TECHNOLOGY – home automation
Control4 acts as liaison between the design-build community and smart-home technology designers
By Danielle Karr
YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED the design-build and technology worlds have been slowly intersecting over the last few years. Because of this, Control4, a smart home automation company, ramped up its efforts in creating meaningful dialogue between the design-build community and smart home technology designers.
I am the Designer and Architect Program Manager as well as the Certified Showroom Program Specialist at Control4. My role is to connect with architects and interior designers to help them explore implementing smart home technology in their own projects. I also create educational smart home content for the design-build community and help with technology education via events and trade shows.
This year, we at Control4 have been focused on hosting designer CEU events across the country in addition to the trade shows we participate in. This came about when we realized designers were hungry for and seeking out education on smart home technologies and how to successfully incorporate them into their designs.
Designers know that homeowners want these new technologies, and that it’s only going to get more and more common. These designers are looking to successfully bring technology into their designs in a way that isn’t overwhelming for them. The concept of a smart home technology designer, also known as a smart home professional or integrator, is something they all are excited about because these technology professionals give them an ally they can call on and takes the pressure off of them to learn everything about the technology themselves.
I’ve loved the amazing and talented people I’ve met within the design-build community. Supporting their needs and goals as professionals has become the goal I share. Luckily, the mission of Control4 is to empower the design community. So understanding what the designers need and want in regards to smart home technology is central to my work. The fact that designers are hungry for smart home technology and integrators are eager to work with designers makes my task of bringing the two communities together feel very organic. I think of it like I have mutual friends I know who will love each other, and so it’s my job to facilitate introductions and interactions. Nothing is being forced. Everyone is genuinely excited to work together. Then, I get to enjoy finding new and different ways to deepen those natural relationships and help them partner together to become innovators within their respective industries.
I do a lot of listening and collaborating with others in my role. I believe a community-centric approach is the only way to create lasting success. No one is interested if the person or company is only talking about themselves. People are interested in hearing about what the industries can do together as a team and how we can all partner to create meaningful, positive experiences for our clients. I want to elevate the successful partnerships that are currently in the design-build and technology space and then help others in those industries foster similar relationships themselves.
Another example of our outreach is our builder program that specializes in education, technology packages, and perks that are all tailored to a builder’s needs. Similarly, Control4 has an architect and designer program that focuses on outreach to those professionals, community support and education, and relationship building between designers and architects and our smart home professionals in the Control4 Certified Showroom Program. Designers can visit their local Certified Showroom to meet with smart home professionals and learn more about how they can bring technology into their projects.
We currently offer a CEU for designers and architects titled The Five Levels of a Smart Home and are working on developing more. This CEU covers the different types of technology as well as how design professionals can gauge what level of client interest there is in bringing on a professional accordingly to meet and exceed client expectations.
“People are interested in hearing about what the industries can do together as a team and how we can all partner to create meaningful, positive experiences for our clients.”
An initiative we began last year was our Certified Showroom Program. This is for those Control4 dealers who meet our standards of excellence and can commit space for a Control4 experience center at their office or showroom. One of the reasons for starting the Certified Showroom Program was to make it easier for the design-build community to connect and partner with top integrators in their local area. You can visit us at Control4.com and use our locator service to find the Certified Showroom nearest you.
There are rigorous business requirements and standards a technology designer must meet to become a Control4 Certified Showroom. This includes developing a beautiful and live-demo showroom that has been approved by the team here at Control4. Developers, architects, designers, and builders can find their local Certified Showroom and reach out to them having confidence that these technology designers are top in their field when it comes to smart home technology and solutions.
We are very dedicated to hearing and implementing community feedback. The best way for the design community to give us feedback is to either share it with their Certified Showroom Professional, Control4 Area Manager, or even me! We then take that feedback and incorporate it into our processes and products. Our newly released Control4 Smart Home OS 3 is a perfect example of that. We reimagined and redesigned the user experience of our operating system and community feedback played a huge role in that.
One of the main benefits of integrated smart home technology is the ability to customize it based on the needs of the user. I think this is particularly where designers are starting to see the benefits of technology. Home technology is no longer single, one-size-fits-all disparate devices. Designers can take a smart home operating system (OS), use it to connect the home devices together, and then customize the technology in the house to be extremely tailored to their client.
For example, someone with hearing loss can set their lights to flash when someone rings the doorbell, or someone who is a working parent can set their home to notify them on their mobile device when their kids get home from school as well as lock the door and arm the system after they are inside.
A homeowner can set their blinds, lights, TVs, and more to be automated to their routines. Successful designers understand that modern homeowners are interested in more than how a home looks. They are also wanting great functionality, and that’s how technology can enhance the design and décor. Functionality is what takes a beautiful space and elevates it to the next level for a homeowner. And designers are starting to realize that they can create truly custom home experiences for their clients with integrated, connected technology that enhances the aesthetics of their designs.
Designer and Architect Program Manager/
Program Specialist, Marketing