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On Tuesday the 13th of October, four of us left Houston bound for the Big D—Dallas TX, site of this year’s CEDIA Expo: the annual trade show for the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association. A ton of planning-and-logistics headaches later (as well as a significant dollar investment later!) we returned to Houston Saturday, October 17th, much the wiser for the experience.

We planned for a very extensive suite of training classes for all four of us, with the idea of “going all in” to the growing field of Smart Home Automation: cram and amass as much exposure as possible into four discrete brains, then start bouncing ideas and possibilities around, and hope for some good outcomes.

We found that it’s difficult to gauge in advance the training quality and utility of the CEDIA classes. Several were not only excellent but into the domain of the revelatory, while others left a decided “meh” impression. Knowing what I know now, I’d have picked a less expansive/less expensive class schedule for the crew; but of course you know what they say about hindsight.

In the end however the overall results were very good: we gained an overall understanding of the scope of this enormous market, as well as an angle on how we might be able to find our niche within it; in particular, for us the growing fields of Smart Home design and Automation and Commercial Audio appear to hold the most promise. This will involve an app-based focus regarding actual smart home automation and control.

This tendency in the market, towards app-based control, will (in our opinion) eventually make life more difficult for the large-scale control platforms; but given the enormous profusion of smartphones and tablets, and the ramping-up bedrock for integrated apps through such services as Apple’s HomeKit, this outcome appears inevitable.

Stay tuned for additions to the Bammel homepage, for Smart Home Houston and Bammel Commercial Audio!

John