I did not think that my post CEDIA Expo blog would take this long to make it online. Classic delays have been a factor; catching up on work done whilst away, following up on a mini backlog of emails and letting the news of Amazon Home Services and CEDIA linking up fully sink in.
Every industry forum, news outlet and messaging group has dissected the pairing since the news broke. I’ve read and commented in many outlets but have held off some comments until I penned this blog.
If this announcement is not the biggest wake up call for home technology installers then they must be in a deep sleep.
Amazon + CEDIA is a combination that could not be better for homeowners. Over the past three or four years there has been an enormous surge in Do It Yourself (DIY), self installed home technology products. Nest started the trend with their iconic thermostat and since then Ring, Philips Hue and August have become part of the Smart Home gadget establishment. Single, one off tech additions were manageable for homeowners and once one pain point in the home was solved by an app controllable device lots of other bug bears were up for review. Smart home tech is fast becoming the preferred problem solver for the tech savvy homeowner.
After adopting the first generation of smart home instruments the new challenge homeowners are facing is getting their tech purchases to work with each other and they’re now faced with a choice of platforms for their devices to sit on. These kind of platform choices and integration combination are second nature to a home technology professional. I know from speaking to a lot to consumers, customers, family members and friends who are buying these gadgets is that they already feel like they are slipping behind with getting their tech to integrate with each other and they feel like they aren’t getting the full experience available.
It would be romantic to think that the homeowner is going to jump on their laptop and spend many minutes tracking down their local home technology pro on Google or CEDIA.org. It would be fantastic if homeowners were actually taking the time to trawl through the net to track down a home tech dealer. I hate to break it to you….they aren’t. It takes too long, it isn’t easy to find a pro and it doesn’t guarantee you’ll find the technologist you need.
Here’s the alternative chain of events. They can’t get Nest Protect to communicate with their Hue lightbulbs. Inside the app that they use for Hue or Nest there is a Support or Help button that will guide them through the integration. They got it working on their own. The next device they buy on Amazon or at the Apple Store arrives at home and they try to install it themselves and they run into difficulties. They still don’t hit Google search for a CEDIA member, they look in the box and it tells them to go to Nest Pro or Yale Installer or Logitech Pro. They will find a local expert to help them. They want their technology to work in the way it was intended. Your business should be attached to these Pro programs to get local attention.
An even quicker way to request services today is by using a voice assistant. A shout out to Siri, Alexa or Google can find a home service provider in seconds. This is probably the easiest way to find a local expert. A quick session with my own Alexa device provides lots of local electricians, plumbers, painters and tilers but zero results for a home technology professional or a CEDIA member. Voice search has a really difficult time understand the term CEDIA, it usually comes up with Seedier or Cydia. I think CEDIA need to do a lot more to make their brand recognised and searched for using voice.
However, if you ask for a home technology expert or home technology services or a home technology professional then CEDIA does come up using a Google voice search. Even more interesting was that the top result for this voice search was for Amazon Home Services. This is where the blog goes full circle. One in every four searches on a mobile device uses voices. 1 in 4! Amazon will be the top hit when a home service is searched for. CEDIA have now been accepted into the Amazon framework, Amazon have identified CEDIA members as trusted providers of home tech services. Amazon are boosting brand CEDIA, Amazon will start to be the marketing and PR arm of thousands of home technology professionals, Amazon is where you will list your business to get the best SEO results and Amazon will make the CEDIA name a recognised voice search term.
I’m going to keep testing Alexa and Google to see when she recognises CEDIA. I’m going to work on optimising my company to appear in an Alexa search, I’m going to start working on an Alexa skill for my company. I’m interested in hearing from other home technology professionals about a collaborative skill for Home Tech searches. Google fear Alexa, Alexa searches are the buzz thing. Amazon will drag CEDIA members into the world of on demand work requests and pull them into the Do It For Me world at scale.
Amazon + CEDIA = Volume