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The Art of Technology
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Tag Archives: Smart Home
Builders: we’re sure you’ve seen your fair share of home design trends come and go – whether it’s a popcorn ceiling or granite overload, there’s always something new. Our latest trend, though, is something that’s probably more the new norm – building smart homes.
Building for buyers who want custom and convenient
Increasingly, new home buyers are looking for the convenience, functionality and accessibility of smart home technology – whether that’s an all-encompassing high-end system or a few key pieces. Having the ability to integrate smart tech throughout the home with professional systems like Crestron, Savant and Elan or more a-la-carte versions like Amazon or Google, will definitely appeal to your buyers.
These buyers want voice control, customizable settings and the ability to set “moods” for climate control, lighting and more; they want technology that is functional but can also easily blend into their decor – whether that’s having a centerpiece like a television that doubles as artwork or a statement mirror, or a system that blends seamlessly into the background, like built-in speakers and hidden wires. By incorporating this tech early in the building process, you can provide a home designed with the necessary infrastructure to add on to as technology and needs change throughout the life of the home.
A security system is a ‘must-have’
Whether at home or on vacation, every homeowner wants to be sure their home, family and belongings are safe. With ample technology available to keep your home safe, including cameras, smart door locks, window sensors and other features, you’ll want the infrastructure in place. These features aren’t “add-ons” anymore – they’re part of the standard package. You’ll keep the installers and your buyers happy if you’re able to plan ahead in the design for this highly-desired and necessary feature.
Make your model the showroom
Your buyers probably know how an Echo works and might even already have a DIY system in place at home. But when building their dream home, there’s so much more to consider! Make sure your model is outfitted with your standard smart home package – and then some. In using your model as a smart tech showroom, you’ll be opening them up to a world of design possibilities that add even more customization and personal touch to their home.
Consider an all-encompassing security system, a whole-home audio system, as well as lighting and shade control that can be customized based on the time of day, their mood, and so on. Having an impressive smart home as your “base model” means you’ll be setting yourself apart from the competition – and that’s sure to get any buyer’s attention.
Give us a call
We have the resources and the pros to help you implement smart technology into your build – whether you’re the builder or in the market to buy a home for yourself. We can help with everything from design, to training staff and your buyers, to connecting you with other tech-savvy home builders. Give us a call today!
Smart technology and children are often synonymous with smartphones, tablets, and other ways to keep them entertained. What some people don’t realize are the safety and everyday living benefits of having smart homes designed with kids in mind.
Protect your kids – even when you’re not there
Your priority is protecting your kids, especially when any technology is concerned. It’s no longer uncommon for kids to come home from school to an empty house, but now you have the capability to keep an eye on them and make sure they’ve gotten home safely even when you’re at work or running errands.
Give yourself some peace of mind by equipping your home with door and window sensors that let you know when your child has arrived home safely, or a smart lock that gives you the ability to let them in when they’ve misplaced their key. If you’d like even more functionality, consider integrating cameras with two-way communication abilities to greet your family as they get home, or even keep intruders away. For added security and accessibility, consider keeping this control in the palm of your hand on your smartphone so that you can always let in the babysitter, make sure your oldest made it in for curfew, or discourage unwanted visitors from trying to enter your home.
Control the lighting, control your schedule
We all know blackout shades and lighting control help with everyday things like movie-watching and energy-saving, and it’s no secret that lighting and shade control can help keep intruders away, but have you considered the impact light has on your daily routine? Imagine integrating lighting and shade control into your home that will help with signaling that it’s time to get in bed or wind down with a book. You can even set custom settings for the smallest members of your family to help ease that fear of the dark or for a little extra help in the morning when they can’t get up with an alarm.
Optimize your technology for the best experience
We can help you optimize your home and network capability for gaming, family gatherings, and personalized settings for everyone in your home. By setting up a VPN, firewalls, and parental controls, you can keep them safe, while also giving them the ability to stream their favorite music or watch a movie while their friends are over.
