-performance A/V systems; while OneVision Resources promoted its tools and programs designed to help integrators step up their level of customer service. 

In Store for CEDIA 2020: From the front of the house with solutions like decorative speakers and high-end home theater systems to back of the house technologies like power control systems, plus business management tools and software, KMB clients at CEDIA Expo 2019 has every inch of the home systems marketplace covered. With a continued emphasis on the unification of design and technology, plus momentum in the kitchen and bath, there’s sure to be even greater diversity and opportunity for integrators to explore at next year’s conference and trade show.

D-Tools CEDIA 2016 Wrap-up: Awards, Integrations, and Ideas

DTLOGO_2C_TAGD-Tools CEDIA 2016 Wrap-up: Awards, Integrations, and Ideas

KMB Communications client D-Tools enjoyed CEDIA 2016 in Dallas in a way that was anything but ordinary. Certainly, some staples of the show surfaced, including the announcement of the D-Tools Design Awards winners and a packed booth where D-Tools staff showcased the latest iteration of System Integrator software (in this case, SI 2016, R2). But the D-Tools team also celebrated several one-of-a-kind moments that emphasize the company’s overall growth in recent years. Read on to learn more about three stand-out CEDIA 2016 moments for D-Tools.

D-Tools CEDIA Highlight #1:

Awards, Given and Received

Every year, the D-Tools Design Awards, culminating at CEDIA, showcase the most unique residential and commercial AV integration projects using the D-Tools Systems Integrator platform. D-Tools honored five winners this year, in the categories of Best Residential, Best Commercial, Most Unique, and Best Overall. (View the winning projects here on the D-Tools website.)

From whole home automation to sports bar and schools, the Design Awards showcase D-Tools’ versatility for integration projects of any size, scope, and style, and serve to recognize the home and commercial integrators who use the platform to its maximum capabilities.

While it may be better to give than to receive, D-Tools is honored to once again win the CE Pro BEST Award in the Business Operations Category for SI 2016 R2. The significant enhancements to this version of SI2016 placed the popular platform in the running and on the radar of CEDIA attendees once again.

D-Tools SI platform, was, additionally, recognized as a CEDIA Best New Product Finalist and, earlier this year, was recognized as one of CE Pro magazine’s top  brands based on numbers from the annual “2016 CE Pro 100 Brand Analysis” study, which gauges the industry’s highest-revenue integrators.

CEDIA Highlight #2:

D-Tools’ Third Party Integrations: Well Received by CEDIA Attendees

As technology users—including custom integrators—get used to everything being connected (ala the Internet of Things), it’s equally important for business operations tools to interface seamlessly. With this in mind, D-Tools announced multiple third party software integrations, which were very well-received by CEDIA attendees.

D-Tools’ API and integration strategy is an integral component of the company’s core vision – to provide integrators of every type and size with a software platform that gives them the flexibility to select and adopt the various tools that best suit the needs of their business.

Strategic partnerships with Connectwise, Slateplan, TRX.io, ProjX360, and fellow KMB client Ihiji move D-Tools closer to its goal of providing AV, IT, and security system integrators and consultants with a complete end-to-end solution that allows data to flow seamlessly throughout the project lifecycle – from initial client contact through the ongoing service relationship.

CEDIA Highlight #3:

Blueprint for Success Panel Packs the House

On the topic of partnerships and service agreements, D-Tools’ CEO Randy Stearns took part in a first-of-its-kind breakfast panel presented by CEDIA and moderated by CE Pro’s Jason Knott. blueprintpanelStearns was joined by Slateplan, Portal (by SupplyStream) and KMB clients Ihiji and OneVision Resources, all industry leaders and former integrators.

“The concept came about last year at CEDIA,” Stearns tells Ed Wenck in a post on the CEDIA blog. “It was the realization that there’s a group of us – former integrators – that have turned our attention to developing tools or services for the integration community.”

With a packed house full of enthusiastic home technology professionals and the trade press, Stearns and the four other panelists discussed the technology tools and services available to custom integrators today to help them improve business processes and increase profits through enhanced efficiency.

Whether custom integrators choose to deploy just one software platform—such as D-Tools—or to incorporate a number of apps to help streamline operations and provide better service to customers, there’s no doubt they found a number of solutions at CEDIA 2016. The Blueprint for Success panel gathered some of the best software and service solutions, along with their creators, in one room to brainstorm ideas on how technology professionals can stay ahead in an ever-changing industry.

Keep your eye on the KMB social media feeds and newsroom for key takeaways from this disruptive panel session, and be sure to visit the D-Tools website and blog and follow the company on social media to learn more about the award-winning System Integrator platform.