TECH UPDATE 2020: CONSUMER TECH IS ‘CATCHING UP’

TECH UPDATE 2020: CONSUMER TECH IS ‘CATCHING UP’

Is ‘good enough’ finally Good Enough?

Years ago you had to run cables as thick as your arm around homes, and take them back to a stack of massive amplifiers, in order to have music in different rooms. And if you were crazy enough to think it was worthwhile to want to control it – or maybe have different music in different rooms, you needed to run additional thick cables (20-core cables, as I recall) to special keypads in each wall. All of which was troublesome and very expensive. Now, of course, you can control everything from the palm of your hand (or your voice) and use decent little wireless speakers if you want. Of course most of our customers still want to conceal as much as possible.

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But what about the performance?

 

What we’re seeing, here at SMC, is a tacit acknowledgement by many large consumer brands, that there is a genuine market for better quality custom solutions. And they are producing dedicated products targeting that market. This is different to, say, the VW Group having Skoda and Audi offerings – as well as Bentley and Lamborghini. This is companies acknowledging
that their core competencies are being leveraged by good companies like SMC, to provide ‘just the right’ solution for customers who care about interior design and audio/video performance.

This, I feel, is a good thing for us all. SMC customers benefit from a better, simpler, familiar user experience – and can pay for higher quality where it is merited. Less money is wasted on cabling and banging walls around.

Here are a few examples

 

Sonos

(Who have great new products like the Arc soundbar) have revamped their little preamp
unit (the Port) and their Amp, which both sound significantly better than their precursors and also offer some simple flush-mounts speakers made by industry leader, Sonance.

Ring

(Now owned by Amazon) have launched ‘X Line’ professional cameras, video doorbells etc.
(with a more ‘pro’ intruder alarm coming) and have announced forthcoming integrations with
the likes of Crestron, Control 4, Lutron and Savant.

Meraki

(The industrial-strength CISCO-owned WiFi brand) have a ‘prosumer’ offering called Meraki Go, with an easy homeowner-friendly app.

Lutron

(Who sell products in the Apple store in many territories) have a great new wireless offering for smaller homes, called Lutron Radio RA2 Select

Samsung and LG

(Who make some enormous 8K TVs) have genuinely compelling picture frame TVs that can show real artwork or family photos when ‘off’ without looking like a TV at all.

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There’s lots more too, but the point is (especially now Google, Amazon, Ikea, the Zigbee Alliance and Apple have announced a plan to work together for smarthome interoperability, using their CHIP ‘open standard’) this stuff is getting easier. Apple have effectively open sourced HomeKit too.

So, if you want to see just how good Sonos can sound, using ‘proper amplifiers and speakers’, or you want to have a terrific home network without needing your office IT manager to set it up (or anything in between) we at SMC can help. And we’d love to. You’ll get more bang for your buck, and our specialists will ensure it disappears into your home, correctly coordinated with your interior, and that it works right first time. Contact us for more information.