CEDIA Expo’s Launchpad is a pavilion on the show floor where the newest residential technology brands share their innovations. Located there are brands that have been in business for fewer than three years or have never exhibited at CEDIA Expo. CEDIA Propel brands are also participating in the Launchpad.
This year’s Launchpad brands include: Allterco Robotics, AutoSlide, Blonder Tongue Labs, Dejero, GDC Technology (USA), guardDog Solutions, Hide-A-Trim, Juke Audio, KEW Labs and Orro.
We talked with four companies exhibiting in the Launchpad to learn about the products and solutions they’ll be showcasing at CEDIA Expo.
Having launched its first product in November 2019, and after winning a CE Pro 2020 Best Product Award in the multiroom audio category, Brad and Colton Forth, the father and son team (respectively) of Los Angeles-based Juke Audio decided it was time to exhibit at CEDIA.
“It is a very innovative solution for multiroom audio,” said Brad Forth, co-founder of Juke Audio, of the Juke product. “One Juke device powers all of the speakers throughout a home or property, and then everything is done wirelessly from smartphones and tablets. It’s much simpler and much less expensive than any other way of accomplishing the same thing.”
Juke has already been installed in more than 1,500 homes. “The company has four dozen dealers and is looking to sign up more at CEDIA.” said Juke Audio’s president, Colton Forth.
Two Juke multiroom audio systems are available: the Juke-6 (12 channels) and the Juke-8 (16 channels). “If it’s a larger home, then you can have a multitude of these devices on the same network. They discover each other, no setup is required, and then you can make a 24-zone system, a 32-zone system,” Brad Forth added. The IP-based Juke has no limitation to the number of zones that can be installed.
Kew Labs has invented a device that delivers invisible wireless phone charging to every environment. The small UTS-1 Wireless Charger is installed under a counter, desktop, nightstand or any other surface (except a metal one) up to 1 inch thick. Simply place a phone on the icon that has been applied to the surface and charging begins.
“Basically, wireless charging ends up everywhere and charging your phone doesn’t become an inconvenience,” said Paul Brown, vice president of sales and marketing at Kew Labs. “It becomes a convenience.” Brown sees opportunity for the UTS-1 to be installed in virtually every environment, from the home to restaurants, hotels and airports.
“With our technology, you can daisy chain two of them together,” Brown added. “One has the power adapter, and then a connector connects both.” Think of two family members able to charge their phone on the granite kitchen counter at the same time.
The Kew Labs UTS-1 Wireless Charger began shipping in 2020.
Autoslide’s vice president, Joseph Castonguay, is proud to announce that in December 2020, the company became a CEDIA member and part of the Propel program. Autoslide designs and manufactures automatic sliding door and window systems for residential and light commercial applications.
“We design our products to be able to be retrofit onto existing doors,” Castonguay said. “You can add our product onto a manually-open door or window and automate them.”
Castonguay is exhibiting at CEDIA this year because “integrators know technology and how to integrate it into smart home platforms,” he said. Autoslide can be integrated into any smart home platform. “We have a custom set of Alexa skills built out for our app.”
Currently, the biggest application for Autoslide is in increasing accessibility for users such as the elderly, “who have limited mobility, have to struggle to open doors, especially in places like Florida, where they have heavy-impact doors for hurricanes,” Castonguay said. “Instead of having to strain to push to open the door, they can just push a button, use a motion sensor, or use a phone to open those doors.”
The second biggest application for Autoslide is in the pet market. “We have a built-in pet mode, so you can convert your patio doors into automatic pet doors, which is nice because you don’t have to put a hole in your wall anymore, or in the glass of your door,” Castonguay said. “Not only does your pet get to use it, but you can also use it for your convenience.” The system can be programmed to open just wide enough for you or your pet.” Unlike other pet door openers that require a large sensor to be worn on a collar, the Autoslide sensor is the size of a dog tag that can be attached to or tucked inside the collar.
With more than 20,000 cybersecurity solutions on the market, how does a company like guardDog Solutions stand a chance at a niche smart home industry show such as CEDIA? guardDog’s business development advisor, Glenn Merlin Johnson, said it’s simple. “Our CEO, Peter Bookman, created this plug-and-play device that’s very simple to deploy. You don’t have to be an IT specialist, you can deploy it in five minutes, and it protects the entire network for your homeowner or your office.” The device installed in the home is aptly called Fido and is ready for deployment today.
Johnson explained that Bookman has been working on the technology for the past 25 years, and five years ago created the AI for the product and connectivity of guardDog. With everyone being sent home to work 18 months ago at the start of the pandemic, protecting the home network from intruders has become a particularly important and underserved category. “We call this ‘protecting the edge territory,’” Johnson said. “The edge territory is everything outside of the enterprise network.”
Where other alarm companies protect the contents of and the people inside the home, guardDog sits at the cyber door. “We are like a cyber alarm company making sure that nobody can get in to take personal property and identities.” Johnson said. “And with all of CEOs working at home, we stop that leak from going into the enterprise world.”
The Fido device plugs into the router and power and has a wireless antenna. “That’s what’s connecting to our AI. This is not in beta testing; this is all done and proven.” Johnson said. “With all deployed guardDogs linked together, when we’ve proven that there’s a black hat that’s trying to get in, that IP address and others will go guardDog system-wide and AI-wide to block that potential threat.”
Johnson added that they are currently working on the details of a dealer program with a recurring revenue stream.