We’re here to help, and we’re kid-friendly!
We have the expertise to help you integrate the right kid-friendly smart technology into your home. Let us help you configure your home with the best technology for your family’s needs.
We all know there’s no place like home for the holidays, but the reality is a lot of us have to travel. While leaving your home behind can be a stressful part of the season, we’re here to help incorporate smart technology into your home to keep it and your belongings safe while you’re away.
How “secure” is your security system?
The best defense against intruders and other dangers is a security system. Whether you’ve already installed a system or you’re still looking for the right fit, we can help you figure out the best security system to help defend your home. There are endless options to amp up your security – from digital doorbells and locks, to round-the-clock monitoring. Whether you want all the bells and whistles or just the bare essentials, the right tech can help you make sure your belongings are safe!
Lighting is as crucial as an alarm
This doesn’t mean leave all your lights on while you’re gone, though! Using lighting and shade control to your advantage by setting “scenes” based off the time of day make it look like you’re home, which is an excellent deterrent for unwanted visitors. By incorporating dynamic lighting and shade settings, it will look like you never left home. What’s more, proper lighting and shade control can help you save on energy costs at home or away!
Stay safe! Make sure you’re connected 24/7
All of this smart tech can’t be used to the best of its ability if you’re not able to monitor your home from your mobile device, so make sure you have the best apps to keep you connected to your home! By having the right connectivity, you’ll be able to check if the thermostat is properly set, the doors are locked, your kitchen appliances are off, and chat with whoever just rang the doorbell. Staying connected to your home will give you peace of mind while you’re away for the holidays.
Ask an integrator
Consult a professional integrator when considering new safety or smart home tech to make sure you’re getting the best tech to suit your needs and that your features are compatible! Whether you already have the basics or you’re just starting to look, our knowledgeable team of experts at La Scala can help you.
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
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.
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.
The quality of content these days is unprecedented, as are the vast number of options we have in accessing digital entertainment. Is your home theater or media room making the most of the high definition audio and video available? With summer blockbusters now available for streaming and the holidays just around the corner, now is a great time to add the home theater you’ve dreamed of or to upgrade your existing theater so that you may enjoy the very best audio and visual experience!
Whether you’re a movie lover, serious gamer or avid sports fan, a dedicated home theater is an exceptional space for home entertainment. And with technologies like Dolby Atmos and 4K, enjoying the sights and sounds in a room specifically designed for hi-performance audio and video create the ultimate entertainment experience!
What’s the right choice for you? Home Theater vs. Home Media Room
Your home media room offers a great space for enjoying some family-time movie-watching and for hosting your friends on game day. It can boast stunning OLED or 4K display quality along with Smart TV streaming and social media features. A well-designed and outfitted media room can also take advantage of exceptional audio through a surround sound or Dolby Atmos system. One potential downside however, is its central location; today’s open floor plans often place the media room adjacent to the kitchen. While this is great for engaging conversation, it is not ideal for either sound or picture quality as the room is open to the back and likely flooded with natural light. These features distract viewers from enjoying a truly immersive movie-watching experience.
Creating an immersive cinematic experience
A dedicated home theater includes technologies specifically designed to perform in the controlled space. Acoustic issues have been addressed for optimal sound as well as for noise-control from adjacent spaces. Custom seating is ideally positioned for comfort and viewing enjoyment rather than based on window placement or conversation. Speaker systems, like Bowers & Wilkins flagship custom theater series, can be positioned and calibrated in the defined space as designed. This space is generally free of glare as it will rarely feature windows. If there are any windows, they will have been treated with black-out shades to maintain the perfect environment to soak in an afternoon football game or to binge-watch your favorite streamed series.
In a purpose-built space, décor doesn’t depend on the rest of the house, so the sky is the limit (actually, it’s not; you can add a custom fiber-optic constellation mural on the ceiling!). A home theater is also a place that reflects your personality and style– from mid-century modern to transitional or something all “you” like the Millennium Falcon, Batman’s lair or a wine cellar reminiscent of the south of France. Here’s a little inspiration: CinemaTech Gallery.
