Tim Hornyak, IDG News Service: Struggling electronics maker Sony has moved further into the crowdfunding scene by starting its own platform to raise funds for internally generated business ideas, including a new universal remote control with an electronic paper interface.
Launched Wednesday, First Flight is a crowdfunding and e-commerce platform designed to take product proposals from the ideas to sales. It’s only available in Japanese and is limited to Sony’s in-house projects.
First Flight has three stages, a teaser stage, in which new ideas can be previewed and discussed, followed by crowdfunding and e-commerce.
“One of the strengths and aims of First Flight is to facilitate ongoing dialogue with customers from initial development through to market introduction, by seamlessly connecting each phase from previewing and crowd funding to e-commerce,” a Sony spokeswoman said. Cont'd...
The home audio market (wireless speakers, soundbars, Hi-Fi systems, A/V receivers and speaker docks) grew by 22% to ship 71 million units. Trade value also grew by 22%, generating just under US$10 billion worth of revenues in 2014, according to Futuresource Consulting.
Wireless speakers and soundbar shipments exceeded market expectations and accounted for the lion's share, far outweighing the decline in demand for traditional audio devices i.e. A/V receivers and Hi-Fi systems. The wireless speaker market was fuelled by strong growth in Bluetooth speakers in the lower end of the price spectrum and multi-room audio at the premium end.
Home audio devices increasingly offer wireless functionality and shipments with this feature grew by 93% from 27 million units in 2013 to 53 million units in 2014. Futuresource said it predicts that virtually all home audio devices will be wireless by 2019.
CEDIA (the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association) has produced a new video Guide to Smart Home Wiring which introduces consumers, builders and design professionals to the benefits that a properly designed and installed cabling infrastructure can provide in homes today.
CEDIA's Guide to Smart Home Wiring looks at how technology is an integral part of a typical family's lifestyle in today's home. It then explains how the right wiring infrastructure can manage and distribute audio-visual, lighting, heating, security and other data hungry services effectively within a property whilst, at the same time, helping to minimise electronic box and cable clutter in the home.
Integrated Systems Europe 2015 is now underway in Amsterdam. With over 1000 scheduled exhibitors and 50,000 attendees this years show will be Europe's largest ever AV Systems integration exhibition.
This year they will be offering a dedicated "Discovey Zone" showcasing the first time exhibitors at ISE. As well they have divided the show floor into 4 technology areas: : Digital Signage; Residential Solutions; Unified Communications and Smart Building.
As usual The HomeToys Team we'll be busy posting news and product announcements from this years show which you can view on our ISE 2015 Newspage.
A universal remote controller that offers complete home control is now a reality through the new ELAN® g1 Controller from Core Brands' ELAN Home Systems. Requiring no monthly contract and offering a wide variety of home control functionality, the ELAN g1 is leaps and bounds ahead of other low-cost home control solutions. ELAN has been making the easiest-to-use, yet most powerful home control solutions for more than 25 years, and this is the brand's first entry into the sub-$1,000 market. That means for about the price of a new TV, users can gain complete control, not just of their televisions and home theaters, but also of their entire homes.
Well this one came out of nowhere: Amazon is building a speaker that's controlled with your voice. It's called Echo, and Amazon tells The Verge it will be "shipping in the coming weeks." Available on an invite-only basis to start, Echo is regularly priced at $199. But for a limited time, Amazon will offer Echo for $99 to Prime members who receive an invite. Amazon says the black, cylindrical speaker is always connected to the cloud and will provide information, music, news, weather, and more whenever you ask for it. It's the sort of thing you'd expect from Google — only it's an Amazon product.
CEDIA EXPO 2014 showed steady growth in attendance and exhibitor participation. More than 480 exhibitors and 18,500 attendees from 82 countries participated in the 2014 event in Denver. Professional and overall attendance both grew by 3%, and the overall exhibitor footprint also saw growth with a 14% increase in the square footage of the show floor.
“CEDIA EXPO continues to be a vital venue for home technology decision makers to connect and experience the latest and greatest the industry has to offer,” said Don Gilpin, CEDIA Executive Director and COO. “Not only did attendees see where the industry is going on the show floor, they also saw it in the classroom. CEDIA EXPO offered 110 training sessions, 48 of which were new, offering attendees avenues to stay up to date on the skills they need to remain competitive in the industry. From product launches and demos to networking and training events, CEDIA EXPO 2014 proved to be a fantastic success."
Attendees remained consistent in their professional development with CEDIA training and this year’s certification offerings. All CEDIA Certification exam sessions sold out and 40+ training classes were sold out.
The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) recognized the outstanding work of its members at the annual Electronic Lifestyles® Awards Celebration Saturday night. The honorees included over 40 winning projects in the Designer Awards competition, 11 Manufacturers' Excellence Awards winners, the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and this year's top volunteers. Also at this year's Awards Celebration, CEDIA paid special recognition to the founding members of the association as part of the 25th Anniversary celebration.
The Designer Awards competition, which honors the best projects completed by home technology professional members in the past year, featured winners in such categories as Best Integrated Home, Best Media Room, Best Hidden Installation, and Best Home Theater. The Designer Awards winners were determined by a panel of expert judges that included home technology professionals, architects, and interior designers. Also recognized were the three winners in the CEDIA/HGTVRemodels.com People's Pick Awards, which were voted on by visitors to HGTVRemodels.com.
The Manufacturers' Excellence Awards honorees included 10 Best New Product winners, one Sustainable Lifestyle Product Innovation winner, and three inductees into the Product Hall of Fame. The winners were selected by a panel of home technology professional judges.
The full list of award winners can be viewed at here.
CEDIA 2014 is underway in Denver, Colorado with training sessions beginning on September 10th and the Show room floor opening up on the 11th. This years show used the slogan "Hyper-Change" to signify the ongoing evolution of the residential AV market and promises to showcase "New Products, New Innovations and New Demands."
Demand For Wireless High Resolution Home Theater Audio Sparks Growth in Wireless Speaker and Audio Association
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