Enhance Your Client’s Interior Décor with Smart Shading OptionsHome interior designers have often clashed with custom integrators, fighting with them for important space both in the client’s budget and their home. Realizing that technology could enhance, not impede, a home’s unique style, interior designers have embraced their technology partners in recent years. The relationship has blossomed primarily through the use of motorized window shades. With intuitive control of shades, blinds and drapes, designers can take their projects to entirely new frontiers. SEE MORE: Installation Guide: Bringing Motorized Shades Into Your Home Embrace Your Favorite Models With motorized window treatments, homeowners can control shades through remotes, touchpads or smartphones. How can this expand their stylistic choices? In the past, they may have been reluctant to install elegant drapes in the living room because they’d be too difficult to close when the family wanted to watch TV. While wooden blinds might look great in the kitchen, they might find it too cumbersome to adjust the amount of light coming in throughout the day. Now they can do that easily with the press of a button or a swipe on their phone, opening up new possibilities when choosing designs and styles for their window treatments. Eliminate Unnecessary Clutter By centralizing control of all the home’s shades onto a dedicated touchpad or mobile app, you can also get rid of some of the clutter that’s involved with manual control. There’s no longer a need for clunky chords or sticks that not only become an eye sore but can also pose safety hazards. You can also choose to group certain shades together, so you don’t need individual remotes for each one—which can create a whole new clutter problem in and of itself. Create the Perfect Lighting No interior décor is complete without the right lighting. You can aim light in certain directions to highlight specific features or adjust the color temperature to bring out the color of the walls and furnishings. While much of this light staging is done via artificial light, you can also give your home a cool glow by making it easy to bring in natural light throughout the day. Schedule shades to open when natural light is available and close as soon as it gets dark. Protect Vulnerable Items Another constraint that interior designers often face is dealing with vulnerable furnishings or artwork that may be damaged by sunlight. In the past, these items had to be hidden away in corners far from windows for their own protection. Motorized shades let you give them a more prominent setting. Simply link up photo sensors to your shades so that they close as soon as they’re hit by direct sunlight. Cover Hard-to-Reach Areas Many modern homes include windows that can pose serious challenges both for designers and end users. For floor to ceiling windows or those that are out of reach due to their placement, manual shades become more of a nuisance than a stylistic accent. By having remote control of these fixtures, you can choose the fabrics and designs you want without having to worry about how you’d manage them on a day-to-day basis. Want to learn more about how you can enhance your next interior design project with the use of motorized shades? Call us at (612) 353-5087 or schedule a consultation online.
Control of Your Home’s Security in the Palm of Your HandHoliday season hopefully means a long vacation with the family. What can you do to get peace of mind that everything's going well back home while you lay out on a beach in the Bahamas? The answer is a mobile app that gives you access to your home security system from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. In this blog we highlight some of the top benefits of having a home security app: SEE MORE: Protect Your Home and Family With a Home Security System Watch Surveillance from Anywhere One of the things our clients love about their security app is the ability to look in on their home at any time. From a smartphone or tablet, you can pull up live surveillance footage. During the holidays, it's an excellent way to make sure your home is just as you left it. During the rest of the year, you can use it to check in on your pets or see what the kids are up to if they make it home before you. Make Adjustments to Your Home Remotely What if, as you're looking through your surveillance, you notice something is off? A light was left on in the kids' room, or the back door wasn't locked. From the same app you used to check your surveillance, you can adjust lighting, lock the doors, and set the alarm. There’s no need to watch all day to stay connected either; you can receive a notification if lights were left on or doors unlocked when you left the house. Make it Easy to Let People In There's also no need to hide a key under the mat so your pup sitter can get into the house while you're away. Get a notification when they're at the front door, so you can use your phone to let them in. Look at your surveillance first to make sure it’s them then use your app to disarm the security system and unlock the front door. Receive Notifications When Sensors Go Off Certain areas of your home may be especially off limits. You can receive notifications on your phone when someone sets off motion sensors near your property’s perimeter, your gun safe, or liquor cabinet. You can then use your app to look in on live surveillance footage to see who it was that set off the alarm. Depending on where the sensor is located, authorities can also be notified immediately of suspicious activity. Don’t worry about leaving your home alone during long stretches of time, with a smart security app you stay connected to what’s happening there at all times. Want to take advantage of this technology in your Minnesota home? Contact US
