CEDIA 2017 - AMX LIVING v.X

John NagyJohn Nagy CineTouch Product ManagerPosts: 1,526
Well, from all the chatter here about CEDIA (none at all), I think we were the only ones there with AMX on our mind.

AMX did have a table at the HARMAN booth, which for all its lack of size, was infinitely larger than the Cr*stron booth (there was NONE).

Adam Gershon and Robert Choate were on duty showing.... AMX LIVING (and literally nothing else but that and the two touch panels it was running on). Still in progress. Looking for 2018 release, and said to be in a number of beta sites now.

This is a RESIDENTIAL system wizard, no programming, cloud resources, intelligent device discovery and automatic module inclusion, self-generating UI, everything that AMX HOME was going to be but didn't deliver reliably.

It's impressive, really. A bold move in the exact philosophy that we built CineTouch with for the last 10 years. I daresay AMX LIVING surpasses the architectural goals of our product, but there's the risk. They've been working on LIVING for the last 3 years, and last year it looked like 80% of what it is now, And now it looks maybe 80% done. Of course last year, Adam was excited to have access to "hundreds of developers" through the Samsung acquisition... and this year the tune goes more like "we have to struggle to get access to developers, and we do, but we have to stand in line and get what we get done, and wait for the rest".

Reality... in what AMX Residential Director Robert Choate reminds us... "AMX is no longer a company. It's a product line, and we all need to understand how that changes things."

Nevertheless, they are both satisfied with the commercial side of AMX, and cautiously upbeat about LIVING for RESI. Adam is pleased with the beta progress, and most of the work left to do seems to be in the code/ui generating wizard. Ambitious plans for the future include intelligent usage monitoring (maybe rolling bits of RMS?) that will also dynamically revise the UI for users to present, over time, a custom set of pages tailored to how that user has used it so far, hiding functions and buttons that are historically unused, and surfacing others that the system finds you are searching for more than occasionally.

Right now the UI is sort of industrial/simple/monochromatic without much graphic statement, a big contrast with the last iteration of AMX HOME with the neon green floorplan look. But it's not done, so no judgement is fair yet.

I had to ask what the business model will be... and same as before, LIVING will be "free". With purchase of G5 panels and Innova switches, or some combination of AMX hardware to be sorted when the time comes. So for only multiple tens of thousands of dollars, it will be free.

Then I had to ask who they were going to be selling this to, sorry, GIVING this to... with only a handful of Resi dealers. Robert owned up to that being the big question, but Adam added that they need to have the product OUT and STABLE, and THEN enlist RESI interest. And they both admit that will be rocky considering the boot so many dealers still feel the bruises from when they were invited to find other platforms.

I hope this project works and is spectacular. As a maker of products that have, so far, been exclusively for AMX dealers, I and others like us will all benefit if AMX becomes a viable player in RESI again. I'm not concerned about competition for dealer attention, and Robert Choate agrees that we third party solutions are part of what is required for a working ecosystem. LIVING can't succeed as the only RESI choice... else dealers will face the need to carry a second platform like C4 or RTI/URC etc. for "typical" sales, since the high hardware requirement for access to LIVING will price that solution out of a substantial portion of the resi buying market. Better that there were more choices within the AMX platform to cover all segments with the same base technology. You can't upgrade a mid-market install you do with C4 to a grander LIVING on AMX without a full tear-out that simply isn't going to be the norm. And being expert in more than one platform is hugely inefficient for dealers.

So. We're ready to be part of AMX resi if it happens. I'm not holding my breath, but I am watching the horizon. In all directions.

Other interesting tidbits discussed, not seen: Samsung Japan has essentially integrated a NetLinx in some high end smart TV's, enabling them to manage other devices. And Samsung's investment in "SMART THINGS" is paying off in integration work with AMX and Alexa/GoogleHome/etc. So the relationship with Samsung is not antagonistic, nor negligent to AMX. So there's that.

Anyone have anything else to add about AMX and CEDIA?

Comments

  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 3709 Posts Posts: 4,159
    I came within a gnat's eye lash of going to CEDIA but opted out due to the approach of the storm. I do know of three other dyed-in-the-wool AMXers who were there. I find the "AMX is a product line - not a company" item rather interesting. There are very few product lines out there that you can call a "framework" This creates effects in what we do..

    Thanks for the report!
    e
  • John NagyJohn Nagy CineTouch Product Manager Posts: 1,526
    Well... WINDOWS is a product line, not a company... Android too... so...
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 3709 Posts Posts: 4,159
    John Nagy wrote: »
    Well... WINDOWS is a product line, not a company... Android too... so...

    Very true. But I think the difference in scale comes into play as well. We are still very 'niche' comparitively speaking.
  • feddxfeddx Junior Member Posts: 140
    Looks like I'll need to get in line for Re-education.
  • RicardoSiqueiraRicardoSiqueira Junior Member Posts: 373
    I also stopped at the AMX small booth and I am not sure if the AMX Living will be a viable option either. Without dealerships/support to carry this on, it will end up performing like the previous AMX wizards we had over the years. We tried the AMX Home in one of our systems and got burned out and I had to end up re-programming the whole system from scratch anyways. Not sure what is going to happen to AMX over time. We still love the flexibility and power of its master controllers, but it feels like we, residential dealers, are becoming extinct like the "Last of the Mohicans". Looking back when I started in this industry in 1997 as a Phast dealer and then AMX/Netlinx dealer to date, I used to get very excited about CEDIA and AMX, but it looks like the AMX residential market is in life support now. We still have done a couple residential projects with the AMX backbone this past year, but had to use RTI remotes and TPControl mostly. It is very hard to sell AMX touch Panels to the residential market nowadays, due to the cost compared to iPads/TPControl combination. I still spent some time this year to renew my Installer/Designer/Programmer AMX certifications that at least are good for 3 years now. Let's see where AMX will be in 3 years. Meanwhile, as a small business integrators, we have to invest in and offer other product lines as well so we can keep doing business and provide to our families. 20 years with AMX! it is hard to let it go, we hope they will continue...
  • gsmithgsmith Ex AMX Engineering Posts: 59
    Given the extent of the layoffs I would question how long any AMX product can be supported. The loss of institutional knowledge is simply too great...
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,353
    Who the hell is running AMX? They make no sense at all!
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 226
    gsmith I am so sorry to see you are "Ex" you were by far my favorite person to get on the phone over the past decade or almost two. You will be missed.
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