• The OneVision Team

Seamless Technology in the Home

Do you need to see technology for it to be effective? Or is technology effective because you hardly notice it in your life? There’s a saying that the best movie soundtracks are the ones you don’t notice; they become so integral to the scenes that without them the mood falls apart. The same can be said for home technology.

We’ve seen our clients’ preferences shift from a desire to showcase technology as a design focus (where “bigger is better” and “more is more”) to a desire for technology to disappear, vanish, and yet somehow remain functional and available when necessary.

The process of seamlessly incorporating technology into your home build/renovation project can be very complex, but if it starts with planning at the earliest stages of the project then it doesn’t have to be difficult. On April 7, 2015 at the Boston Design Center, Eric Haydel (Principal of EMH Design) and Eric Adams (Founding Partner of Adams + Beasley Associates) joined our very own Joseph Kolchinsky for a panel to discuss the ways in which a collaborative design/technology/build team can create beautiful and functional solutions in the areas of audio, video, lighting, HVAC, and beyond. Through photographs and case studies, the group demonstrated the pitfalls and possibilities when integrating technology during a home construction/renovation process.

The expert panel outlined several case studies focusing on TVs, speakers, racks and distribution systems, lighting, HVAC, and a few special situations. We’ve detailed a few worth highlighting in the photographs below.

A problem commonly arises around the location of TVs above fireplaces. Regular fireplaces either generate heat (which is bad for the TV) or, if they’re brick/stone, then running wire through them can prove difficult. In this instance, an ethanol-alcohol fireplace was used to limit the heat output and the TV was recessed into the wall so it was further protected.

When possible, clients ask for the equipment to be hidden in order to preserve the aesthetics of the home. Creative architectural design and construction can be used to hide the equipment in city condos with minimal closet space. In this example we worked closely with the builders to hide the rack of equipment behind a moveable-closet. Ihiji’s network management platform is used to remotely reboot the equipment deep within the closet to minimize the movement of the rack.

The moveable-closet unlocks with two sliding latches, it then wheels out of the closet with ease.

The rack itself is moveable and on wheels allowing it to move forward as necessary.

There is plenty of wire slack to allow the rack to move out with ease.

Separating the keypads based on functionality keeps the user experience clean and simple. Lighting on the left. Audio on the right.

We placed USB-equipped electrical outlets in key locations, including the nightstands, to facilitate easy charging and minimal clutter.

Keypads for children were placed at lower heights to accommodate their reach. Big buttons were used wherever possible for a simpler user experience.

We worked closely with the builder to make the most use of the wallspace in this mixed-use laundry room/office.

Hidden electrical panels – exposed.

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