CE Pro July 2022 - 36

HIDDEN TECH & DESIGN
common request, followed
by bezel-less architectural
speakers, small-aperture
lighting fixtures, flush-mount
touchpanels/switches, and
motorized window treatments
tucked away in ceiling
soffits. Other semi-popular
tactics used to hide the
technology include motorized
projection screens,
TV or projector lifts, separate
rooms for long-throw
projectors, and invisible
speakers behind drywall. On
outdoor projects, burying
cable, buried subwoofers and
rock speakers are the most
common requests.
Not surprisingly, the trade
partners who by far are the
most concerned about hiding
the technology are interior
designers. When asked to
rank which trade partners (or
clients) wanted technology
to be hidden, 42% of integrators
list interior designers
as the most apprehensive
about seeing the technology.
That is almost three times
more than any other trade
partner. Architects, homeowners,
electricians, real
estate agents and homebuilders
round out the list.
Not unexpectedly, only 7%
of builders care about hiding
the technology.
But what about situations
in which the technology
cannot be hidden? Ornate
floorstanding speakers like
the KEF Blade One and
Blade Two are obvious examples
in which the beautiful
design of the products
themselves makes them almost
pieces of art on display
that enhance the room's
36 | CE Pro July 2022
d├ęcor. In those cases where
the technology cannot be
discreet, 96% of integrators
say a product's industrial
design is important.
That data is supported by
products like Nest thermostats,
for example, that minimize
the " wall acne " denoted
by traditional HVAC control
interfaces. Likewise, solutions
such as iPort, Trufig, and
Wall-Smart enable dealers to
minimize the obtrusiveness of
in-wall interfaces. Nearly every
lighting control manufacturer
has enhanced the design
of its switches over the
past decade, whether that be
the migration to low-profile
toggles, screw-less plates or
various color options.
Indeed, dealers report
industrial design is most vital
for exposed wall-mounted
TVs, touchpanels/interfaces,
audio components, smart
speakers, fixed film screens
and floorstanding speakers.
These are often technologies
that are unable to be
disguised in a home and thus
the overall aesthetic of the
product is important to its
acceptance by clients.
One " beauty " of clients'
desires for discreet technology
is that integrators
can charge customers for
their time spent in designing
hidden solutions. However,
only 30% of CE pros report
they charge clients for the
time spent on system design
related to hiding the technology.
In all, 58% of dealers
say they " sometimes " charge
for design time, while 12%
say they " often " charge for
it. CE Pro
cepro.com
How Do You Describe Hidden
Technology to Clients?
While they say a picture is
worth a thousand words,
how you describe your
ability to hide the technology
can often make a
difference. Of course, the
best option is to show
customers the solutions
within your showroom,
or using product samples,
images or literature. In the
survey, we asked integrators
how they describe the
various " hidden " technologies
to customers.
" Hidden, " " invisible, "
" concealed " and " discreet "
are by far the most commonly
used terms, which
might be good verbiage to
use on your websites to
attract customers to your
solutions. Other terms
that CE pros use include
" small, " " aesthetically
pleasing, " " out of sight, "
" understated, " " unseen, "
" sleek, " " modern, " " visually
pleasing " and " stealth. "
Some of the more
creative terms dealers
are using for their design
packages are " art mode, "
" magic, " " harmonious, "
" minimalistic, " " decorator-friendly, "
" hide-away, "
" camouflage, " " harmonious, "
" pocketed, " " secret "
and " designer's dream "
solutions.
One integrator even
says he describes his
solutions simply by saying,
" It's there but nobody will
know it. " Another says, " It
will be designed not to be
visible and distract from
the architecture. "
On the flip side, one
respondent to the survey
remarks, " My customers
expect to see the system
that I have built for them,
especially when every
system that I have ever
created has a turntable in
it! My systems usually have
five floorstanding speakers,
a center channel and
two subs and an immersive
height channel or two. "
So there!
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CE Pro July 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CE Pro July 2022

CE Pro July 2022 - Intro
CE Pro July 2022 - Cover1
CE Pro July 2022 - Cover2
CE Pro July 2022 - 1
CE Pro July 2022 - 2
CE Pro July 2022 - 3
CE Pro July 2022 - 4
CE Pro July 2022 - 5
CE Pro July 2022 - 6
CE Pro July 2022 - 7
CE Pro July 2022 - 8
CE Pro July 2022 - 9
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CE Pro July 2022 - 19
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CE Pro July 2022 - Cover3
CE Pro July 2022 - Cover4
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