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From Alexa to massive OLED TVs, CEDIA 2017 blueprints the future of home theater

CEDIA 2017 What We Expect
Each September, thousands of consumer electronics professionals, custom home integrators, and installation gurus gather for CEDIA, the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association trade show. While CEDIA might not sound as sexy as the annual Las Vegas spectacle that is CES, it is the place where the homes of the future are born. Not only do we see the latest in TVs, surround sound systems, and other home theater goodies at CEDIA, there’s also outlandish outdoor entertainment gear, gads of futuristic home automation systems, and, lately, more smart home gadgets than you can shake a stick at. So, what will CEDIA 2017 have in store for us?

In a word: Alexa

Amazon’s voice-controlled digital assistant has been the toast of every electronics trade show since CEDIA 2016, and we expect to hear her name over and over again at this year’s event. You can now ask Alexa to secure smart locks in your home, adjust the thermostat, start your favorite show on Netflix, brew your coffee, and so much more. But if Alexa can already rule all the devices in your smart home, what’s left for her to learn?

Part of the problem with so-called IOT (Internet of Things) devices is that they don’t play very well with each other. That’s where companies like Control4, Crestron, Savant, and look to make a difference at CEDIA 2017. These home-automation companies are working to serve as a bridge between internet-connected gadgets and voice-control assistants like Alexa, OK Google, and Siri, so that all of those disparate devices can work in concert and actually feel like they live under one roof. We expect to see the smart home simplified. If the past few years have been like The Flintstones age, the next few will look more like The Jetsons.

Not only will the way we control our devices be redefined this year at CEDIA 2017, we’ll also get a peek at how all those gadgets will evolve for 2018 – think of it as a preview to CES. We expect to see home theater redefined as bigger, brighter 4K Ultra HD television displace projectors in high-end home entertainment rooms. Speakers so tiny that they literally disappear into the walls will make us question whether big, boxy speakers are necessary any longer, multiroom audio, a concept pioneered by Sonos, will be ultra-hot this year as every major manufacturer jumps at the chance to deliver music into our homes now that CDs have been replaced by streaming services like Spotify.

What’s more, there will be laser-based 4K projectors, massive theater screens that disappear into the ceiling, insanely powerful home theater receivers, subterranean subwoofers and speakers systems, unprecedentedly massive OLED TVs. We might even see – dare we say it? – 8K TVs.

Stay tuned as we wind our way through the halls of the San Diego Convention Center in search of the coolest – and hottest – residential tech the world has ever seen at CEDIA 2017.

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Caleb Denison
Digital Trends Editor at Large Caleb Denison is a sought-after writer, speaker, and television correspondent with unmatched…
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