CEDIA Expo - Lights in Your Speakers, Workouts in Your Mirrors

Denver welcomed CEDIA, the Custom Electronics Design and Integration Association expo, which brought a huge amount of excitement about custom AV, lighting, and home/building automation to the Denver Convention Center. CEDIA is primarily a high-end residential electronics show targeting customers looking to capitalize on the newest technologies, including the IoT (Internet of Things), but the growing consumer electronics market is one of the main innovative driving forces in the commercial AV space so we thought it was a great opportunity to go and learn about what trends are coming to the commercial spaces.

Future Automation showed a large scale installation for an outdoor display. Imagine this as a 200” video wall installation, where the stage is ordinarily empty allowing for breathtaking nature views, but can transform to allow for presentations or dynamic content when needed.

USB charging isn’t the only add-on to a receptacle. This plug-and-play Kickstarter-backed product allows for consumers to switch out between USB outlets, 2.4GHz or 900MHz controllers (to monitor energy usage and switch on/off with a wireless home automation system), or use a Bluetooth speaker, aromatherapy diffuser, nightlight, carbon monoxide detector, security camera, temperature/humidity sensor, motion sensor… they seem to have thought of everything.

UL and ETL have tested the outlet assembly to the relevant safety standards for the US and Canada. They’re only 15A rated for now, so they’re still going after the residential market, but the opportunity is there for something in the commercial space. It will be interesting to see how quickly new inserts are made available; it could be a good option for building owners who are concerned about USB standards changing so quickly.


Integrated everything! We love integrated. A big new trend is integrating speakers integrated into lighting fixtures. I was particularly excited about the Origin Acoustics bollard, an omnidirectional speaker sits inside an unassuming bollard; perfect for outdoor spaces that need background music and light in the evenings. These could be a nice pathway option, or a solution for an outdoor event space, to provide background music.

Everything technology is seamless and hidden. Leon was showing their art panels that slide or split to reveal a TV, Future Automation showed a similar installation, and Samsung has a unique solution that adjusts the display’s brightness to match surrounding matte surfaces, so that the TV (which can be framed in a wood finish) blends in as a painting or photograph when it’s not showing TV content.

LG is innovating in their video display market like crazy, with the products getting thinner and more bendable. In addition to some of the nicest consumer OLED panels available, they’re also doing ultra-thin OLED wallpaper signage (millimeters thin), and everyone’s talking about their rollable TV concept.


With the growing popularity of programs like Peloton, content for fitness at home is becoming beyond available. Recreation centers, especially, need to capitalize on the sense of community that encourages people to leave their basement gym and go to the community center. Electric Mirror Company showed an application of a TV mirror that allows for someone to keep an eye on their own form in the mirror and still watch the content on the TV. Imagine this in a fitness room at a rec center, and there’s a reason to leave the house. The added benefit is that the displayed image is up to the Owner; they do not necessarily have to license content from a company like Peloton for a proprietary system.

It's clear to see that the residential smart-home market is quickly disrupting the commercial AV market. Keeping on top of trends as we are designing tomorrow’s spaces, on the vanguard of design and technology, is so critical when designing technology systems. We’re looking forward to welcoming CEDIA back to Denver in 2020.

For more information about the CEDIA Expo, or what we saw there, email our Technology Systems Designer Matt Eckstein, CTS-D

AE Design