technology – automation and control
The Interactive Home
Every square foot of a home can be automated for greater convenience, efficiency and security.
By Todd Pasternak
YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR MEDIA, LIGHTS, SHADES, SECURITY SYSTEM, CAMERAS AND SO MUCH MORE with real-time access throughout your residence or across the globe.
I named my technology design firm 1Touch Home because of one simple reason. I believe that homeowners should effortlessly interact with the technology in their home. Less is more.
This philosophy also extends to design, with less wall clutter and less technology that you are aware of in your everyday life. Technology should reside behind the scenes and work to support the architect’s and designer’s vision; hidden as much as possible. And that takes a control system that can unify the different technology elements throughout the residence: automation with cutting edge features.
Our firm does project work in Cherry Creek, Denver Metro, Aspen, Telluride and Maui. We also have featured projects in over three dozen Four Seasons Private Residences. Our clients and design-build partners are able to visit our Cherry Creek Experience Center to see all of the technology solutions we have on display and learn more about how to incorporate them into everyday living.
In the past few years, I have heard from many homeowners and architects who have expressed to me that they have had experience with control systems in the past and that they simply do not want to go down that road again. Older control systems relied on heavy programming that took weeks to compile, and they cost a fortune. Not to mention, any changes that the homeowner wanted to make meant another round of expensive programming and compiling. With 1Touch Home, those days are over. We have developed simplified solutions that empower the homeowner to make scene changes that take seconds to execute, and we are designing solutions for a completely different way to interface with your home.
The 1Touch Home Experience Center in Denver lets clients experience advanced technologies in a real-world setting.
voice and face recognition
In today’s interactive homes, which go way beyond smart or intelligent homes, we are now using voice and face recognition systems that learn and are configured on an individual basis. In other words, the house can be programmed to respond to an individual’s commands and preferences. Today’s advanced control systems provide homeowners with an added level of safety and security.
We start our process by interviewing the homeowner to determine how they want to live in their home. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, we are then able to create a tailored solution to meet and exceed client expectations. Today’s advanced control systems give us the power to easily configure and deploy whole-home solutions.
From my perspective, voice recognition is the biggest thing to happen in technology since the smart phone. Voice recognition allows us to remove the majority of wall plates, keypads and other forms of wall clutter, by simply flush mounting a touch panel in the major rooms of the house. You can simply talk to your house and it responds instantly.
The latest feature I have been working with lately is face recognition. This is another great tool that we are using to make life simpler for busy homeowners who just want their home to work for them – not the other way around! Let me show you some of the latest tools we are incorporating in our technology design.
ELAN has two great products I want to share with you. I want to start by describing their incredible Intelligent Video Doorbell, and then move into the new Touch Panel which incorporates both voice control and face recognition. Let’s take a look at our vision of how to experience the modern interactive home.
INTELLIGENT VIDEO DOORBELL
As a video doorbell, ELAN has covered all the basics and added a few great twists of their own. The system provides the homeowner with a level of safety and security for the main access point of the home. You can answer the door from anywhere. Whether you are home or traveling, you can view the video camera on touch panels or on your smart phone and interact with whomever is at your door.
ELAN has integrated advanced motion analytics to accurately identify between people and moving objects, such as passing cars or swaying trees. This eliminates false alerts that cause many homeowners to turn off notices altogether.
Additionally, the Door Station camera integrates with ELAN Surveillance for video monitoring and video capture on a networked video recorder. As an additional safety measure, the Intelligent Video Doorbell’s camera tamper feature sends a notice if the camera is covered by something, like a hand.
What I really like as far as interacting with the home, is using the Video Doorbell to recognize the homeowner when they come home. We recommend installing one in the mudroom or wherever you normally enter your home after you park in the garage. The system will know it is you entering the home, and automatically respond to your arrival.
If it is nighttime, the home will automatically light the pathway that you prefer, such as: through the kitchen and up the stairs to the master bedroom. You can have it not only turn on lights for how you want to come home, but you can also turn on music, light the fireplace, or any other sub-system that you want to activate.
With all of this, you can see that the Video Doorbell is a great tool for us to deploy. It not only has every feature that you would want for a smart doorbell, but it also can be used to capture video and identify family members. We think it is a natural first step in how you interact with your home.
INTELLIGENT TOUCH PANEL
Now things start to get interesting! The new touch panels from ELAN are real game changers as far as I am concerned, and that starts with voice control and face recognition.
The latest ELAN intelligent touch panels deliver more personalization options than ever before to control your space. The touch panel starts with a high-resolution touch screen interface and a built-in microphone array providing voice interface with Amazon Alexa™ and Google Assistant™.
What I like about Alexa is the ability to set up multiple voice profiles, so that each person in the house can have their own command word. It is yet another tool we can call on, if need be. You see, we never know how our clients are going to want to interact with their home, so having a lot of options with the ELAN control system allows us to tailor the experience for each family.
Instead of having Dots spread around your space (and let’s be honest, they really aren’t elegantly designed in my opinion), we can put a one-touch panel that can capture your voice commands from across a great room even with other things happening in the space. The reaction time from command to actuation is lightening fast. You simply say what you want to happen and it all happens. Scenes that control the shades, lighting, music volume, and whatever else you want to happen are easily programmed and are user-friendly if you want to make a tweak.
But the real magic is unlocked with the face recognition. Imagine walking into the room and your home knows who you are and how you want the lights set, as well as the volume on your stereo and the temperature in the room. Again, this is just another way to interface and interact with your home.
One last mention about programming, as I touched on at the beginning. Gone are the days of heavy programming and compiling! The ELAN control system is really easy to set up, once we know what the client wants and how they want to interact with their home. We can perform remote monitoring and provide unbelievable concierge service. Best of all, homeowners can access the control system from touch panels or hand-held devices and make any changes they want in just a matter of seconds.
From a design perspective, we will flush-mount the touch panel and remove all keypads and switches from the design. Any adjustments a homeowner would choose to make is a simple one touch to change a scene or a voice command. It is an elegant solution, and the best way to interact with a home.
9 Harrison St.
Denver, CO 80206