Road to CEDIA: Clare Controls CLIQs It All Together

Clare Controls, the custom integrator-led control company that exhibited at its first CEDIA EXPO only a few short years ago, is arriving at this year’s show with an impressive array of 24 new products.
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Clare Controls, the custom integrator-led control company that exhibited at its first CEDIA EXPO only a few short years ago, is arriving at this year’s show with an impressive array of 24 new products. Yet it’s the first two products in the company’s new CLIQ line that will likely generate the most buzz.

The modules, which were designed to serve as a smarter way for integrators and end users to unify audio, video, and control experiences, are noteworthy for the way that they interconnect. Somewhat like Lego blocks, the modules link together via ClareBus, a concealed integral connection that is made automatically when units are stacked. A single point of power, data, audio and control interface between stacked CLIQ modules, the ClareBus eliminates the need for external wiring between components. This speeds and optimizes integration, sidestepping common problems caused by missing, improperly placed and/or defective jumper cables.

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“The CLIQ modules are the most innovative category we’re working on,” Clare Controls CEO Brett Price told Residential Systems. “The whole pretense behind Clare Controls is to reduce the cost of owning these products, which traditionally have been maintenance intensive. So we spent millions of dollars working to automate the backend. There’s not firmware updates in our system for example. What we’ve done is to try and take that level of creativity and apply it to the hardware.”

The first two products are the CLIQ Host and CLIQ Connect product. When you stack these units together, they discover one another, autopopulate back to the host controller, and back into the cloud environment, automatically. If you want to expand the IO ports on the CLIQ Connect product, you basically just click them together. There are no screws, no wires, and no configuration.

“We’re releasing the first two products soon and then we’ll be release four or five more products in the CLIQ family, including stereo amplifiers, a room controller, and media controllers,” Price said.

One motivation behind the CLIQ line was to eliminate large surround sound processors or HDMI baluns to get slightly better audio to a bedroom or great room TV in more mainstream installation.

“The CLIQ product really derived from 10 years of looking at what people really want,” Price said. “People don’t want complicated; they just want simple. Very few people want a theatric experience in their living room. They don’t even know what it is. This is not about taking a $3-million house and doing a family room system for half the price. This is about going into a $400,000 house that you wouldn’t have entered with prior products. And there are more of those out there than the $3-million houses.”

Clare Controls will also be releasing a brand-new line of IP cameras in its ClareVision line, ranging from $200 retail to $900 retail. As well as new NVRs (network video recorders) and a line of HDMI switches that are integrated into the ClareHome product family.

The company will showcase its previously announced two digital amplifiers that were developed in partnership with ICE Power.

“It’s a one-rack unit, 16-channel, 40-watt per channel amplifier that you can stack one on top the other,” Price said. “In two rack spaces you could drive 16 rooms of audio with 40 watts per channel.”

Clare’s also releasing an Android client app for its ClareHome framework.

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