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Preview – CEDIA Expo Atlanta

Paddy Baker looks ahead to this week's CEDIA Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center - the first to take place in the iPad era. As well as Apple-related technology, one of the future application areas being highlighted is healthcare.

Paddy Baker looks ahead to this week’s CEDIA Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center – the first to take place in the iPad era. As well as Apple-related technology, one of the future application areas being highlighted is healthcare.

It’s easy to forget that at the time of last year’s US CEDIA Expo, the iPad didn’t exist. But you can be sure that visitors to the show, which starts tomorrow in Atlanta, will be assailed by technology companies reaching out to extend their technology in an Apple-friendly direction. The trend had already started a year ago with iPhone apps, but with the iPad providing a cost-effective alternative to a dedicated proprietary touchscreen in many applications, it’s no surprise that it’s found a dedicated following in the world of residential installs.

In fact, the CEDIA Apple experience can even begin before visitors step through the doors of the Georgia World Congress Center. The show’s organisers have published a ‘Follow-Me’ app, available from the Apple App store, designed to display show information on the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Other smartphone users aren’t left out – versions of the app are available for them as well.

On the showfloor, manufacturers showing Apple-related goodies include the following:

Premier Mounts will be showing new mounting frames designed for the iPad. The IPM-100 and IPM-200 are designed to hold the device securely, and to fasten easily to any of Premier Mounts’ wall or table mounts using a VESA 100mm x 100mm mounting pattern. The IPM-100 frame encloses the iPad but leaves the display fully visible and the home button available, so preventing power controls from being adjusted and the dock connector port being used. The IPM-200, by contrast, only attaches to each corner of the iPad and so allows full access to the dock connector port, volume control, rotation lock and power button.

RTI’s new RTiPanel app can be installed on the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, giving users complete control of its XP series of remote processors – including the flagship XP-8 and upcoming XP-3 and XP-6 – and all connected electronic systems from virtually anywhere in the world.

NuVo Technologies will be showing its control application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, which is now available through the Apple App Store.

HAI will demonstrate the Hi-Fi 2 multi-room audio system, which is expected to ship next month. The base system features eight zones and eight sources, and is expandable to 16 zones. Installation uses standard Cat-5 wiring and speaker wire. Hi-Fi 2 may be installed on a standalone basis or integrated with an HAI home control system, to provide enhanced features including control from an iPhone or iPad.

Of course, the main reason we look to the US CEDIA Expo is to get a glimpse of future developments in residential technology. With this in mind, this year’s show is featuring the Future Technology Pavilion, which promises to feature showcases and discussions of technologies that are just around the corner.

The pavilion is split into four main topic areas. It’s no surprise that The Future of Residential Communications and The Future of Home Entertainment are featured, and The Future of Sustainable Lifestyles is also an area that one might expect to see. The topic that is somewhat more surprising is The Future of Home Health. As we reported in IE Residential recently, interest is increasing in using technology to enable elderly and disabled people to remain in their homes for longer, with information about their state of health collected and sent automatically to medical professionals. In addition, technology can also provide greater levels of security and convenience in the home environment.

With the cost of healthcare significantly higher in the US than in Europe, it’s not surprising that progress is being spearheaded across the Atlantic. However, with the cost of government-funded healthcare, and of looking after an ageing population, being increasing concerns across Europe, we can reasonably expect this to be a growth area over here as well.

Other attractions on the showfloor at CEDIA Expo include:

Atlona Technologies will be showing its Si (System Integrator) line of digital connectivity solutions for home theatre and light commercial AV systems. The Si line is described as a one-stop shop for a full range of products – including cables, distribution amplifiers, matrix switchers, extenders, converters, scalers and more.

– Pro Control, a newly created division of RTI, will be displaying its premier line of control solutions. Its professional-grade line of remote controls and central processors is described as elegant and intuitive, combining one-touch simplicity with robust capabilities at an extremely attractive price point.

RTI itself will be launching the T3-V+ Universal System Controller, the third generation of the award-winning T3 product. The T3-V+ is enhanced with an updated hard button configuration including five soft keys, also features dual RF board technology which will support both 433 MHz RF for one-way control and 2.4GHz ZigBee for bidirectional communication.

There will be more from CEDIA Expo in Atlanta in the next issue of the IE Residential newsletter.