The set up can be one or multiple screens, or a hybrid of multiple screens for watching sports with a large projection screen that drops down for serious movie watching. Integrated controls allow the user to choose from a variety of streamed or local content. The content may be exclusive to the theater or shared across the home’s systems from a movie server.
Aside from mind-blowing imagery and sound, what’s trending in custom theaters now?
- Wearable home theater & virtual reality – experiencing virtual reality through wearable technology that transforms your movie-watching experience.
- Social Media integration – Superfans of sports, gaming and original network series want to connect in real-time
- Seamless connectivity across a robust network
- Integrated control throughout the home, with access to content sources, control of security features, whole-house lighting, HVAC and more
- Voice Control – Limitless searching, command and control of the theater and smart home’s multiple features including the ability to order your showtime pizza via a voice control interface such as Josh.ai!
Where will you be hosting holiday game-watching and cozy mid-winter movie nights? Give us a call and let’s get started planning the best seat in the house! Oh yeah, Josh, please start the movie!
What comes to mind when you think about a smart home? You probably didn’t imagine a sleek, high-tech smart bathroom.
The smart space you’ll REALLY live in
It’s easy to want the best and newest technology and design for all your living and entertaining spaces, but what about the rooms you actually live in? Most homeowners place such an emphasis on their living spaces – only considering those in which they entertain guests – that they forget about just how much time they spend living in their bathrooms.
So why haven’t you made your bathroom just as smart as the rest of your home? It’s probably the first place you go when you wake up and the last place you go before crawling into bed. You pamper yourself here, you prepare for the day here – not to mention the necessary nature of it in the first place. And if you’re at all concerned about resale value down the road, all signs point to futuristic bathrooms making their way into everyday homes.
From high-tech toilets to functional fixtures
Technology exists for every purpose and place in your home – including your bathroom. Whether you want a television mounted by the bathtub so you can watch your favorite movies, piped-in audio so you can perform a concert in your shower, or a smart mirror to keep your life at your fingertips, consider turning your bathroom into the place you love to live in most.
Consider the added comfort of connecting the smart home control you already have in the rest of your home to your bathroom. Control your thermostat, dim the lights and still have access to your security system so that winding down from the day is just as relaxing as it is necessary. By incorporating the right features into your bathroom, you can create an oasis out of something that used to be seen as utility.
Consult a professional integrator
Regardless of how futuristic or minimalistic you’d like your bathroom to be, the pros are here to make sure it’s just as smart as the rest of your home. Need more inspiration for bathroom tech and design before you start? Check out this handy guide to some of 2018’s trends.
So you want a smart home, but you’re not sure how to integrate all of the technology you want into the design style you have. Lucky for you, technology doesn’t have to be a hindrance to your style anymore. Instead, choose technology that stands out and doubles as artwork or has the ability to blend seamlessly in so that you won’t even realize it’s there.
Design That Changes with Your Mood
Think about the way your living spaces are currently configured. There’s a good chance your furniture centers around the television. But what about that space when your television is off? You’re left with a black, blank rectangle on the wall – and that’s a missed opportunity. Consider adding a television that easily doubles as your own personal art gallery, with paintings or photography you can change as you wish, that matches your style and mood perfectly. You can even use your own photographs to add a personal touch to your living space to make your technology work for you, even when it’s off. What’s more, these televisions can be fitted into the wall for a seamless look or come beautifully framed, ensuring your television fits the design, and not the other way around.
A Reflection of Your Design Style
And it doesn’t stop with just television screens. Adding a smart mirror (or a few) to your home is an excellent way to add connectivity to your smart home without compromising style or practicality. Imagine a customizable dashboard complete with weather, social media updates, your calendar – even voice-control of your home’s systems – all from your bathroom mirror. Smart mirrors allow the perfect mix of entertainment, organization and functionality, while also coming in designs that are sure to enhance your space.
