What is the T.E.C.H. Wall and What’s it For?
If you haven’t yet been introduced to OneVision’s Technology Experience and Collaboration Hub (T.E.C.H. Wall), we’d like to take a moment to do so. In short, it’s an instrumental piece in what we do, and it exemplifies our approach to serving clients.
Composed of two six-foot wide mobile units outfitted with live, functional, and fully-integrated technology systems, its purpose is to demonstrate proper implementation of and the differences between a variety of brands and systems.
The Wall provides a real-time environment in which end users and support staff can learn, train, and explore the latest in technologies and stay on top of the newest concepts. It’s a critical component of the Integrator Service Desk team’s training process.
The Wall is self-contained, with all its supporting technology housed in the lower cabinets or in the rear. The only external wire required to keep the Wall running is a power cord. While Internet access is normally provided by a hardwired ethernet connection, the Wall can function using a wireless bridge (which is useful when traveling to expos and tradeshows).
How was the Wall conceived?
It all started with the Nest thermostat. Without an external temperature sensor, Nest thermostats can’t be remotely hidden in smart homes with control systems like Savant, Crestron, or Control4. Unfortunately, for those homeowners who are used to remotely hiding their thermostats in previous homes, this isn’t a simple concept to grasp. To support our discussions, we conceived a thermostat demo area that showed five thermostats, three of which have remote sensors located next to the thermostat for demonstration purposes, and all of which have little lights that simulate the functionality of the thermostats as you turn them on/off.
We then applied this concept to all aspects of the smart home environment, including but not limited to audio, video, lighting, shades, control, intercom, access control, cameras, and mobile devices.
How was the Wall designed and built?
When we set our sights on bringing our idea to life, we knew we had to call on Fresh Tilled Soil, the UX experts responsible for our website. We worked with Mark Grambau on their team to create the design, and before we even got started we gave Mark an intensive tutorial on all things smart home technology, so he was able to create an educated design. Together we created a mockup of the Wall using life-size cutouts of all the hardware, which he then laid out graphically in a dynamic software environment. We printed this design and taped it to the wall of our office to optimize it further.
With the design in hand, we commissioned a local company, RadLab, to build it. They modeled the entire wall in CAD and produced prototypes of the various surface areas. We took into account height/size/weight limitations of our office, standard elevators, and doorways, and standard trucks to ensure that we could move this wall around as necessary.
Our own in-house team engineered the systems, installed the equipment, and continues to maintain the systems so that they stay in perfect working order. Beyond that, we use it every day to train our service teams on the latest systems, their issues, and features. We continue to regularly work with manufacturers to introduce new components to the wall, so that our teams have access to the latest technology that our partner integrators might install in the field.
And finally, what are some of the systems represented on the Wall?
Touch Screen Control
Cameras and NVRs
What are some of the brands represented on the Wall?
Interested in a tour of the wall? Reach out through the form below and read more about our Technology Design services here.