SnapAV’s Charlie Kindel Predicts the Future is Here for Custom Installation Professionals

Custom installation professionals are rapidly becoming as vital to homeowners as plumbers and painters, according to SnapAV Chief Product and Technology Officer Charlie Kindel, who made this prediction last week during the second edition of the EI Live! Tech Talk Series entitled, “The Tomorrows World of the CI Industry.” The webinar is available for viewing here.

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“The custom installation industry is at the tipping point of a very exciting era of growth and expanded opportunity as more and more homeowners conclude they need professional help to create and maintain the kind of technology experiences they expect to have in their homes,” Kindel said. “At SnapAV we view the pros who deliver home and business technology solutions as our partner. Our company mission, therefore, is to provide these pros with fantastic products and services that empower them to succeed. If they succeed, we succeed.”

According to Kindel, the pace of advances in connected consumer technologies is now simply too great for homeowners to keep up with. “Very few of us can or want to be the IT manager of our home or business. We are moving beyond the hobbyist do-it-yourself era to a new era where professional technologists are going to be as important as plumbers and painters in keeping a home technologically relevant,” he explained.

Kindel emphasized that today’s consumers want to seamlessly experience smart, connected technologies in their home without having to ‘deal with it.’ “They want their technologies to be invisible, an intuitive extension of their physical senses and only a professional can make that happen. They alone can design and install infrastructure grade networks with the very best selection of products curated for their specific ability to integrate with each other on a reliable and robust network,” he emphasized.

The bottom line is to excite consumers with experiences they’ve never had before. “And SnapAV’s mission is to provide installation professionals with the products and solutions that deliver this excitement right out of the box.”

Looking into the future of the CI industry, Kindel said it is critical for manufacturers to always stay focused on the things that will always be true for customers. “For our installation customers it is critical that SnapAV provide them with the retail stores, products, resources and programs that enable them to grow their business organically as new products and technologies, such AI, AR and VR, become more mainstream in the home. For homeowners, it’s critical that we design and manufacture products that work magically and invisibly together in the home environment.”

The role of the integrator is also evolving, Kindel noted. “The CI industry is served by tens of thousands of small businesses that have different dreams and business models. More and more of them are realizing that the systems they install are living, always changing systems. As a result, they’re turning to a recurring revenue model because the days of ‘set it and forget it’ are over. We developed the SnapAV OvrC remote management and monitoring platform to meet this business need.”

Kindel predicted that every part of the home will eventually be reinvented with smart digital technologies, including floors, windows and walls, for reasons of health and safety as much as for entertainment. “In the near term I expect there will be a number of innovative new solutions in the areas of people counting, air circulation management and possibly even COVID detection,” he continued. “Longer term, I believe the ultimate smart home experience will be one that enables people to interact with their physical environment the way we do now with our fellow human beings. Through actuators and sensors, we are making this a reality,” Kindel predicted.

The rapid proliferation of new technologies, combined with the increasing human demand to be able to seamlessly integrate with these technologies, is what paints a very bright future for the custom installation industry. “Installation professionals are the only people who can bring experiential technologies to life for homeowners. Right now, I’d guess that only 10% of homeowners work with installation professionals to realize their home technology dreams. Over the next three to five years I believe that number will increase to 90%, which is about the percentage for plumbers and painters today!” 

“For installation professionals, this means that the future is here. It’s not yet evenly distributed but it will be and it’s installation professionals that will make that happen,” Kindel concluded.

Essential Install magazine’s EI Live! Tech Talk Series is the brainchild of David Kitchener, managing director at All Things Media Ltd.