Whether you’d like to start from scratch and include a technology integrator from the beginning of your design plan, or need help updating your current living spaces but aren’t sure how to do it without compromising design, consult La Scala Integrated Media to make sure you’re getting the best tech for your lifestyle and interior design.
Summer is in full-swing and the holidays inevitably are approaching. Before you know it you’ll likely be hosting an out-of-town guest or two. You might be ready for visitors – but is your home? Whether it’s a party that requires a reliable system to impress and keep your guests entertained or some in-laws visiting that could benefit from more intuitive controls, there’s a lot to consider! If you haven’t thought about your home’s technology in a while, now might be a good time. Upgrades to your home automation can ensure your systems are working seamlessly in time for your guests.
Home Automation Simplifies Control
You might have mastered your control panel, but will your guests be able to figure out how to turn the lights on and off and adjust the thermostat before they go to bed? Is your lighting control is a bank of switches at the front door or are your shades on a separate remote? Talk to us about integrating your systems and simplifying control. It’s crucial to make sure your controls are easy enough for your guests to understand.
Service Plan add Peace-of-Mind
Maybe you already have all the right home automation tech in place. However, when was the last time you checked your service plan? Having a proactive service plan for your home automation system from a knowledgeable integrator like La Scala helps ensure you’ll always be up and running. We’ll be alerted before any potential problems arise. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check your network and make sure it’s robust enough to handle streaming on all your guests’ devices.
Regardless of whether you’re entertaining a few or dozens, for a night or a week, make sure you have the right smart home technology and the best service plan in place. Both you and your guests will be comfortable and thoroughly entertained.
Smart home technology might make you think of temperature, automated lighting and shade control, voice-control entertainment and security. What you might not realize is that this technology can extend into your wine collection.
Gone are the days of having your wine unprotected and at the wrong temperature or worrying about a power outage at home while trekking across Europe. There are numerous options for any level of connoisseur and any size collection. New technology from the standard cooler to a fully-equipped cellar, complete with the accessibility and organization at your fingertips thanks to state-of-the-art smart home technology and apps, makes this investment an excellent one for your home.
These systems have many benefits, the most important being their ability to connect with your existing home automation technology. Motorized shades, lighting and audio aren’t just for your living areas anymore – you can utilize your smart home tech to play your favorite music, control the temperature, adjust the lighting and protect your cellar from unauthorized guests. For those with serious collections, many systems offer monitoring of your inventory, so you know what bottle has been accessed, by whom and when.
High-tech options like the Elertus Wine Protection System or the IWG Cellar Cerveau offer your collection protection from humidity, temperature changes and power outages. Systems like the Cellar Cerveau and eSommelier come equipped with label recognition software and RFID label technology to help you track your inventory – down to where the bottle is in your cellar and what your collection is worth. What’s more, some systems come pre-configured with an expansive listing of data like wine types, grape varieties and tasting notes, while others can also offer suggestions for new additions.
Whether you’re just starting your collection or have been an oenophile for decades, consider the value of automating your wine cellar. La Scala has been privileged to work with some of Vancouver’s finest designers to integrate these features into our clients’ cellars and would welcome the opportunity to work with you and your design team. Need a little inspiration? Check out these five luxury homes featuring next-level cellars with automated controls. Can’t wait? Give us a call and let’s get started!
Why home automation?
It’s simple, really. It’s about making your everyday tasks easier and making the complex simple. Some think home technology is purely luxury. Well, that depends on your definition.
Home automation is exactly that; it automates features in your home. Those features may include your lights, window treatment, smart door locks, climate, garage door, security features and more. It makes them work together as one. Sure, it’s a nice to pull up in front of your home late at night and, right from your phone, be able to activate a welcome scene that lights your path and home’s interior while unlocking the door. But it also helps to keep you safe. And imagine if faced with a fire or medical emergency – first responders could easily identify the home with the flashing entry lights. With this technology available, doesn’t it just make sense?
