Monthly Archives: November 2018

Why You Need a Smart Kitchen for the Holidays

Smart Kitchen

Whenever you think about the holidays, you probably think about presents or twinkle lights. Maybe you think about friends and family around the table, enjoying a meal and each other’s company – or maybe you just can’t wait for pie! The reality, though, is that you’re probably spending a lot more time in the kitchen. Thankfully, there’s new tech available to help you make sure you don’t miss out on any of the festivities.

Make it personal

Your kitchen is one of the most personal, necessary rooms in your entire home and it’s worth taking the extra time to personalize it with the right functionality to fit your lifestyle. Entertainment features like built-in audio or video screens, smart appliances and voice-controlled smart home automation like Josh.ai give you the opportunity to personalize your kitchen to suit your needs for not only everyday living, but for special entertaining, too.

 Your kitchen can be your new sous-chef

There are countless options currently available for smart appliances like refrigerators, ovens and “hubs” like Josh.ai, Google Home, or Amazon’s Echo. And while these might seem a little frivolous at first, it’s worth taking time to consider the added convenience of having them in your home. Having an app connected to your oven means you don’t have to miss the football game or your favorite holiday movie, and that smart refrigerator can text you a picture of your refrigerator’s contents and save you from a second trip to the store. Connect these smart appliances with a hub like Josh, and you’ve got an extra set of hands in the kitchen even when you’re not at home!

 Smart appliance means safety

With hectic schedules, guests on their way and a lot on your plate, you wouldn’t be the first to forget to turn off the stove, turn off the lights or feel like you need to be in two places at once. By incorporating the right smart technologies, you can maximize safety AND convenience in your kitchen. Your stove and oven can now warn you that they’ve been left on – instead of hearing the news from your smoke detector (or worse). You can also increase your energy efficiencies with smart appliances, which helps the planet and your wallet.

If a smart kitchen sounds like the right solution for your family this holiday season, let us help! We’re here to guide you through the best smart technologies for you and your home.

Additional reading: Preparing Your Home for the Holidays

Restoring Peace of Mind

home security camera system

It seems we can’t turn on the television without witnessing an active shooter event, another major corporate hack or devasting natural disaster. We scan the audience at crowded concert halls and nervously put our children on the school bus. What measures can we take to make our families and community safe?

Personal awareness is your first line of defense. Pay attention to your surroundings, conscious of your vulnerabilities and take steps to ensure the personal safety of your family, employees, clients and community. A great, proactive first step is to install a surveillance camera system. Visible cameras are not only an excellent deterrent for would-be criminals but can also provide critical evidence should a crime be committed. A monitored system is invaluable, especially when tied in to a comprehensive life-safety and security system that includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, glass-break and motion detectors and panic button call capabilities to first responders.

Criminal’s Worst Enemy

Automated Lighting and motorized shades are an invaluable and effective deterrent. Both interior and exterior landscape lighting can be programmed to imitate home occupancy, whether you’re shopping at Pacific Centre or traveling abroad. Tied in to your camera system, lights can be triggered when motion is sensed with alerts and even video sent to your smart phone. And, regardless of whether it’s your home, house of worship or grocery store, light is crimes’ worst enemy.

Network Health

Physical safety is not our only concern. We’re seeing more and more data breeches among major retailers and, with the holidays fast approaching and many of us shopping online, we need to be diligent to protect ourselves from cyber crimes as well. Again, be smart, be cautious and take steps to ensure the security of your networks, both at home and in your business. If your infrastructure is outdated, don’t put off that upgrade until the new year.

Be Proactive and Prepared

Finally, have a plan. What will you do in the event of a robbery or natural disaster? Does everyone know how to alert authorities, access fire extinguishers, engage smart door locks, etc.? Take the time to check your community’s resources and formulate a plan. If you are interested in having a complimentary assessment of your security or infrastructure systems, please contact us and we’ll get it scheduled.

Please share links to any resources you’ve found to be valuable from your school, our local law enforcement and fire departments, etc. Together, we can make our community a safer place.

Additional Reading from our blog: Tips to keep Your Home Safe for the Holidays

So You Want to Live in a Smart MDU

La Scala MDU Smart Home

As the trend toward multi-dwelling units, MDU, continues to grow along with booming city populations, the desire for more exclusive, luxurious and high-tech living also increases. Whether you’re designing, building or buying, this level of modern luxury is customizable and affordable.

Smart systems designed with the user in mind

The best way to plan for a smart MDU is in the blueprints. Strategically place your outlets, structure all the wiring and optimize connectivity for the best internet connection possible so that your residents will always have the convenience and automation they desire, without sacrificing their design style. Thoughtful placement allows for minimal interior design disruptions. Wiring before the walls go up and considering features like built-in speakers, storage for entertainment features or a whole-home control center at the front door, ensures that design and convenience stay a crucial design element, without having to worry about unsightly wires or bulky equipment getting in the way.

Custom, personal and intuitive

When you look for a new home – whether it’s an apartment, condo, or multi-family residence – you want it to feel like home. There’s no better way to accomplish that than by making sure your MDU comes with a smart home system that can be personalized to suit your lifestyle. Custom climate control, security features and entertainment systems with personalized moods can transform your space with just the sound of your voice, while still keeping you super-connected.

 Convenience, connectivity and energy efficiency are at the top of any buyer’s must-have list, but incorporating smart home technologies like climate control, automated shade and lighting controls means you can also improve your energy efficiencies whether you’re at home or away – and that’s just as important for the resident as it is the owner of the building.

 Safety is key

Now, residents can know what’s happening in their homes, while it’s happening, because some systems can even alert residents and building staff about potential fire and water damage before they become a big problem. Smart home automation also offers endless options that increase safety – from cameras at the entry points, to smart locks, to timed settings for your shades and lights – that protect the building and its residents inside. Connectivity to the concierge desk and any entry points so that you’re only a touch away from communicating with staff and visitors, as well as round-the-clock monitoring ensure your safety and comfort. All of these features are even more attractive when you connect them to your smartphone or tablet.

Get connected

If you’ve been thinking about building an MDU, or currently live in one and want to improve, talk to us today! We can help you design the perfect system for your needs.