The Future of Home Technology.

CEDIA (the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) has reported a very successful debut for the inaugural CEDIA Conference, The Future of Home Technology.

More than 190 people attended the conference which was hosted by Sky technology journalist, Martin Stanford, and took place on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th October 2012 at the Inmarsat Conference Centre in London. Over the two days delegates heard presentations from a top quality line-up which included representatives from CISCO, OFCOM, Arup, Futuresource and the UK Government alongside a range of experts in the home technology arena.

"This first ever CEDIA Conference has proved a tremendous success," says CEDIA Chair, Gary Lewis. "All the speakers provided delegates with useful food for thought on the future of home technology and the opportunities for CI businesses. They were by turns revealing, inspiring and provocative. I would like to thank everyone involved. "The Future of Home Technology" was an exceptional two days for CI businesses."

Futurologist James Bellini began the event with a talk entitled, 'Horizon 2020: Beam Me Up", taking a visionary look at the technologies and lifestyle changes heading our way. Carl Hibbert from research organisation Futuresource, then helped explore the current trend in second screen viewing and the impact that connected services and OTT platforms will have in the years ahead. Paul Gray, Director of European TV Research at DisplaySearch, meanwhile, shifted the focus to screen makers and looked at manufacturing changes in the pipeline, asking the challenging question: "What Next for TV?".

Dr Graham McCallister of Player Research took delegates on a different journey with an inspirational look at the lessons CI could learn from the video games industry where attention centres on the user experience. Jim Read from consulting firm, Arup, closed the day with a talk which looked at lessons from commercial buildings and how these could be applied to home technology in the future.

Day two opened with a session from Lord Inglewood, Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications which explained the Government's strategy, thinking and likely way ahead on the roll-out of superfast broadband. CEDIA's Dave Pedigo next challenged integrators to look to the future and embrace the intuitive home with his presentation, which fed into a talk from Duncan Maiden of Europe's CISCO Academy examining the hugely significant role of IP in the integrated home.

Chris Adams from OFCOM followed with an explanation of 4G and how this new platform would co-exist with other services in the home. Finally, the conference ended on a positive note as Tom Kerber from research company, Parks Associates presented research findings commissioned by CEDIA on the future outlook for the custom installation sector.

Over the course of the two days, delegates were able to check out an array of new products and network with event sponsors in a special showcase area of the conference. Sponsors included Aldous Systems, Amina Technologies, Autonomic Controls, AWE, Control4, CYP, Genesis Technologies, Habitech, JVC, Kaleidescape, Luxul, Marata Vision, Opus Technologies, Power Ethernet, Rako Controls, and RTI.

Video content showing the presentations from the conference are available to view at the CEDIA education website, www.cediaeducation.com. They are free to delegates who attended the event whilst for those who did not attend the conference, they are priced at £14.99 (inc VAT) per session to CEDIA members and £19.99 (inc VAT) per session to non-members.


It's easy to sit in my office all year and keep doing the same things. The CEDIA Conference gives me a chance to take a step back and look at things at a strategic level, it really is like a shot of adrenaline. I have come away re-enthused with new ideas and clear vision of where Audio7 needs to be going, not just to survive but to grow and prosper. This year's CEDIA Conference has planted seeds of potential, it's given me those light bulb moments when I sat and thought "I know this, why haven't I acted on it?" as well as eureka moments when you think "Wow, I hadn't thought of that".

It's a "must attend" event for 2013.

Alex Josling, Audio 7

The standout session for me was "What Next for TV?" We rarely sit back and look at the bigger picture of the commercial and global drivers that shape the development roadmaps of the major manufacturers we work with. It was fascinating to look at the different priorities in the major markets and how the American requirement for big and cheap may prove a substantial barrier to entry for players, like Apple.

Iain Shaw, Brilliant Living

James Bellini's Horizon 2020 presentation on what we can expect from the ever quickening development in science and technology was as much fantastical as indeed thought provoking. Whilst we must all accept that everything in our world will become smaller, smarter and connected, we will be challenged on finding the correct balance between individual interactions with technology and immersive, shared family experiences in the connected home. A very well constructed event from the CEDIA team - great marketing, an impressive venue and an engaging line up of speakers.

Seymour Forsyth, Detail Audio Visual

The 'Future of Home Technology Conference' held by CEDIA was an extremely useful event. The speakers invited were all clearly experts in their field and the topics discussed were extremely pertinent to the current market place. My notes from the opening speech by Dr James Bellini went into multiples of pages and created many thought provoking ideas that we are already working on. I felt the 'open forum' approach taken by all the participants helped us learn something new, or clarify where we believed the industry is heading.