And let’s consider efficiencies of saving energy, time and money. Imagine occupancy sensors that turn off the lights in an empty room and motorized shades that raise and lower to either take advantage of the sun’s warmth to light and heat your home or block it out when the heat is intense. Lighting control with pre-set scenes of slightly dimmed lights also yield savings, while adding ambiance and convenience.
As a parent, home automation offers peace-of-mind. You can get an alert when your teen makes it home safely or remotely open the door when the need arises. As a caregiver, simple automated features, accessed by voice control, can keep an aging loved one in their home longer while sensors can let you know if they’re out of bed and have opened the medicine cabinet.
In this fast-paced world, why not simplify where it makes sense and make your everyday a little easier? Free up some time to enjoy the true luxuries, like extra time with friends and family. Call us today and let’s explore how we can make your everyday easy.
The tiny interface that can understand your natural language and connect your whole home
You’ve automated your entire home. Your new, smarter home—outfitted by your professional technologies integrator—is complete with all of the control systems necessary to keep your home in check. But how do you plan to keep it all connected?
Meet your home’s new interface, Josh. Josh.ai is a luxury voice control system, designed to work with your professionally-installed home automation. Leading the industry in Natural Language Processing and complete with machine-learning to adapt to you and your preferences, Josh is easy to use. When properly installed by a professional integrator, Josh ensures the best home automation experience.
Josh.ai is “artificial intelligence as unique as the home it runs,” and serves as a whole-home processor, connecting with all of the devices in your network, from pre-existing control systems like Crestron and Lutron. The interface, designed to fit the aesthetic of any room, can go anywhere and do anything you want in your home. Its touch-sensitive surface works to control event triggers like mood lighting or volume control — a feature only outdone by its intelligent voice control and ability to understand natural language.
Josh can help you control the temperature, humidity and lighting in your home to make your home even smarter. Its sensors can tell which room you’re in and can adapt its functions using its contextual awareness. Josh allows you to make your home automation smarter, without even needing to physically interact with it.
If you’re serious about automating your home and making your professional installation work for you, Josh could be the “holistic interface” you need.
Are you part of the 25 percent of people who own some kind of smart home product? If you’re not, you’ve probably at least heard about Amazon’s Alexa, if not seen its latest Super Bowl commercial.
What you might not have heard is that smart home technology is taking the real estate industry by storm. In fact, artificial intelligence and other smart home technology can actually increase the resale value of most homes – an important factor to consider now that more and more Millennials are buying homes and interested in smart, connected devices.
This trend makes sense. Smart home technology can increase energy efficiency, saving homeowners money on utility bills, while also providing eco-friendly perks. Combine money-saving with the added convenience of controlling your thermostat and connecting all of your media, to the safety and security of keyless entry, video doorbells and 24/7 monitoring, and it’s no wonder why so many homeowners are investing in this tech and making the switch to a smarter home.
Houzz also reported an increase in the desire for smart technology integration amongst home buyers, especially first-time buyers, in their 2017 Houzz and Home renovation overview. This came along with an increase in “green” energy and material trends, as well as improving the functionality of a home and alleviating health concerns, which can also all be addressed with the right smart technology.
Controlling every aspect of a home is so crucial to some home buyers, that integrating these systems can not only increase the overall market value of your home by 3-7 percent, but also speed up the time it takes to sell it. Need help deciding which tech to implement before you sell? According to A Lot Living, “the [automation systems] that can add the most value include whole house lighting control, automated door locks, temperature control that works from a phone, and security cameras, as well as home alarm systems.”
In a culture where people are busy and constantly connected, more and more home buyers are prioritizing the connectivity and convenience offered by home automation, artificial intelligence and other smart technology systems. So whether you’re looking to buy your first home or sell one you’ve had for a while, consider the benefits of a fully-automated home.
In this ever changing world that we live in, there is no escaping technology. Our personal world appears more and more to be enveloped by a device we call a “smart phone”, although more and more of the ‘phone’ use is being replaced by a myriad of ‘apps’, and other functions of the device. From capturing visual moments on the fly to directing us to our next destination, to telling us how to cook our favourite dishes, this device has come a long way since its inception over twenty five years ago.
