When it comes to electronics, Dave Lane is someone who has seen it all. The namesake of the eponymous Digital Audio Visual Environments (D.A.V.E.), he remembers the time when compact disc players were the trendy, must-have item in the electronics technology space. Now, the bulky, 300-disc players that customers lined up by the dozens to have installed in their vehicles are as anachronistic as the horse and buggy. It was the precursor to a revolution not only in entertainment, but the capacity of electronics to offer consumers unprecedented customization and control to virtually anything with Wi-Fi connectivity. “We’ve been there through the entire birth of the custom installation industry and have been a part of it,” says Lane. Now D.A.V.E., the trusted authority in commercial, residential and home electronics, has joined the VP Supply family to expand on the range of services both organizations can offer to their customers. “It’s really creating new opportunities for us and new ways to expand. I think we’re also helping other people at VP to understand our part of it and how it fits in,” Lane discussed, referencing the kitchen and bath products predominate in VP showrooms that can now be controlled remotely through smartphones. A couple quick taps on a keypad can regulate features like the amount and temperature of water coming out of a shower or faucet head or the temperature of a room.
The key innovation, Lane highlights, is the rapidly increasing capacity to control. “It’s the ability to automate and to control things and the information that you can get back. A lot of that is just driven by the smart phone, because now you’ve got a device with you all the time that acts as a super remote control.” Despite what’s already possible, Lane believes the industry is once again on the cusp of a dynamic period of explosive growth and innovation. “It’s at its infancy. It will get to be a lot more accessible, and things will communicate more and more together. Now there is an App for this and an App for that, but you’ll start to see things work together.” The integration of smart devices into VP’s existing product base has created new, exciting options for customers. Enhanced accessibility has familiarized people with the range of possibilities at their disposal, but Lane notes that the rapid pace of change makes the education process ongoing. “Customer in general are more educated. Everyone knows something. Sometimes they know a lot and we have to educate them about our specific products and what they can offer.”
With the expertise of both staffs now leveraged together, contractors and homeowners have a wide array of options to creatively apply. “Our favorite projects are where we’re doing a little of everything: a home theater, audio throughout the house, lighting control, HVAC control,” Lane explains. “The HVAC and the blinds will talk to each other, so if it’s too warm in the summer the blinds go down. That’s something we love to do.” D.A.V.E.’s staff includes Director of Sales Eric Gosiewski, a 15 year industry veteran who works together with Lane on designing and quoting systems. Other key personnel include operations guru Andy Tette, who rejoined DAVE after a stint at Verizon, lead installer Dave Burdick, and 12-volt manager Chris Matthews. Lane is excited to enter the next phase of the electronics revolution as a member of the VP Supply team. “Resources are one thing, but the interaction among all the different departments is really beneficial. Just keep your eye out for what will happen in the next few years.”