LEA Professional Launches New Technology Platform and First Low Power, Connected Amplifiers

June 13 2019, 08:35
As highly anticipated, LEA Professional was the focus of attention as soon as InfoComm 2019 opened its doors in Orlando, introducing its professional-grade IoT (Internet of Things) technology platform with the launch of the LEA Connect Series amplifier family. As promised, LEA wants to bring the benefits of a connected world to the Professional A/V market, allowing system designers and integrators to provide real-time system performance coverage to their existing service contacts. 

“LEA Professional is dedicated to introducing leading-edge technology and value to our customers, and we will continue to invest in technologies that simplify our customers' projects and make them more profitable,” says Blake Augsburger, LEA Professional founder and CEO. “By including the benefits of IoT technology in our Connect Series Amplifiers, it shows that LEA is not just another amplifier company, we are a technology company, and we are committed to innovation that benefits everyone.”

The LEA Connect Series products will offer IoT capabilities as a standard feature providing remote control and monitoring of installed systems without having to VPN into the Local Area Network. This provides the ability to access the system anywhere from any device, delivering the integrator an easy way to communicate with the installed system. Preventative maintenance and other system health data is gathered from sensors and circuitry within the amplifier. If the customer wishes to disable the IoT feature, they can do so and still have a secure connection on their local area network.

LEA Professional chose Amazon’s AWS IoT Core as the infrastructure that will safely and securely transmit data to and from the amplifier. “Security was a top priority when selecting which IoT platform to base our Connect Series on," says Dave Butler, Senior Principle Embedded Engineer, LEA. "The AWS IoT Core is used by several Fortune 500 companies and offered everything we wanted for security, with encryption and authentication happening at every point within the connection." Amazon also promises that no information will be exchanged without a confirmation of the devices identity via the AWS generated security certificates.

The new LEA Connect Series amplifiers will be shipping in July 2019, and come IoT-enabled out of the box. Once LEA’s cloud services come online in the Fall of 2019, any Connect Series amplifier in the field will be able to connect and begin communicating with the cloud via the LEA Connect Series Apps which will also include data analytics capabilities and push notifications. 

“IoT security is nothing to take lightly. We invested heavily in making sure we did it the right way from the start, allowing any integrator, big or small, to remotely monitor the systems they install," explains Brian Pickowitz, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing, LEA. "By including IoT in our Connect Series, the integrator now has an extra tool in their toolbox to increase their recurring revenue opportunities by including this in their existing service contracts.”

The New Connect Series Amplifiers
At InfoComm 2019, LEA Professional introduced the Connect Series amplifiers with eight low-power models for the professional installation market. With four, four-channel models (Connect 84, Connect 164, Connect 84D and Connect 164D) and four, eight-channel models (Connect 88, Connect 168, Connect 88D and Connect 168D), the series provides system designers and integrators simple and cost-effective solutions to bridge the gap for professional-grade, small-scale system installations.

“With the lower power models of our Connect Series, we wanted to ensure that we armed integrators with the best technology available on the market to serve even the smallest installation projects for their clients,” adds Augsburger. “We aren’t reserving the benefits of IoT technology for just the large, complex systems and we think system designers and integrators are going to appreciate the convenience provided by these amplifiers.”

With the Connect Series’ built-in AWS IoT Core, system integrators can monitor hundreds of data points from fan speed to thermal temperatures to system faults and more, without even being in the same building as the system. This opens the door for system integrators to identify potential issues, troubleshoot the cause, and load new parts on the truck long before any urgent maintenance is required.

The Connect Series is made up of two product families: the Dante Connect and Network Connect models. All eight low-power models are built with fully-addressable analog inputs while the 84D, 164D, 88D, and 168D have the addition of Dante and AES67 connectivity. All eight models also boast three different ways of network connection using built in WiFi Access Point, connect to the existing WiFi network, or using a Local Area Network Ethernet connection.

“We packed these amplifiers with essential features like our Proprietary Smart Power Bridge, Universal Power Supply, direct LoZ and HiZ selectable per channel, and internal DSP — all in a one-rack-unit chassis," explains Jeremy Bules, Vice President of Engineering, LEA. "There aren’t many other products on the market that can achieve 70V and 100V at this power rating. We really wanted these amps to be a great looking and slim fitting unit with the power, flexibility, and simplicity that integrators need for these smaller system designs.”

In addition to the amplifiers, LEA Professional also unveiled an Web App UI for control and monitoring. This user interface does not require a software download and works to control and monitor the amplifiers from any device, including a users’ mobile phone, tablet or desktop computer. The Web App UI was designed for quick and simple navigation providing an easy user experience. For more about LEA Professional read this article.
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