Today’s vehicles are also following suit in the technology game. Most new vehicles today don’t require a key to open the door or start the car, instead opting for a ‘fob’ device one can keep in one’s pocket or purse, and which transmits a signal notifying the vehicle that you are within its vicinity. More, the car will know that it’s actually ‘you’ that is near, and adjust the seats, mirror, and other features to your taste – automatically. Voice commands and other formerly futuristic features are now becoming commonplace in today’s vehicles as well.
But what about your home? When most people arrive at their door, they pull out a device that was invented in the 1840’s – a tumbler lock key. Once inside, you feel around for the light switch, invented in 1884. You can probably guess where I’m going with this – the home hasn’t caught up with technology, or has it? While only 12% of homes currently might be considered ‘smart’, that figure is projected to double and triple over the next few years. Why? Because the technology is truly getting ‘smart’, and the price is way down.
Much is being said about devices in your home being integrated and controlled by a singular control device. Be it shading, lights, temperature, security, locks, the pool/hot tub, and any number of other electronic devices, there are systems that will control them all, via a wall mounted or portable ipad or remotely through your ‘smart’ phone. But what about Automation? A True Smart Home should work for the home’s occupants, just like your car does. When you arrive home, your home should know it and act accordingly. You can have your system set up so that certain lights turn on at a pre-set time, the shades close, the temperature goes up, and even have the door unlock if the system sees that you are within feet of the door. You could also have one button programmed on your control device that says “Party”, amongst other feature sets. The lights in various areas could alight or dim, the music could begin to play from your favourite source in various specific areas of the house that you’ve previously chosen, and at a pre-set volume level. The gate could unlock for a specified timeframe to allow guests easy access. When you leave your home, press ‘goodbye’ and the security could engage, the shades could close, the music could turn off, the temperature could drop, and all the lights could turn off. If you’re away for an extended period, the lights (and other devices like music) could turn on and off based on your previous two weeks of use so it appears as if you’re home. The list of options is endless. Wake up options, going to sleep options, dinner party options, and more. This year will see a surge in Voice Activated command technology, offering even easier control of all home devices. This is not just a ‘cool’ gadget, but something that will become a mainstay of home control system installations.
At a time when technology is offering so many opportunities to enrich and simplify ones daily life, it is clear that technology is moving into the house. For more insight into the options available see your La Scala Integrated Media representative.
Put Your Smart Home to Work
Throughout the year we strive to keep you abreast of the latest in technologies and trends. 2017 has witnessed the adoption of integrated voice control, amazing advances in LEDs, incredible strides in virtual reality and much, much more! Our smart homes are getting smarter, but how can we use their features to make our homes safer? Well, here are some simple ways to put your home automation system to work, ensuring you and your family a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.
Light it Up!
Every deterrent counts when your home’s vulnerability is assessed and a well-lit home is your first defense against would-be burglars. Use landscape lighting, flood lights and motion-activated lighting around your entire home.
Fake them Out!
Inside & outdoors, create lighting scenes that realistically mimic your patterns while you’re away. Lights, shades, televisions and even the Christmas tree can be programmed on alternating sequences to simulate that lived-in look.
Gate it off!
Be cyber safe by updating your home network. We’re savvy to the latest potential threats and can help protect your home’s critical infrastructure.
Lock it down!
If you’ve got a home security system, use it. If you don’t have one, call us. If you’ve got one and haven’t used it for a while, call us to schedule to check. Aside from deterring potential thieves, a monitored security system alerts first responders to fire and medical emergencies. And this is a great time to check that your carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
Lock it Up!
Automated door locks (keyless smartlocks) with integrated alarms and anti-pick shields add an extra layer of security and convenience.
Keep an eye on it!
Enhance your security system with cameras and motion sensors. Their presence alone is a great deterrent. You’ll be able to keep an eye on things while away and access recordings should any misdeeds occur.
