Audio and video analytics, home automation user empowerment, the 4K UHD ecosystem, front-door amenities such as smart doorbells top the 2016 Home Tech Trends to watch for 2016


Every year, CE Pro selects five “things” that could have a major impact on home technology, especially as it relates to the integrator channel. Everything’s fair game, from audio, video and home automation technologies, to macroeconomic trends, to shifts in consumer behavior.




This year, our 5 Top Home Tech Trends to Watch for 2016 are:

1. Low-Voltage DC Power Distribution
2016 won’t be the year that we chuck traditional AC power for PoE lighting systems and giant in-home batteries like Tesla’s and Rosewater’s. But it will be the year that home technology pros should start thinking about new ways of powering (and wiring) the home, because chances are we will see much more DC power-distribution options in the next five years.

2. 4K UHD Ecosystem
CE Pro first named 4K Ultra HD as a Top 5 Trend to Watch in 2013. In 2015, we included 4K in our “immersive entertainment” trend that included UHD resolution, curved displays, high-resolution and object-oriented audio, virtual reality and motion. This year, we give a nod to 4K because of the ecosystem that is finally building up around the format: content, media distribution, HDMI cable, standards, and most compelling of all: high dynamic range (HDR).3. Front-Door Technologies

3. Front-Door Technology
It’s hard to imagine that the lowly front door could hold so much promise for integrated home technology, but start-ups like Ring and Skybell, along with social trends such as Airbnb, have delivered fresh new opportunities to the doorstep. Automated door locks, intercom stations, smart door bells, cameras, peepholes, facial recognition, motorized shades within doors and lighting all make the front door a new entry point — so to speak — for the smart home

4. Audio & Video Analytics
In 2016, we will begin to see a decreasing need for dedicated sensors that monitor temperature, motion, smoke, fire and even personal states such as falls, sleeplessness and illness. That’s because many of these states can be tracked and analyzed through sound and video. Think: mics that can isolate baby cries, gun shots, falls and leaky pipes; cameras that can recognize faces, sleep patterns, temperature via thermal imaging and fires before they trigger a smoke detector; and combinations that can determine if a senior aging in place is showing signs of dementia.

5. User Empowerment
Last year, we highlighted new products and industry philosophies that led to consumers to take more control of their “custom” automation systems. Customers themselves can now set scenes and schedules without having to call a pro. We’ll see that and more in 2016, with the ability for clients to enroll new devices into their systems, create their own user interfaces, turn