Here Matt Nimmons, Managing Director of CEDIA EMEA, discusses the latest audio-visual developments and how these can be integrated into the home.
Lighting is often underestimated but can truly transform a home. As well as providing more efficient lighting using dimming technology and location awareness, lighting control systems can offer so much more. If integrated into the wider home automation system, lighting controls can bring other elements of the home together for ease of use, and can be controlled in ‘scenes’. A well-designed lighting system has the capability to add glamour, ambience and space-magnifying qualities to any home, as well as added security.
Security remains a high priority for consumers seeking a smart connected home. Many homeowners now choose to include a video entry and CCTV setup as standard. This enables users to see who’s at the front door simply by looking at their television screen, which can be tuned directly into the CCTV channel without the use of any additional hardware – appearing as a pop-up when activated.
Media rooms and home cinemas can be multi-functional areas, with split TV and projector systems becoming a popular choice. Home control systems enable the cinema-watching process to occur smoothly thanks to pre-programming, which can transform a living area into a home cinema instantly. TVs can be fitted discreetly into manufactured furniture, with speakers positioned in the ceiling for optimum sound quality with minimal visual intrusion.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will change the way we interact with our environment and the technology within it. For home entertainment, installers and designers will be challenged to build VR rooms that can be shared by several users connected to the same experience. The next 25 years will bring more practical implementations of that ‘special room’ in the home where education, training, health consulting, business meetings and multi-player gaming can all take place combing the real world.
Good home automation systems should be seamless, and advances in technology have made this possible today. All integrated technology can be controlled from one interface, either through control panels situated throughout the home or via mobile devices, proving the simplicity and ease of managing home automation. This can range from finger-tip electronic control over any aspect of the home, to pre-programmed settings that turn on your lights and unlock your doors when your car pulls in the drive, to the latest smart thermostats that automatically adjust to local weather and humidity.