Download the App!
Embrace the technology at hand and use the myriad features available. They offer incredible convenience and peace of mind.
Pull the plug!
Eliminate the possibility of having your garage door breached while you’re away for extended periods. Simply disconnect it from its power source.
Resist the urge!
We’re our own worst enemies. Don’t flaunt those exquisitely wrapped gifts in the windows for all to see, hold off on that social post from your exotic holiday locale until you’re back home and break down the boxes that your new electronic toys came in to avoid curbside advertising of what’s new on the inside.
Be smart and stay safe and healthy this holiday season. If you have any questions about home automation and its role in your safety and security, please contact us. We’re here to help. Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays.
We’ve recently talked about getting together to assess your home’s technology systems. It’s always a good idea to make sure you’re abreast of the latest technologies available and how to implement new devices both now and in the near future. The other key to satisfaction with your technology systems is ensuring their technical health. Simple things, such as cleaning components in the equipment rack, go a long way in preventing equipment from overheating. Part 2 of our annual Tech-Up addresses the advantages in having a preventative maintenance plan that would include a visit from one of our technicians.
While everything may be running smoothly, it’s possible you’re due for a firmware or software update that could potentially activate new, desirable features. We’ll put your network and systems through a thorough test to ensure functionality and make necessary security updates. We’ll also check to make sure everything is properly connected to your network, preventing trouble down the road.
We suggest you make a note of any questions you’d like to ask during the service call and be sure to advise us of any new devices, features or systems you’re interested in learning about or adding.
An Ounce of Prevention
To optimize your enjoyment and satisfaction and to prolong the life of your system we offer our LaScala Client Care Plan. The Plans offer proactive monitoring and maintenance of your systems. Our goal is zero system downtime and 100% client satisfaction. We understand that from time-to-time, equipment will fail. The goal of our Plans is to be able to discover problems before they occur.
Healthy Network, Happy Home
All La Scala systems are backed by a Lifetime Warranty on workmanship without exception and our annual service programs ensure years of uninterrupted enjoyment of your system. A proactive service visit with a LaScala Client Care plan would typically include:
- Thorough check of network, AV and Smart Home systems, testing each system through a complete operational check to ensure functionality.
- Firmware, software and security updates installed as needed.
- Minor programming and personalization improvements.
- Analysis and tweaks of audio and video performance
Your home technology is a part of your everyday life. We want you and your family to get the most out of it and we want you to know we’re here to help. We’d love to hear from you – please call or email us with any questions or to schedule your maintenance visit today!
The transition to fall brings many changes; mild temps that have us rushing outdoors to enjoy fall festivals and food trucks, our beautiful Vancouver bursting with color (plan a trip to VanDusen Botanical Garden!), the onslaught of pumpkin-flavored everythings…and the slew of marketing messages stuffed into your bills suggesting it’s time to review your policies! Just like your homeowner’s policy, auto coverage and health insurance are affected by the change in seasons and life events, your home’s technology systems may benefit from an annual assessment too.
Imagine all of the devices connected to your personal “internet of things.” How many of those devices have been added since your network was initially set-up? A network upgrade may yield a remarkable difference in your system’s performance. And of those new devices, how many were added to your home media system? Are you getting optimal image and sound quality? And how are they controlled? Some minor programming tweaks could go a long way in how your family uses and enjoys your home’s technology.
To Your (System’s) Health!
As a CEDIA professional, we recommend an annual “tech-up”, a comprehensive assessment of your home’s technology systems to ensure your system’s “health” and to gauge how happy you are with it and what it provides. We all know how fast time flies and, in “tech” years, that’s “amplified” even more. If it’s been a year, or 3 or 5 since your system was installed, chances are you’re not taking advantage of all it has to offer.
