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CEDIA 2016 Wrap-Up: The Future Is Voice Control

Posted September 2016 by Veronica Esbona

Another CEDIA — the biggest home technology showcase of the year — has come and gone. For our residential brands, CEDIA is an annual opportunity to present their latest innovations to the professionals that install their gear. And this year, the show didn’t disappoint. According to CEDIA, attendance topped just over 18,750 attendees, included over 500 exhibitors, 115 CEDIA training sessions, 13 CEDIA Talks, and six free CEDIA panel sessions. Judging by the chatter, it’s safe to say this year’s show was a success, with attendees energized about future opportunities and a positive industry outlook.

By far the biggest trend this year was voice control and integration. Professionally known as “voice as a user interface” (VUI), this technology is on the rise in the residential market thanks to Amazon’s Echo, a hands-free speaker controlled by voice. Echo connects to Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service, playing music and providing information, news, sports scores, weather, and more — instantly. But what’s really interesting is that voice control is just as applicable to the pro AV space. Alexa dominated with several announcements by the big control players touting integration. Charlie Kindel, director of Alexa smart home automation at Amazon, delivered one of the keynote speeches, where he claimed VUI will be as disruptive as the internet!

It is easy to imagine that as homeowners experience the benefits of voice control and the technology matures, corporate execs will be keen on bringing it into the boardroom. As an Echo user myself, Alexa is great for playing music and controlling other IoT devices in the home like temperature and lights. In an office environment, it would be just a cool to start a presentation or videoconference by just saying, “Alexa, start presentation,” or “Alexa, start videoconference.” This would add a new level of convenience to office tasks.

Alexa is the just the beginning. We’ll likely see more companies — such as, which controls every part of the home environment, from lighting, HVAC, music, security, and more — enter the space and leverage the opportunities of IoT. Clearly, voice control will continue to permeate in both markets. Are you ready? “Alexa, prepare us for the new wave of the future.”


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