Create Engaging Content to Enhance Your Marketing StrategyRecent developments in technology—both in hardware and software—have made it easier to upgrade from traditional static advertising to digital signage. Once you have a commercial AV solution that offers high-resolution images and simple ways to alternate content on your displays, it’s about thinking outside the box. Making your company stand out involves more than just switching to digital—as most companies are now doing. This blog showcases some of the most creative uses of digital signage including examples from retail stores, restaurants, and bars. SEE MORE: Installation Guide: Optimizing Your Business’ Digital Signage Create Immersive Video Walls One of the easiest ways to take a digital display to the next level is to upgrade to a video wall. The simple boost in size will be enough to attract additional eyeballs, but the video wall format also gives you added versatility. You can cycle from one large image to multiple small images to highlight specific sales, services or information. Incorporate Content with Projectors A growing trend in digital signage is to include subtle displays. One way to create content that blends seamlessly into your business is to build projection-based digital signage. You can have images that appear on tables or against back walls. While there may be a small dip in image quality compared to using flat screens, it's an excellent way to incorporate displays in areas where there are size or style limitations. Take Clients or Customers on a Virtual Trip Some of the coolest forms of digital signage involve having displays that mimic windows. A great example is a popular bar in Madrid, the Passenger, which uses large video screens to give patrons the feeling that they're riding a train. These displays can also be used to recreate the feel of sky-bars popular in metropolitan areas. Once clients enter the bar, displays throughout the establishment let them look out onto a city landscape as if they’re on the 20th floor. Bring Users into Your Digital Display Through a combination of cameras, large screens, and augmented reality technology, viewers can become part of your display. One example that will likely become a staple in retail environments is the use of virtual dressing rooms. Hold up the shirt or skirt you want to try on in front of the mirror, and it will superimpose it onto your body, so you know how it looks. This type of augmented reality has also become popular when it comes to promoting shows or movies. A recent example was a FOX promotion for The Walking Dead. As fans stood in front of the FOX Billboard, the shows' characters and notorious walkers slowly appeared around them on a large display they were watching. As more companies switch from paper to digital, it's important to take extra steps to make your advertising stand out. Through our commercial AV solutions, we partner with your marketing department to come up with dynamic displays that will put you a step ahead of the competition. Contact Us
Create the Perfect Atmosphere to Communicate With Clients and EmployeesWhether you’re trying to connect with clients around the globe or keep in touch with remote employees, video conferencing has become an essential part of most businesses. Everything in your boardroom needs to be optimized for these types of virtual meetings. You can create the ultimate video conferencing environment with a boardroom control system that makes it easy to manage the AV equipment, lighting, and climate in the room. It’s time to embrace a form of communication that lets your Minnetonka, MN business cut travel costs, recruit talent, boost employee satisfaction and improve sales. SEE MORE: Save Your Company Money With Boardroom Control Get to Know Your Room’s Technology A video conference can quickly go sour if you find yourself struggling to adjust the volume, pull up content or add new participants. With a boardroom control system that gives you centralized access to all the technology in the room, you can focus on your subject matter and not your AV equipment. As part of your installation, your AV technicians will guide you on how you can quickly make any adjustments to create a favorable conferencing environment. Have Adaptable AV Equipment When conducting video conferences, you need to be able to adjust the audio and video settings in your room quickly. First, make sure you’re being heard clearly through expert microphone placement. Never resort to screaming when you realize audio is not going through as you wish, instead pull up your boardroom control system to adjust your microphone volume. The second most important part of a video conference is maintaining eye contact. Look directly