The Future of the Low-voltage Industry

The custom installation industry is on the cusp of dramatic change. 2/27/2012 11:41 AM Eastern

The Future of the Low-voltage Industry

Feb 27, 2012 4:41 PM

The custom installation industry is on the cusp of dramatic change. These changes, both technological and market-based are accelerating rapidly and will impact many custom installers’ business models.

In order to help CEDIA members navigate and prepare for the future, CEDIA’s Technology Advisory Group created a series of resources to look at the overarching technologies and market conditions that will affect low voltage installers for the next five years. CEDIA analyzed market research, both internal and external, and came up with some very solid conclusions.

By looking five years out, we are presenting opportunities for business owners to take a very careful look into new business opportunities and prepare a proper business plan and educate their workforce before jumping into a new technology. Before we get there, it must be stressed that knowledge is doubling every 2.5 years, so we technically only know 25% of what we will know five years from now, so there will certainly be technological and economic events which can change the outcomes significantly. That being said, with change comes exciting opportunity. Check out some of the areas that could be profitable for you to consider.

1. Home Office

Those of you working in the commercial sector have already developed your skills in creating conference rooms and the like. A new opportunity exists for you in the residential market with the emergence of the home office that allows clients to spend more time at home with their families yet continue to be productive at work.

Over the next 5 years high-definition resolution and pristine sound quality will enable video conferencing in the home to evolve into home telepresence. Home offices are the low hanging fruit for you and could prove to be a foot in the door for other residential installations.

2. Digital Home Health

The home health industry is growing every day, and it will be exponentially larger in 2016. The American Society on Aging projects the aging population will grow to 72.1 million by 2030. According to AARP, 90% of baby boomers want to live in their home as they age.

Sales of digital health technology solutions and services in the U.S. will exceed $5.7 billion in 2015 – more than triple their volume in 2010, according to a report by Parks Associates. This segment represents a ripe opportunity for commercial installers looking to diversify.

3. Remote Diagnostics
As the custom installation industry looks to the future, systems in the home will rely more heavily on network communications, locally and to the cloud, for control, content distribution, and general communications. The challenge for the technology service provider will be how to properly maintain and service these systems which rely heavily on their connectivity.

There are emerging solutions that within the next 3-5 years will provide end-to-end remote management and support suites that enable service providers to effectively maintain the customer premise equipment. This is a radical shift in the service model used by many installation companies today and will certainly touch all areas of the market. These complex systems will need more service, and the model of rolling a truck for the majority of service calls will not be sustainable.

CEDIA provides an in-depth forecast on the future of the industry in The ESC of 2016 white paper, available exclusively to CEDIA members at no cost. Members may request a copy in the CEDIA Marketplace or e-mail Additional top level findings from the white paper are shared in the most recent emerging trends video available at To learn more about CEDIA membership

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