Beyond the plug and play revolution11 February 2010
Less than a year old, ebode is set for a major expansion of its European presence after signing a distribution deal with BMB Electronics. Shortly after ISE, representatives of both companies discussed the brand’s present and future with David Davies.
Accessibility and ease of set-up is the name of the game for plug-and-play home automation specialist ebode. As well as simple plug-and-play entertainment soutiens, including wireless audio and video senders, IR kits and URCs, the company manufactures a selection of more dedicated automation modules and accessories that may require installer or electrical contractor expertise.
Represented for pan-European distribution by BMB as of 1 January, ebode is currently preparing to roll-out the LightSpeaker system, which combines low-consumption LED lighting with wireless sound in one easy-to-configure package. Incorporating a custom-engineered speaker module with an 80mm wide full-range driver that utilises digital amplification and processing, as well as a dimmable LED offering 40,000 hours of light output, LightSpeaker is set for European launch this summer.
IE Residential found out more about the fledgling brand from ebode product manager Jan Arendse and BMB managing director Martin Harding.
Q: Did ISE live up to your expectations as a showcase for the ebode brand?
Arendse: Yes. We were very pleased with the reaction to the ebode brand and product line at ISE – especially as it was ebode’s first trade show. Even though ebode is designed primarily as a plug-and-play solution, we met many installers who could also see a place for some ebode products within their own jobs. Being located next to our exclusive distributor BMB Electronics was an ideal location for us, too.
Q: What do you regard as the USP of the ebode brand, and how can you make sure it stands out in an increasingly competitive market?
Harding: While there are indeed a multitude of custom solutions available today, there are a lot fewer competitors in ebode’s ‘affordable home automation’ plug-and-play market segment and we think that ebode’s ability to appeal to both hobbyists and installers is a key USP. ebode is also ‘retail friendly’ due to a healthy margin structure and our eye-catching branding and packaging.
Q: What can we expect from ebode during the rest of 2010?
Arendse: ebode will expand its home automation and home entertainment product lines to add more innovative new models to the line-up. However, the single biggest product launch this year will be the award-winning and patented ebode LightSpeaker, which was previewed at ISE. This was a big hit at the show and we are very excited to bring the LightSpeaker to market in Europe this summer.
Q: In general, are you optimistic about the prospects for affordable home automation solutions – such as those made by ebode – in the short- to mid-term future?
Harding: Yes. We feel that the affordable home automation products will sell very well – especially in the current economy – both to enthusiastic amateurs who want to ‘do it themselves’ and to installers whose customers are on a tight budget.