You’ve got Questions, We’ve got Answers
Let’s set aside an hour to just sit down and talk about how you use your home’s systems. We’ll talk through all of your technology questions; what can my new Apple watch do? How do I set up Alexa to control my automated shades and lighting? Is my media room 4K ready? How do I integrate CDs onto a new platform? Can my new gaming console be integrated onto my remote control so I can stream movies?
There’s nothing we love more than to talk tech! Let’s get all your questions answered….maybe even some you hadn’t thought of! We’ll explore your existing system demands. Maybe you added new users to your network or are working from home. And we’ll determine if there are any upgrades available that could maximize performance or add features. We can also address anything you’re currently wanting to add or change and, together, develop a strategy for implementing NextGen technologies.
It’s an exciting time in the home automation industry. Systems are integrating more elegantly and efficiently than ever before and voice commands are at the center of it all. Art and technology are truly fusing to create innovative, sophisticated forms of concealment and google and Apple continue to influence everything that touches tech. We’ve got lots to talk about!
Make a Note!
Like prepping for any valuable appointment, as your technologist we suggest you start of list of things you’d like to discuss during our visit so that we get the full picture of your technology needs. Do a quick walk-through and think about how adding or tweaking a feature could be beneficial. Write down your questions, what you’ve added to your system and what you want to add!
Your home’s technology is a part of your everyday life and we appreciate you entrusting us with its care. Please know we’re here to answer your technology questions and help you make the most out of your systems, now and for years to come. Call now and schedule your annual Tech-up! We welcome the opportunity to reconnect.
And be sure to check back soon. We’ll discuss optimizing your system’s health through a comprehensive preventative maintenance program that takes the worries out of everything from changing batteries in the smoke detector to checking for firmware updates. Stay tuned!
Gone are the days of home automation and luxury being two separate conversations and design concepts. More and more, luxury living is embracing home automation in order to provide optimal comfort solutions.
Imagine walking into your home, and the first thing your eye is drawn to is the artwork in your foyer – highlighted using experienced lighting design. Entertain guests with your high-tech wine cellar, complete with automated climate control and inventory management system. Even more, control the quality of the air inside your home.
And the options don’t end on the inside. Control luxury water features, audio and video entertainment systems, even operate a summer kitchen by the pool.
Home automation technology provides the epitome of luxury when combined with your own design style. The right technology will allow you to personalize your system to suit your lifestyle, giving you control of everything in your home – from the window shades, to the temperature and air quality, to your lights and even your security system. Advances in this technology provide you easy access to your entire home from your phone or tablet, and some systems can even operate via voice-activation.
With today’s trends in home automation luxury, nothing is off-limits. Whether you want a top-of-the-line smart kitchen, an all-encompassing security system, or an over-the-top outdoor movie theatre – there is a right mix of home automation technology for you that can be designed to suit your individual home design style.
With more millennials buying their own homes, smart home technology is on the up-and-up.
Houzz’s recent survey found that first-time home buyers – millennials in particular – are prioritizing smart home technology in new home construction and renovations.
New residential developments are emerging across the country, equipped with the latest and greatest features in smart technology. Texas, for example, is about to be home to a new development incorporating room for the smart technology decades from now, and how could impact its construction. High-speed fiber networks, outdoor technology with interactive capability and neighborhood safety and features have become a mainstay in residential construction, right at the top of their wish list.
Houzz’s survey also uncovered an interesting trend in integrating smart technology into their home renovations, for those who don’t want new construction. If you’re one of the 33 percent of recent home buyers who are considering investing in some form of smart technology in their homes, make sure you’re hiring the right pros to do it.
With home automation technology on the rise, it’s widely available. The demand for more innovation and creativity in smart technology is good news for both the home buyers and the integration professionals – especially now that more home owners are spending money on optimizing their space with tech. The right smart home technology has the ability to transform any home into a stylish, comfortable and safe home environment.
Even though smart technology can keep you safe, it’s just as important to protect your devices from hacking and other threats. According to Twice, customers are consistently seeking out IT support services in order to protect themselves from hackers. Consulting with professional integrators will help you determine the best tech for your needs and your home, without compromising safety.