Technology at Home
Our ability to identify and address technological inefficiencies can be applied to a wide variety of areas, including homes. As availibity permits, we’ll leverage those skills to create an environment in which your home knows what you want even before you do.
A rock solid network is foundational to any digital home upgrade project. Our experience with enterprise wired and wireless networking means we’re perfectly equipped to lay the groundwork for both a smooth internet experience and top-tier home automation system. But just like our business work, none of our home integration projects are cookie-cutter installations; we’ll work with you to identify the best architecture for current and future needs.
Once requiring highly invasive custom installations, home automation technology has come a long way. Since the rise of the “Internet of Things”, the market has been flooded with inexpensive devices promising to deliver the same level of integration for far less effort. What hasn’t changed, unfortunately, is that very few equipment brands work together seamlessly, and DIY installations inevitably become limited by the available products and features from whatever manufacturer was initially selected. The novelty wears off quickly when several companies each offer the perfect device for a particular purpose, but no way to make them all talk to each other–or when it becomes impossible to remember which of the ever-longer list of mobile apps controls a specific device.
As custom integration experts, we can overcome those limitations and help realize the fully automated smart home dream. Regardless of manufacturer or official compatibility, we can extract all the data a “smart” device is capable of reporting, and use that information to tell the rest of the house what to do. And what we build works seamlessly with your smart phone/watch and virtual assistants (such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant).
Some examples of these integrations and automations include:
- Adjusting thermostat settings based on not just current indoor and outdoor conditions, but also usage habits, the weather forecast, current energy costs and availability (e.g. solar), and people arriving/departing
- Automatically closing blinds and dimming lights, even in other rooms, then turning on and approriately configuring AV equipment when it’s time to watch a movie
- Showing a notification on various screens, or playing it through various speakers, around the house when a load of laundry is done
- Opening a garage door upon arrival by car, turning on entry lighting, then turning outdoor lights back off once everyone is inside
As time progresses and technology evolves, the ceiling is increasingly dictated by imagination rather than hardware or software limitations. We start by getting to know you and your routine, to figure out where we can make the most impactful improvements, but of course take direction to focus on (or not touch) specific things. And we can deliver a polished home automation platform, or leave room to tinker to your heart’s content.
No smart home implementation is complete without a proper in-home cinema–fully integrated into the rest of the home automation, of course. The days of fumbling with a pile of remotes and still only getting tinny stereo audio aren’t entirely gone, but they are avoidable! As can be seen in our own digital media work, we’re passionate about audio and video, which is part of why they get their own sections on this page.
Sound is a critical, yet all-too-often overlooked component of a home theater installation. Entirely too many systems are an underwhelming combination of a stunning display let down by lackluster sound bars–or, worse still, built-in speakers. While soundbar kits with Dolby Atmos, along with wireless surround speakers and subwoofers, have made immersive 3D audio more accessible than ever, there’s no substitute for a well-designed and properly calibrated audio installation.
Working with a multitude of top-tier audio manufacturers, we design, install, and calibrate sound systems perfectly suited to both the acoustics and aesthetics of a room. Selecting speakers and amplifiers based on pictures and datasheets is easy enough, but properly positioning and tuning the system to account for the physics of both the equipment and environment is something of an art form. Through repeated testing and iterative refinements of custom speaker mounts and digital sound corrections, all driven by measurements from a lab-calibrated microphone, we can make the physical realities of audio equipment almost completely transparent. The end result is a listening experience that feels larger than the room, and immerses the listener in a faithful recreation of the original audio, from a delicate whisper to earth-shaking thunder, and everything in between.
The most immediately recognizable feature of a movie theater is undoubtedly the screen. But in a home environment, it’s not as simple as just overwhelming your field of view. The market is saturated with options, from “4K” TVs racing to undercut each others’ pricing to new 8K flagships with new and novel technologies like OLED and QD-OLED–and projectors are another can of worms altogether. It’s easy to get drawn in by an attractive price and superficial specifications, but as with most A/V gear, there’s more than meets the eye. Looking past surface-level details, we delve into the depths of manufacturers’ datasheets and our own knowledge to cut through the marketing and focus on real-world performance. As experienced custom integrators, we’ll ensure the new display feels purpose-built for the room.
In keeping with the rest of our projects, we don’t just stop at selecting and installing a screen. Once the viewing environment has been assembled, we measure both the panel performance and amient lighting using a special-purpose colorimeter, calibrating out any manufacturing variation and any bias from the room itself. When we’re done, you’ll be so captivated by another world to notice we were ever there. Watching your favorite movies on the new system will recapture the awe and wonder of seeing them for the first time.