Smart Home Technology
Simplified, Secure, and Spontaneous Living
by Lori Williams
The 1962 TV cartoon sitcom, “The Jetsons,” seems like eons ago, but it awakened our imaginations to automation and computerization in a world yet to come. We’ve now arrived. Technological advancements and innovation keep propelling smart technology, and one of the largest and fastest growing markets is home automation, or Smart Home Technology – it began with the invention of the Thermostat – which allows you to control almost every aspect of your home through the Internet of Things (IoT). Entertainment, security, utilities, and communication rank high for consumers.
The ability to “manage” home devices and applications remotely opens a mixed bag of opportunity and convenience. Smart Home Technology brings a sense of control, comfort, and security to the inside of our homes when the world outside might seem uncontrollable and unpredictable. Even when we’re not at home, having instant and continuous cognizance of what’s going on in our absence gives enormous peace of mind.
“Now we use CAD to completely design a system, able to integrate with the architects and builders so that all the automation is detailed out, giving the client something to refer back to and be pre-approved, which in turn, saves money in the end.”
–Rich Ashburn, Designer, Sales and Systems Engineer, Jackson Hole AV
Rich Ashburn, Designer and Sales and Systems Engineer at Jackson Hole AV, says homes are increasingly being built “smart” from the ground up. “It used to be that homes didn’t need to be technologically engineered,” he explains. “Now we use CAD to completely design a system, able to integrate with the architects and builders so that all the automation is detailed out, giving the client something to refer back to and be pre-approved, which in turn, saves money in the end.”
JHAV works closely with clients to design the perfect system to fit the needs and preferences of the client and home, customizing the overall integration to ensure that the home represents the highest standards of daily living. They stay abreast of rapid advancements, ensuring that their clients have access to the newest innovations for their homes, using technology to create a personal, convenient, and intuitive environment that is also socially responsible.
Recently, in two new home builds, JHAV engineered systems with extensive and impressive integration including surveillance systems, controlled fireplaces, pond and fountain features, spa, jacuzzi, lighting, shades, video, TV lifts, and outdoor audio/video. Savant integration was used in one home, while the other used Control4 with Josh.ai as the control platform. In both systems, one touch can easily dim lights, play music, control temperature, maximize energy efficiency, lock the doors, and arm the security system – to name just a few – a seamless orchestration of smart devices working together. The systems can be as expansive as a client desires, in one room or throughout the home – new or existing, large or small. A smart home OS also has the ability to operate with thousands of third-party products you might already own.
“One of the systems we engineered for full voice control automation,” says Ashburn. “Using the Josh.ai platform allows you to create ‘scenes,’ a combination of smart home controls saved under a unique name for specific actions. With a simple command you can program multiple activities to launch. For example, a ‘Good Night’ scene might mean turning off the TV and lights, setting security, and lowering shades. A ‘Good Morning’ scene might be all of those activities in reverse. By saying ‘Hello Home’ when you enter, your playlist can start as the garage door closes,” he adds.
Josh.ai uses proprietary Natural Language Processing technology, allowing you to speak to the home in natural conversation. And security is paramount, firmly protected and secured – all data is processed and stored locally. With AI technology, Josh learns your daily preferences and makes adjustments. Ashburn explains that JHAV used the Josh Micro in the voice-controlled project, a small but powerful smart speaker and far field microphone designed to blend in with a room aesthetic. Josh.ai also offers the Nano, the world’s first architectural microphone built into the wall – about the size of a 50-cent piece – discreetly installed to be camouflaged in the wall covering.
“We hire only employees with high integrity, who are upstanding people. With attention to detail at every step of the process, we are able to make complex, high-powered systems simple for the user interface, meeting our clients’ dreams in a way that is easy to manage.”
–Rich Ashburn, Designer, Sales and Systems Engineer, Jackson Hole AV
Also, in this burgeoning world of smart home technology, JHAV continues to install Ketra HCL lighting solutions in many of their home projects. Human-centric lighting (HCL) does what its name suggests – it centers on the human. Designed and engineered to support our circadian rhythms rather than alter them, HCL focuses on all aspects of how lighting affects people – well-being, productivity, and mood. “The lighting adjusts within the home throughout the day, depending on what is happening outside,” explains Ashburn. On a gray day, the lighting is calibrated to be brighter, and on a sunny day it’s less so. HCL is programmed to respond to the real life of what is happening externally, and moderate that to the desired effect for individuals.
Defined by the ways that lighting affects mood and well-being, HCL is comprised of full-spectrum LED bulbs that have the capability to emit any color of light. “We use the lighting to make a home look a certain way, to accent furnishings and art,” Ashburn notes. Beyond the aesthetic response to the space, this light system is fully customizable. “If you’re having a party and want all blue light, or all red light, you can change the room at the press of a button with this new LED technology,” notes Ashburn. While it’s easiest to work with new construction and install HCL engineered from the beginning, Jackson Hole AV can also upgrade existing systems, integrating a fully automated, optimized home.
Ashburn notes that home security remains at the forefront of smart home technology. “Using passcodes and Bluetooth RFID, homeowners can know exactly who comes and goes from their homes, at what times, and how long they spent there,” says Ashburn. “Jackson Hole AV integrates the security with closed-circuit TV remote monitoring, to offer clients the ability to not only see who’s at the door, but open it for deliveries and then lock it again,” adds Ashburn.
Jackson Hole AV’s reputation with manufacturers also allows the company to play a role in the development of new technologies. With a longstanding role in the home automation market, Jackson Hole AV’s relationships with manufacturers provide them with real-time influence on what is coming into the market. “Manufacturers ask us, ‘What can we do to make these systems better?’,” notes Ashburn. He cites companies like Google and Apple, collaborating with them and listening to their needs.
The attention to detail integral to Jackson Hole AV’s work is imperative for the optimization of these smart home technologies. JHAV prides itself on a culture that supports its long-term employees. “We hire only employees with high integrity, who are upstanding people,” shares Ashburn, and this shows in their work. “With attention to detail at every step of the process, we are able to make complex, high-powered systems simple for the user interface, meeting our clients’ dreams in a way that is easy to manage,” shares Ashburn. Jackson Hole AV has its own in-house master electrician and specializes in everything from high to low voltage, which is especially important in managing new full-spectrum LED lighting and human-centric lighting.
A built space is only as good as the experience within it; Jackson Hole AV continues to offer the latest smart home technologies, customized and professionally supported and ensuring lifelong confidence and ease of management for the ultimate experience of control, simplicity, comfort, and security that technology offers to the human experience.