The term “smart home” can encompass a variety of meanings and expectations depending upon who is being asked. For cyberManor, a veteran integrator firm in Silicon Valley, they don’t even really need to answer it themselves. They need only point to their New Home Technology Center (NHTC) and people can see that “smart” only starts to describe what they think a “smart home” should do.
Here, the Control4 Certified Showroom, built behind cyberManor’s main office, highlights smart, healthy, sustainable and connected living from the front entry station to the connected appliances to intelligent bed and therapeutic shower systems to solar and energy distribution technology, wellness/biophilia “living wall” and more.
“This is really something that’s been four years in the making and actually even first was dreamt of the idea when we started the business back in late ’90s,” Gordon van Zuiden, president of cyberManor, says.
Bleeding-Edge Smart Home Technologies
Upon first entering the NHTC, one would be greeted with technology they never would’ve been able to see in a showroom just a few short years ago. But for those keeping up to date with the latest trends, they’ll see that cyberManor has done their due diligence in building out the advanced space.
Among the slew of integrated systems and brands – backboned by a Control4 automation system, Pakedge home network and controllable through Josh.ai voice command, Apple devices and more — deployed in the NHTC are:
- Baldwin smart locks that open with touch or the app
- High-def video surveillance cameras around the perimeter, and integrated Liftmaster/MYQ controllable garage opener
- Living/family room AV distribution including Sonos, Origin Acoustics and Triad speakers; cable, Internet, Apple TV, Dish OTA antenna video content for Sony displays, Screen Innovations/LG short-throw projection
- BSH HomeConnect Wi-Fi connected kitchen and laundry room appliances from Bosch/Thermador
- Lutron Radio RA2 lighting control system that enables human-centric lighting throughout the day
- Smart, solar-powered skylights and automated shades from Velux and Lutron
- Kohler hydrotherapy showering system with voice control, plus Electric Mirror bathroom mirror TV that disappears when not in use
- Smart Bryte bed that learns and improves daily sleep experience
- Panasonic indoor air monitoring that automatically turns on home exhaust fans when unhealthy air quality is detected, plus Big Ass Fans Haiku controllable ceiling fan, and Ecobee smart thermostat
- Solar photovoltaic panel KWH production, sonnen energy distribution and battery storage system, with touchscreen-based energy consumption dashboard
- Flo Technologies water flow meter that sends alerts when water is leaking inside and automatically closes the main water valve if unexpected usage is detected
- Rachio intelligent irrigation and sprinkler system, controllable, for roof-top vegetable garden, flora “living wall” and landscaping
- Meural digital photo frames that display personalized photos and digital art canvases
Recreating Tech and Comfort Demands for Larger Homes
Because there were constraints on the amount of space cyberManor had to play with, it made the planning phase crucial. The integrator needed to spotlight and vet the technology that would be included and recreate comfort and design that many clients would require in much larger-scale residences.
That allowed cyberManor to create vignettes in the spaces that would be representative of what’s in customers’ homes (inside and outside), and scrutinize the best technology that could be applied to each so various needs/demands are addressed.
“It gave us a framework with which to work and the time gave us a chance to vet and see which products were really coming to the forefront as the best products in each given area,” van Zuiden says.
Underscoring the Importance of Partnerships
In creating the NHTC, cyberManor looked to emulate the Sunset Idea House concept, homes the Western lifestyle publication showcases that meld innovative building design, eco-friendly features, interior decorator, exterior landscaping ideas and more. Think of something like HGTV’s Smart Home taken to another level for the CEDIA channel.
For this ambitious construction, cyberManor collaborated with several trades, while providing the system designs and integration, of course. Project partners included architect Kohlsaat and Associates; builder Lundgren Construction; interior designer Celia Boutell of Lydia Lyons Designs; plumbing work by Santos Plumbing; and HVAC installation by Residential Heating and Cooling.
Design-friendly elements of the NHTC on the technology side include aspects like the Electric Mirror TV that stays out of sight when it’s off, and architectural speakers that align with low-profile ceiling lighting; there are also stylish touches such as Trufig fit-and-finish housings for electrical outlets and keypads.
Showing Customers the True Potential of a Smart Home
The construction of the NHTC enables cyberManor to show off both the finished product of a completely integrated home, as well as share the process involved when customers take tours to consider what they’d like in their own homes. While they might sit and talk in cyberManor’s office space, the discussions go much deeper when prospects can look room by room and see what’s possible throughout a home, van Zuiden notes.
Seeing the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a smart and healthy home proved eye-opening for visitors, van Zuiden says, and provided another differentiator for the company that it can continue to deliver in its sales narrative.
“A lot of times we compete against the electrician or the DIYer who thinks that they could do this stuff themselves,” he notes. “And then they see how much wire is required, the different types of wire, the places it has to be run to, and then they realize right away the value that we add.”
Another version of this originally appeared on CE Pro.