With the world transitioning away from the quarantining that marked the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the home technology industry and technologies such as WiSA are helping homeowners to phase into today’s post-pandemic landscape.
Tony Ostrom, president of the WiSA Association, says that over the past couple of years WiSA has seen an increase in peoples’ investment in home technologies, from home entertainment to exercise equipment.
One area that’s helped WiSA and its partners grow through COVID-19 has been people working from home (WFH) either on a full time or part time basis on hybrid work schedules.
“Across the entire category we’ve seen a lot of growth. I think another major contributing factor too is that people are much better at Zoom today than they probably were two or three years ago. I think there’s been a time to experience the technology,” he says.
“There is also so much content being brought into homes that I think people are much more familiar with the types of content that’s delivered through their smart TVs or Roku smart devices and they’re realizing the quality of you know, obviously of the movie audio and the great production value in TV series. The way sports are recorded and broadcast today too, and obviously gaming and even music now with spatial audio recordings.”
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WiSA’s Ostrom says Opportunities Abound in Today’s New Normal
With the mask mandates lifting and social distancing dissolving, Ostrom theorizes that consumers and manufacturers have had plenty of time during the pandemic to examine what they want with home technology, and now they are moving to follow up.
Ostrom comments the WiSA Association and its partners are adapting to things such as the popularity of smart TVs.
Making those television connections easier, Ostrom notes the association and its partners have developed transmitters that are WiSA certified. He says there are currently a number of television products that are going through a WiSA certification process, and there will also be other products coming to market to support wireless multichannel AV applications.
“The purpose is to connect to all smart TVs and allow them to be the Center of the home entertainment experience which they’re absolutely designed to be today and allow them to connect to you know, whatever speaker system is right for that use case that user and their expectations and so you’re going to see a lot of TVs,” explains Ostrom.
“We’re also going to see some new systems being announced, and new products being announced around the music high end show, so a little foreshadowing.”
Supporting homeowners that want to take advantage of immersive audio and formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, Ostrom says that WiSA partners will soon be launching height speakers that feature upward firing drivers and some architectural speaker models that incorporate WiSA technologies.
WiSA is also expecting the release of some new televisions that incorporate its wireless technologies to allow integrators to easily upgrade the sound of TVs through WiSA-enabled speakers.
Looking a little further ahead, Ostrom adds that WiSA will continue to foster market education so dealers and homeowners learn what WiSA technologies can do.
“As an organization, I feel we are doing a lot more than a typical organization would do to promote an entire category and the reason I say that is because we will continue to work with our partners to integrate wireless audio technologies, and in many cases, certify those products to guarantee to the end user that they are interoperable with other products, he emphasizes.
“We are working to educate users and bring awareness to the technology, how it benefits their home entertainment experience … we are also working with Weiss, a certified retailer to train them to help in many cases, to build out web pages and build out store demos to properly convey the benefits of wireless audio technologies.”