into the camera as you speak. As you move around the room, you can use your tablet to pan the camera to where you are to maintain eye contact. You can also lower or raise the camera angle for employees of different heights, so it's easier for them to look into the camera. Adjust Your Room for Conferences Areas where you’re conducting your video conferences need to be free of distractions. Using your boardroom control system, close shades that face corridors so your clients or employees are not distracted by people walking by. Lower lights to make sure there’s no glare on the screen or raise them to spotlight the room’s speaker. Opt for Interactive Presentations If you are giving a presentation via video conference, it can be harder to keep your audience engaged. You want to avoid just reading off PowerPoint. Instead use interactive whiteboards that let you and other participants write directly on your presentation and save changes. This helps them feel more involved and less likely to lose focus. SEE MORE: Transform Your Boardroom With Interactive Whiteboards Check Your Network Connection A bad connection can ruin even the best-prepared presentation. With audio or video that keeps lagging or freezing, it's hard to keep the momentum going. You're forced to backtrack constantly to see where exactly your audience lost you. If you're conducting a more professional one-on-one meeting or interview, a bad connection can lead to misunderstandings and bad first impressions. For this reason, you want to make sure that your network is designed to handle the bandwidth needed to conduct conference calls. As part of your boardroom control installation, we strengthen your network to make sure it can handle high-definition video and high-resolution sound while letting you share presentations wirelessly. With video conferencing becoming so important for businesses throughout Minnesota, you need to have the right technology in place to conduct clear, powerful meetings and presentations. If you want to learn more about how your office could benefit from our boardroom control solutions, call us at 612-353-5087 or fill out our online contact form.
Simplifying the Technology in Your Room with Smart ControlSince your office boardroom is used for so many tasks –from video conferencing to product development—it can be hard to come up with a cohesive room design. Technology that works for one type of meeting may not work well for others. Often, this results in muddled designs and systems that are too difficult to manage. In this blog, we show you how a smart boardroom control system helps you resolve common design mistakes in your Woodbury, MN office. SEE MORE: How Boardroom Control Saves Your Company Money
1. Making the Room Too Hard to ManageWe encounter many clients that have flooded their boardrooms with all of the latest technology in an attempt to create a more efficient space. Unfortunately, this often results in rooms that are too complicated for the average employee, not only affecting meetings but wasting the time of the IT department as they keep getting called in to help. This is where a boardroom control system is most useful. You can still have all that technology, but it’s all managed from a tablet or touchpad. Through an intuitive menu, it's easy to choose the equipment you want to use and how you want to use it. You can also expand the system and add new features without needing extensive programming.
2. Unclear Content Sharing SolutionsOne of the biggest problems that employees encounter is how to share content. With a smart boardroom control system in place, your menu has clearly marked buttons letting you choose whether you want to share content via HDMI cable or through your wireless network. It’s also easy to select whether you want to conduct a presentation or conference call.
3. Choosing the Wrong Screen SizeFinding the right size for your display can be difficult since certain tasks may require a different size than others. For example, a video conference may not need as big a screen as your PowerPoint presentation. Meanwhile, a large display can become a distraction when not in use. How can your boardroom control system help? One way is to go with a multi-screen installation. Have an LCD screen for video conferences and another screen that drops down when conducting a presentation. From your touchpad, you can easily choose which you want to use. Your retractable screen can also be hidden away when not in use, so it doesn't become a distraction.
4. Not Taking Lighting Into AccountBeing able to adjust lighting in your boardroom is critical. With so many different functions, you need to ensure you're using the right lighting for each. You can even incorporate shading control to manage the amount of natural light in the room. For most meetings, natural light is preferable as it helps to make the room less stuffy and encourages communication. If you’re using the room for a conference call or multimedia presentation, use your boardroom touchpad to close the shades and dim the lights. You don't have to redesign your space completely to avoid common mistakes. Sometimes, incorporating a boardroom control system can make all the difference. Want to bring a custom solution into your office? Contact US