Innovation Alley is an area on the CEDIA 2016 show floor in Dallas where you can find 18 “new manufacturers breaking into the industry” and where you’ll “discover new products and vendors that are bringing fresh innovation into the market.” So far I’ve introduced 13 of the companies exhibiting for the first time at CEDIA. (Check out last week's group.) Here are the final five companies to put on your appointment calendar.
Modulus Booth 4148
While officially founded in 2015, Modulus Media Systems has been in development for eight years. In a nutshell, Modulus is a “revolutionary media hub [that] breaks through the chaos of closed systems and brings users a world of new features in one, easy-to-use device,” Modulus’ PR spokesperson Reid Slaughter stated.
Slaughter’s contention is that today’s multimedia landscape is increasingly fragmented and confusing to individual consumers and mainstream families, resulting in a lack of convenience, consistency, and control of their media. So, Modulus Media Systems delivers a stylish set-top box that consolidates the best features of a DVR, media center software, multiple streaming boxes, Blu-ray/DVD disc players, and personal media organizers for the whole family.”
Slaughter claims there aren’t any devices on the market that perform the wide variety of functions Modulus does. “Spanning seven years of engineering development, the Modulus vision is now realized through the customization of 26 million lines of code, over 300 new applications, and proprietary hardware drivers, in addition to leveraging the latest silicon advances,” Slaughter explained. “We anticipate numerous patents representing novel methods enabling Modulus' unsurpassed level of media performance and integration.”
The company will begin production of Modulus this fall, so CEDIA attendees will be getting an exclusive first look at this new system.
“In a world of closed systems, Modulus is about freedom!” Slaughter stated. “Integrators will find a product that is refreshingly open and easy to connect with—a product that makes using their product easier for consumers! Their heads will spin as they imagine the possibilities.” Click here to learn more.
ICON Smartech Booth 4172
ICON Smartech is a Silicon Valley company founded in 2015 by a small team of engineers and entrepreneurs. The company’s ICON Dashboard is a wall-mounted control featuring an HD camera along with a 7-inch display, speakers, microphone, and multiple sensors designed “to become the central interface of all WiFi- and Bluetooth-connected devices for all family members,” company founder Kevin Gau explained. “Dashboard is designed to replace the home’s thermostat and connect to all smart devices within the home, providing a convenient, centralized location for all family members to access.”
Gau thinks integrators will embrace Dashboard as it can be installed easily in as little as 30 minutes and will provide them “an all-in-one interface to monitor and control most smart devices regardless of brand or connection standard, from controlling smart light bulbs, monitoring security cameras, playing music or streaming video, to accessing local services. Further, the Dashboard is also a family assistant, opens to most Android native apps, “allowing convenient access to local services such as pizza or grocery delivery.”
ICON comes to CEDIA looking to introduce Dashboard to home automation professionals and custom integrators as well as to find a North American distribution partner. Click here to learn more.
Syston Cable Booth 4166
Syston Cable’s sales and marketing manager, Sam Liang, says that his company “has an array of cables that can meet the requirements of each integrator.”
Founded in 2000, the company manufactures all types of low-voltage wires and cables for the integration market, including data, voice, security, fire, AV, CCTV, cable TV, HVAC, lighting, control, and irrigation.
Liang says integrators should stop by the company’s booth to see why its premium cables and packaging are second to none. Click here to learn more.
Holistic Labs Booth 4173
Founded more than three years ago, Holistic Labs is a 25-person company with a long history of innovation at companies like Qualcomm, Nortel, Microsoft, Citrix, Motorola, and Sony.
“[We] created a product and a platform called Digital Butler to address the needs of the professional installer community in delivering remote support and extended warranty services,” company CEO and founder Ramanathan Balachander stated. “Using our platform, process and service, [integrators] will be able to scale their operations significantly and to address both the high-end and mid-end market.”
Digital Butler allows integrators to tie proposal, installation, logistics, billing, and post-Install support and warranty workflow together in one platform. “Digital Butler includes a downloadable client app running on a personal device or dedicated box working with our cloud to profile every make and model of connected devices, provide the connectivity status and history of those devices and enable collaboration with their pro and cheat sheets for common issues,” Balachander said. “With our patent-pending technology, customers can get support even when internet has failed in the home.”
Integrators also have the option to provide support themselves through the platform, or our techs can provide 24/7 Tier 1 Remote Support with escalation only for Tier 2 assistance.
“Installers using our administrator portal can more quickly and accurately troubleshoot issues without truck rolls and resolve them remotely,” Balachander claimed.
As Holistic Labs has recently initiated a nationwide pilot program, it is looking to expand its reach as it begins commercial operations. Beyond getting a demonstration of Digital Butler, the company is holding training sessions on Thursday, September 15 from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. at C143 and Friday, September 16 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at the Omni Dallas Hotel Trinity Ballroom 4. Click here to learn more.
Josh.ai Booth 4150
Voice control looks to be a hot topic at this year’s CEDIA and Josh.ai’s CEO Alex Capecelatro is literally a rocket scientist, having begun his career as a research scientist for NASA, and Josh.ai is the culmination of five years of research and development in natural language processing.
“Josh.ai is a standalone control system that uses AI and other intuitive interfaces to create a unique and natural control experience,” company head of business development, Nader Dajani, elaborated. “The heart of Josh.ai is a proprietary natural language processing system enabling intuitive voice control. Josh.ai works with products from Lutron, Sonos, Meridian, and also enables voice commands for Crestron, including lighting and shades.”
Josh.ai uses a proprietary voice control system capable of handling complex commands, scenes and events. Further, “Josh.ai's artificial intelligence was built specifically for the custom install channel,” Dajani said, “and offers the most advanced features available for high-end home control. Clients can give multiple voice commands at once, creating a more natural and advanced voice experience. For example, without a prior scene set up, clients can say, ‘Play the song Ride, open the shades, dim the kitchen lights, and close the garage.’ No other AI system can do that.”
The team has spent the last few years building their product and is now ready to unveil at CEDIA. “There will be so many different types of attendees that we hope to connect with, from manufacturers to integrators,” Dajani explained. “Also, the CEDIA community has been very supportive of us and new technology in general, and we wanted to make sure to show our support as well.”
Josh.ai has native iOS, Android, and web apps offering a unique and beautiful visual interface, as well as hands-free control using far-field microphones. “Anyone can stop by at any time,” Dajani invited, “and we are also taking appointments for private meetings.” CEO Alex Capecelatro is also speaking on a panel called "The Role of Voice Control in the Home" on Thursday September 15 from 11-12 p.m. (Ballroom C) and giving a CEDIA Talk on Saturday September 17 at 10:30 a.m. at the CEDIA booth. Click here to learn more.