Alister Smith, DLUK

It was great to attend a CEDIA session that focused solely on the future of the industry and the broad range of speakers certainly highlighted a range of future challenges and opportunities. The stand out speaker for me was Dr Graham McAllister from Player Research. As a company, we have never installed an interface that has not been thoroughly soak tested within our homes. However the problem with this approach is that it is very subjective. Graham's thorough explanation of how they set about testing a game's user interface gave me incredible clarity on how we could objectively test our user interfaces.

Chris Jones, Sound Ideas

"In my experience, the best programme of speakers CEDIA has ever put together. Placing our industry in the wider context of technological and consumer trends is something we do too rarely.

I particularly enjoyed Dr Graham McAllister's insights into the importance of user experience, lessons I strongly believe we must embrace if we are to compete in the face of increasing commoditisation.

Tom Lehman, DLUK

I had a really good two days. One conference highlight for me was "The IP Connected Home: Ignore it at your peril" which covered the almost unimaginable scale of the IPv6 infrastructure where there are no boundaries and limitations on expansion. Imagine what technology can do in the future? Where the road never ends?

Miguel Soto, Director, Diamond Technology

"The CEDIA Home of Future Technology conference was a fantastic event that we were proud to be part of. For us, it really reinforced just how much networking is becoming a huge part of AV; we were delighted to see a great deal of interest in the new Power Ethernet home networking course, accredited by CEDIA, designed to raise awareness of where Powerline technology can be a valuable tool for AV installers."

James Gardiner, Marketing Director, Power Ethernet

"The inaugural CEDIA conference was a bold step from CEDIA.....and it paid off. It felt like "the old days" where forward thinking company owners took time out from the daily grind to learn about the wider industry and share business ideas together. The difference is, instead of being in a hotel, it was in a central London conference centre which provided an added air of professionalism too. A great platform that I look forward to being repeated."

Stuart Tickle, Managing Director, AWE Europe

I would like to congratulate CEDIA on their inaugural industry conference, I thought the range of subjects discussed was excellent and it was a great start at trying to look outside of our little bubble to see where technology is taking us. I was worried about a venue right in the heart of the City but I shouldn't have been. The staff at the Inmarsat were very helpful and the venue had good access. The only downside for me was the number of attendees. I would like to see at least 5 times more Integrators at the event and we will be happy to play our part to encourage people to attend next year.

Jonathan Pengilley, Managing Director, Habitech Limited

"I thought the CEDIA Conference was an excellent event. The content of the programme was first-class, just the kind of forward-looking presentations and expert opinion that is important to inform the future direction of our industry. As a sponsor of the Conference, we found it very useful to meet with so many high quality installers during the event. Our Stealth Acoustics promotion proved particularly popular and has resulted in 15 dealers taking up our offer to have invisible speakers fitted in their demo facilities. We were delighted!"

Neil Davidson, Genesis Technologies

"I don't know about you, but I really wasn't unhappy to see the back of CEDIA Expo, it got tired and tiring to get to, so I was a little sceptical when going to the conference. I should have left my doubts at home. The first day started with a bang with a presentation of futurology and to be honest things kept coming. I don't think there was a session that felt to be a waste of time and it was all held together expertly by Martin Stanford.

CEDIA dropped out the results of their market research on the second day and that made for very interesting listening but the highlight for me was a short presentation on how the games industry works to deliver customer satisfaction with user interfaces and we took some very interesting pointers from that.

There was a small exhibition in the foyer which was actually good, it was a much more informal and accessible event. In truth I feel that there is a nucleus of the rebirth of the CEDIA Expo, but done in a much different way, it was a great chance to network with peers and suppliers and whilst it wasn't free was probably the best money we spent all year.

Best of all I've come away with a mass of one line quotes that highlight some of the issues we face, the way the internet is changing, how government and 4G works and these can only help us to target our business and hit the things we now know our clients want to hear as well as make for interesting conversation in the pub."

About Cedia
CEDIA is an international trade organisation spanning three continents with a global membership of 3,500 companies. CEDIA is a not-for-profit organisation. Members specialise in the planning, design, supply and installation of automated electronic systems for the modern, intelligent home and can install anything from home cinemas to complete home networks and sub-systems to intelligently control lighting, security, HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning), and even garden facilities, from lighting to watering. For further information on the CEDIA, please contact info@cedia.co.uk or visit www.cedia.co.uk.

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