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What Is Wellness, Anyway?

What exactly do we mean by wellness in the CI market?

For the past few years, “health and wellness” has been pegged as a category where custom installers can expand their businesses; and an area that is marked for considerable growth in the future. Great — we are always looking for new ways we can serve our clients from within our skillsets. But what exactly do we mean by wellness in the CI market?

The pandemic put a spotlight on the category — mostly on how it has been largely ignored before we were forced to spend nearly a year-and-a-half in our homes. With attention focused on better day-to-day living, conversations around circadian lighting, voice commands to reduce the amount of surfaces touched, and mental well-being became part of our sales dialogs.

But lighting and voice-control over automation are both areas that we covered already, and more out of convenience and service than because of the wellness benefits. Lighting control was integrated so clients don’t walk into walls at night — not for a chance at better sleep. Germs are everywhere in the home, and while voice command keeps grubby fingers off of remotes and light switches, there are plenty of other shared surfaces in the home where viruses can spread.

Related: A Healthy Market for Wellness

And, as mentioned, lighting and automation are their own categories already, so including them as wellness options doesn’t expand the business.

So how can we incorporate wellness into our business? That’s the question we asked Ian Bryant, senior director of strategic partnerships, CEDIA, and, in an article he wrote for this issue, he provides some incredible insights into the category, and how, by asking the right questions about the client’s lifestyle, we can incorporate wellness features into all that we provide.

In his article, Bryant describes wellness as follows: “Wellness is a broad, holistic concept, encompassing physical health, mental health, and environmental factors. When it comes to supporting wellness through technology in the home, a well-rounded solution could include many different devices, all working in concert to support personalized outcomes.”

Many different devices all working in concert for personalized outcomes. That sure sounds like us!

This is not to say the health and wellness won’t have its own, deep category of products in the future. Already we have technology such as Delos DARWIN and Immersive Gym whose main purposes are geared toward improving people’s health. And as the aging-in-place phenomenon continues to gain traction, we will see more and more dedicated products added that will need to be carefully integrated in systems by our expert installers.

But, for today, Bryant offers some excellent advice on including wellness awareness in all your consultations, but not over-promising or stepping on the toes of any other trades. “Our role is not to be the plumber, the HVAC pro, or the electrician,” he writes, “but to unify and automate those systems and give the users context and control over how they support their health and wellness goals.”