CEDIA Tells Members Everything’s Fine; But Is It?

CEDIA State of the Association

The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA), held their annual member’s webinar where association staff and board representatives review the “State of the Association” for those members tuning in to the webcast. The polished, prepared presentation offered an upbeat assessment on the organization’s accomplishments in 2018. But, as you might suspect, I uncovered a couple of interesting issues in which I’m seeking some follow-up clarification.

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Japanese Startup to Disrupt U.S. Residential Construction Market

Photo of Takeshi HommaAs you head home from work today, take a look around you at the other commuters on the road. All around you are Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, Suburus and the like. These are all signs of the incredible success Japan has has penetrating the U.S. automobile market – taking significant market share away from the once dominant Big Three American auto makers, GM, Ford, and Dodge/Chrysler many years ago.

Can Japan do it again? Are builders D.R. Horton, Lennar, PulteGroup, K.B. Homes at risk of the same loss of market share? If Takeshi Homma (pictured here) is successful, he hopes to help Japanese companies take a big bite of the American homebuilding market.

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Research: DIY Gains Momentum in Smart Home Market

New Data Sure to Send Shivers Down Integrators’ Spinessmart home survey graphic

In what some might view as a startling result, new research from GfK reveals that a majority of consumers (52%) said that they prefer to install their own smart home products. This result is substantially higher than the percentage of consumers who said this (43%) the last time this survey was done in 2015.

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Klipsch Black Friday Proceeds to Aid Cancer Patients

Klipsch logoKlipsch is doing something good with a portion of their anticipated increased holiday website revenues during the upcoming Black Friday to Giving Tuesday time period. The company will donate a portion of their proceeds to The Autumn Leaves Project – a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to aiding those who are battling one of the deadliest illnesses known, pancreatic cancer.

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Fake News…Anchors? China Unveils AI News Anchors

Virtual AI news anchor

The Chinese government has targeted artificial intelligence (AI) as a technology they want to dominate globally. They are pouring billions of dollars annually into AI development and directing universities to focus on the technology in all of their fundamental research.

Now, in the first public demonstration of their progress in AI technology, the state-run Xinhua News Agency has introduced and demonstrated a pair of virtual news anchors or avatars based on two known Chinese flesh-and-blood reporters.

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Bowers & Wilkins Restructures in Support of R&D

Photo of B&W's Gregory Lee

B&W CEO Lee

Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) announced today it has restructured its company in order to further its research and development initiatives. In a brief announcement, only four paragraphs long, new CEO Gregory Lee (former CEO of Samsung North America) said a new, larger research facility will open in 2019.

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Foxconn’s Double Dose of Bad News

A Negative Financial Report & a New Wisconsin Governor Add to Headaches

No doubt about it, Apple Inc. supplier Foxconn has had a really bad week. First, last Tuesday Wisconsin voters kicked Republican Governor Scott Walker out of office, replacing him with Democrat Tony Evers. Then early this week, the company released financial results with disappointing earnings that missed analysts estimates. Both of these unrelated events have combined to cause market analysts to question the company’s strategy going forward.

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Expanding Local Presence, SnapAV Acquires Volutone

BREAKING NEWS

Graphic of Volutone/SnapAVSnapAV, a leading provider of custom integration brands and products, announced today that it has acquired Volutone, a respected California-based distributor with seven locations throughout California and Nevada. The move expands SnapAV’s local touch points in a key market, a strategy that first emerged with their earlier acquisition of another large regional distributor in March of this year, Chicago’s Allnet Distributing.

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