The Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association's annual expo is in Denver this week, attracting nearly 30,000 contractors, designers and installers in an event that is closed to the public, reports the Rocky Mountain News.
The show epitomizes the burgeoning market for the latest in pricey home automation systems, even as the overall housing market languishes. On display in more than 600 exhibits in Colorado are home entertainment systems, appliances, thermostats, security cameras and shades that can be adjusted with the slightest touch of a control, or even via cell phone. A model 1,700-square-foot home boasts a wired system worth $120,000.
Despite a weak housing market, U.S. revenues from the custom-home design and electronics installation industry hit $9.8 billion this year, growing at 8 to 9%, reports the research group Park Associates. While much hoopla of the show centers around the heated battle between Blu-ray and High Definition DVD formats, CEDIA also touts a "Green Initiative," maintaining that a home automation system can lead to reduced energy costs.
At a time when Wall Street is fretting about the health of the economy and average Americans are worrying about the future, the CEDIA show is the largest business trade event ever hosted by Denver. Will the high-end home electronics biz see declines in coming months as a result of the real estate slowdown, or will it turn out to be evidence of greater disparity between the rich and the poor?
Will high technology help the homes of the future be more efficient and lighter on the Earth, or merely bigger symbols of excess, sucking huge amounts of energy to power ever-bigger TVs, flashy gizmos and other electronic toys?
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