Oct. 11, 2022 - The headline news regarding Crestron's appearance at CEDIA® Expo 2022 was — well, Crestron's appearance. Although Crestron was set to return to the tradeshow in 2020, a global pandemic derailed those plans. Anthony Savona summed things up in his piece for Residential Systems:
The day integrators have been looking forward to has finally arrived at the 2022 CEDIA Expo, and John Clancy, EVP of residential for Crestron, could not be happier.
"My first year at Crestron was our first year not exhibiting at CEDIA Expo," says Clancy. "It was a goal of mine to get us back into that show. Of course, we never left the community or our dealer base, but now we are back, and we have a lot of news for our dealers and for those who aren't already Crestron dealers."
The large, can't-miss booth is well stocked with the company's latest and greatest, with an emphasis on game-changing technologies such as the Crestron Home OS and the DM NAX audio distribution platform.
Clancy's vision for the CEDIA booth — a massive, 6,000-square-foot stunner — was solutions-oriented, not product-oriented. Clancy and his team wanted to stay away from the traditional "wall full of black boxes" approach common to shows such as CEDIA Expo.
"I really wanted a conscious effort around a new style, a new look, and then secondarily, a new way to present it," he explains. "I wanted to display solutions and show how our products are threaded into those solutions."
The approach worked. "Not only did dealers like it, they recognized that we were trying to do something different," says Clancy.
Home At Last
As Michael Short, Crestron's senior director of residential and hospitality marketing, noted in this preview, the ability to finally exhibit everything the Crestron Home® platform can do — in hands-on, face-to-face demos — was paramount: "The ability to actually handle the products, feel the quality, experience our solutions, understand the smooth responsiveness of the touch screens — that aspect of a trade show is immeasurable." In fact, the entire booth was itself powered by the Crestron Home® OS, as Short expressed to CresTV host Neil Fluester.
The platform's intuitive design made a big impact on members of the design/build community who attended the show. "I had the pleasure of taking tours around the booth with Connected Design — that audience included architects, builders, and interior designers," says JoAnn Arcenal, Crestron's director of business development. "I kept hearing, 'This is so easy, this is so simple, this is so clear.' They were blown away by it," she says. "We had a beautiful wall of interfaces; there were the tabletop controls, the wall mounted different orientations, different sizes. The interface was consistent in each one. That really resonated with them."
The platform impressed the team at Residential Systems, picking up a Best of Show award (while TWICE honored the new line of Crestron LED light fixtures).
Short reinforces Clancy's message of a "solutions-specific" booth. "We included a health and wellness wall, an MDU wall, an entertainment everywhere wall, a work-from-home wall — it's a ton of solution-driven displays."
"Crestron told a story," says Clancy. "You walked through the booth and started with the end-user experience. Next, we'd delve into the dealer's experience of how to configure and deploy the system. Then, for example, we'd talk about how we solve human-centric lighting: It's not just a fixture. It's the fixture combined with some of the unique features that we've built into the OS.
"We showed how our products weave their way into supporting health and wellness solutions in the home, or energy management, perhaps entertainment, name it."
What's more, Clancy noted that it offered Crestron to make the case that platforms such as Crestron Home — or DM NAX™ Audio-over-IP and DM NVX® AV-over-IP, for that matter — are ever-evolving platforms. "We've updated Crestron Home 13 times in the last year, and all of those updates are free. We just added Tidal to Crestron DM NAX. We didn't charge a licensing fee. That's something that really sets us apart."
Sound and Vision
Crestron's partnership with Bodhi struck a chord with the design/build audience, according to JoAnn Arcenal, as did the integration of Blackdove digital art into the Crestron Home OS. "For them to see how beautifully it can be done and just how easily they can subscribe and engage with Blackdove was pretty huge, too," Arcenal adds.
Residential Tech Today took note of the Crestron push to provide "entertainment everywhere," as writer/editor Jeremy Glowacki focused on new speaker offerings:
Crestron has expanded their audio portfolio with four new products, including three additions to the Crestron Speakers made by Origin Acoustics Ultimate Series line as well as an all-weather model of Crestron's Saros Surface Mount Speakers. Built natively for the Crestron Home OS and for easy integration with custom systems, these new audio solutions pair with Crestron's DM NAX Audio-over-IP distribution platform.
The new speaker offerings garnered a "Best in Show" nod from Connected Design as well.
Of course, an in-person show allowed dealers to hear those speakers — as well as experience the fit and finish of the various products Crestron and its partners are developing. Those partnerships with third-party manufacturers were on display with a complete gallery of "extensions," various products that integrate easily into the Crestron Home OS. An example of just how elegant these solutions look — and how well they perform — is nicely represented by this Black Nova keypad complete with a Josh.ai voice interface pictured above.
Meanwhile, Residential Systems' John Sciacca noted the tunable LEDs on display:
[Crestron] showed off its tunable lighting, allowing for precise color control that can either bring out colors in artwork or woodgrains or be used for human-centric lighting. A new SolarSync automation places a device outside the home, which continuously measures the color temperature of outdoor lighting and automatically adjusts lights inside the home to replicate natural light.
Crestron in Print
Another item that debuted at CEDIA Expo wasn't hardware or software — it's a magazine. Crestron's Director of Marketing Communications Crystal Watts has the deets on the new pub, dubbed Smarter Spaces: "We were elated to launch Crestron's first residential magazine, Smarter Spaces, last week at the CEDIA show. It's a beautifully designed piece filled with rich content and features inspirational, real-life stories of how smart home technology is bettering the lives of homeowners around the world. CEDIA was the perfect venue to talk to our dealers about the many benefits this tool can provide to their business. By placing it in their showrooms and providing it as a takeaway, their clients can understand some of the incredible solutions enabled by Crestron Home and what's possible in their own homes."