As a leading custom home technology integrator in California’s Silicon Valley for over 20 years we have learned from experience what are the easiest to use, aesthetic and most reliable home technology solutions for our clients. Building our new award winning Control4 Certified New Home Technology Center (NHTC) at our headquarters site not only demonstrates to our clients proven, best of current home technology offerings but it also serves as a testing lab for future home technology innovations. You can read about our new Control4 Certified NHTC in the Technology Designer Magazine and the NHTC Sponsor Guide shown below. For a more detailed overview of cyberManor’s motivation for building the new technology home, the products selected, and the solutions that can be experienced in the home please read the following featured column in CE Pro Magazine, watch this TechHome Builder interview or listen to the AV Trade Talk podcast.
THE KEY TO A SMART, CONNECTED HOME
While there are many rapidly changing products and solutions in the marketplace there are some key design tenets that are as true today as they were 20 years ago when cyberManor was founded. These fundamental tenets are core to our home technology design philosophy and implementation:
A reliable and robust home network and high speed internet access is key to the long term success and scalability of the smart, connected home. Two decades ago we only had a few devices connected to the home network, a few computers, a printer, and maybe a network attached storage device. Today the homes of most of our clients have over 50 networked devices in their home – some have well over 200 networked devices! Computers, printers, mobile devices, TVs, audio equipment, cameras, thermostats, and security systems all now reside on the home network. The smart, connected home will increasingly rely on the strength, robustness, and professional support of this network architecture.
User interface simplicity has always been, and will always be, of paramount importance. 20 years ago we controlled our home primarily with buttons, knobs, and switches. Today we have added fixed and mobile touch screen control, voice control, gesture control, and even intuitive AI control. We have many more control options to choose from but the basic tenet still rings true. The best control system is the one most intuitive for a given client, in a given location, at a given time. Customizing this control interface for the needs of our clients is one of our most important skills, just as an architect customizes their home plans and an interior designer customizes the appearance of the home to best suit the needs of their clients.
No single consumer electronics company has a wide enough range of products for all the home technology solutions in the home. This is as true today as it was 20 years ago, and as it will still be true 20 years from now. Although many of the world’s largest consumer electronics companies have tried, or continue to try to become one stop solutions for the home – there is far to much complexity and product choice options for any one company to be the ultimate hardware and software platform for the home. The key to our integration success is that all of these disparate products communicate over a universally agreed upon networking communication protocol – a worldwide standard by which all devices communicate wired and wirelessly throughout the home and to the world wide internet. This guarantees that we have a universally accepted communication platform upon which we can craft integrated and scalable solutions that meet the ongoing changing technology requirements of the smart, connected home.
At cyberManor we also believe that software trumps hardware. While high quality, reliable hardware for entertainment, lighting, security, and comfort solutions is still a key element in all of our home technology designs, we know that the long term value of the products we install in our clients homes is directly proportional to the software enhancements to these hardware solutions over time. Home technology companies such as Control4 that invest heavily in their software engineering efforts to improve their hardware platform ensures the long term success and scalability of the solutions that we install today. A great example of this ongoing software investment is Control4’s When/Then application which allows our clients to perform their own smart home programming scenes as their needs dictate – without having to call us for expensive programming visits.
cyberManor’s home technology integration philosophy follows a “BEST OF BREED” integration strategy. Our company focuses on vendor partners that have demonstrated that they are market leaders in the systems they design and manufacture. Our criteria for our vendor partners is very strict and selective, they must possess the following attributes:
This fundamental shift in the intelligence and software upgradability of home electronics have set the stage for a consumer expectation that electronic products purchased today should actually improve over time. This new model fosters product loyalty and good will from the homeowner to the manufacturer of the product and the professional integrator that recommends and installs these products. Instead of frustration and disappointment over the decline of a product’s value and functionality over time the reverse is now true – delight that the electronic product purchased yesterday is more useful today.