Enhance Your Interior Design with Hidden Audio/Video

Enhance Your Interior Design with Hidden Audio/Video

I’ve worked with many interior designers throughout the Seattle, Washington area, and over the years I’ve noticed they all have a common complaint: the audio/video is an eyesore; it’s ugly! I would even agree that yes, your standard audio/video components can be unsightly and take away from the beauty of a home. But if I could get one thing across to designers, it’s that it doesn’t have to be that way!

It’s possible to leverage the latest smart home automation technology without the clutter. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that smart technology can actually solve common design issues! Below, I go into some of the common complaints and show how the right hidden technology can help.

Complaint #1: Too much wall acne

In our line of work, the term “wall acne” refers to when there are too many switches, dimmers and controls on the wall. Too many buttons not only leads to confusion, but it also looks terrible.

How do we solve this? Smart home automation fixes the problem with wireless controls and custom in-wall keypads. An app downloaded onto your mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet, puts the controls in your pocket, and custom keypads simplifies the buttons on the wall.

For example, include simple commands like “all on,” “all off,” “welcome home” and “away” for quick access to your favorite scenes and settings. Add a “movie” button in the home theater, or a “cooking” button in the kitchen. You get to decide which buttons are the most important to you. You could even get rid of all the switches and go wireless 100 percent. Smart home automation gives you more options and flexibility when it comes to control.

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The Biggest 2016 Smart Home Trend: Voice Control

2016 has been a great year for smart home automation: 4K Ultra HD television really took off, Control4 expanded their solutions with tons of new features, and Amazon Alexa made it possible to manage your home using just your voice using the Echo or Dot. Amazon’s affordable devices are great for both Seattle, WA homeowners with existing smart systems and tech lovers who have yet to start a home upgrade. Continue reading to learn more about voice control and how it can add value to your smart home system.

What Can You Do with Amazon Alexa?

If you have a Control4 system, then think of Amazon Alexa as a new control method to complement your smartphone or tablet. Many, if not all, of the commands you can choose on your touchscreen have a voice-controlled alternative. Here are just a few of our favorite actions:

  • Adjust the Lights: Want to change the lighting levels for the room you’re in? Just say “Alexa, dim lights to 30%” or “Alexa, turn on the living room lamp.” You can set the exact brightness for any activity with a single command.
  • Turn Devices On and Off: Whether you want to start the coffee pot brewing in the morning or add some holiday cheer, all you have to do is let Alexa know. Alexa can control power to any pre-set device in your smart system.
  • Change the Temperature: If the room is a bit too chilly or warm for your taste, just tell Alexa to adjust the temperature to whatever degree you’d like. You can also go more generic with a command like “Alexa, lower the kitchen temperature” if you don’t have a specific degree in mind.
  • Control Music: Music is Alexa’s core functionality. You can link Alexa to your media servers and streaming services, then access individual playlists, songs, or albums with a single command. Ask Alexa to play music from a certain genre or request a song, then your speakers will automatically fill the room with your chosen music.
  • Control the TV: In addition to turning your TV on or off, you can also use Alexa to change the station, search for a show, pull up an app, and adjust the volume.
  • Set Scenes: Our favorite voice control feature is scene commands. Your Control4 smart system allows you to save settings for the perfect lighting, music, temperature, security, etc. for any given activity, such as leaving home or going to sleep. Now, you can simply tell Alexa to “Turn on Movie Time” or “Turn on Away” to start any saved scene.

The Future of Home Control

While voice control is quickly gaining popularity, it goes without saying that the technology for voice recognition and smart home commands is far from perfect. However, this is one area of home control that is rapidly improving, and it’s very likely to be the main control method in the near future.

As the technology advances, we will soon have the ability for Amazon Alexa or other voice control hubs to respond far more intelligently to homeowner requests and commands. For example, perhaps in the future, Alexa will be able to distinguish between different voices and remember the best settings for each family member. Whatever innovations are to come, we’ll be there to ensure that smart home owners in the greater Seattle area can take advantage of them!

Are you interested in adding Amazon Alexa to your smart home or getting started with a new automation system? We can help. Give us a call today at (425) 998-8008 to learn more about the possibilities.

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