Why Integrators Need a Smart Home App in 2018
While Localized Controls are extremely important to custom smart home and smart office solutions,
a "smart home" app or proper centralized control app allows users to interact with their systems in ways localized controls simply cannot.
Integrators specialize in integrating and automating technology to provide custom solutions to solve everyday issues and to provide unique experiences for their clients. What separates us from the “Smart” equipment you might find at local technology stores is that we design and build our solutions around each and every client, instead of providing them with pre-built solutions.
What determines how useful, and thus how successful, a custom integration and automation project depend on how easy it is for a user to interact with their systems and devices. It does not matter how complex, or beautifully constructed a solution is – if a user does not or cannot use it, then the solution provided by the integrator was not the right for the client. The key in designing a custom smart home or office that is useful to the client is almost entirely dependent on working with them to figure out how they want to interact with their systems and devices – how they want to control them.
Types of Controls
At audioDave, we customize two types of controls for our clients to interact with – what we call localized and central controls.
Localized controls are contextual controls that are located in specific areas or rooms – think motion sensors, voice controls, panels, switches, etc. These require the users to be in close proximity to interact with their devices and are mainly meant to initiate a small number of specific actions. For example, a motion sensor installed in a hallway will detect motion as an input and can execute a set of pre-programmed actions such as turning on a specific set of lights, or a TV to a specific channel. These types of controls are extremely useful for when we want to control a device or system in a very specific fashion, but not for when a user wants more flexibility when interacting with their devices or system.
This is where centralized controls, and specifically, centralized control apps come into play. These apps allow users to monitor all devices and systems connected to your smart home or office, perform high-level interact with each type of device and system, and even automate parts of your system to react without their input. All that a user needs is an internet connection and they can monitor, control, and automate their smart home or office anywhere in the world. A successful integration and automation project provides both localized and centralized controls that are customized to their users and work in sync.
What Makes a Good Centralized Control App?
When evaluating Centralized Control Apps, we look for the following:
A Balance of Consistency and Flexibility
The centralized control app an integrator uses needs to have an appropriate balance of flexibility and consistency so that integrators are not reinventing the wheel every time they design a smart home or office, but also delivers a custom experience based on the integration and automation project’s needs. In other words, how an integrator’s central control app controls the devices in a smart home or office should be consistency. It’s what the app controls that should be different for every project.
Simple User Experience
Navigating through the app needs to be as intuitive and simple as possible. If a user cannot navigate an integrators centralized control app, the app is not accomplishing its job.
The centralized control app used should receive consistent updates and be compatible with the latest devices the integration and automation industry is releasing at the time. If the app cannot communicate with certain devices, it is not doing its job.
An often overlooked, but a very important feature that a centralized control app should have is the ability to manage users. More often than not, smart home or office projects will involve many occupants that will be interacting with the controls installed. As such, having the ability to manage the access and actions of all users is imperative so that an integrator can ensure that all users have not only access, but the proper access to their smart home or office. For example, parents that have a smart home would certainly need a different set of systems and permissions in the app as opposed to their children.
Not only should your central control app be able to control a variety of devices, it should also allow users to monitor systems and devices, as well as, get notifications when certain controls are activated.
While there are certain requests that will require an integration and automation expert, a central control app should allow for a relative amount of self-sufficiency for its users. Adding devices, changing certain settings, and even automating a smart home or office should all be possible without the direct intervention of an integration and automation expert.
The Savant App
While there are a variety of centralized control apps out there, we’ve found the Savant App beats out the competition as it check’s all of the requirements above. Here are some things it allows users to do:
Audio and Video - Spend More Time Enjoying, Less Time Setting-Up
From streaming video and music services to vinyl players, today’s technology is saturated with a huge number of ways to watch and listen to your favorite media. Instead of having to change apps, disconnect and reconnect cables, and pressing 50 buttons to change the inputs, the Savant app allows you to choose the source, delivery, and the location of where your video and music plays in your smart home or office - all in one app.
Lighting - Full Control
Traditional lighting systems give users two options – on or off. Lighting systems integrated with the Savant App gives users unprecedented control of individual light bulbs, brightness, and even color, allowing users to save money on their energy bills, set the mood in their smart home or office, and being more excitement out of the lighting.
Shades - Convenience and Privacy When You Want It
Motorized shade control in the Savant App allows you to have shades react with or without your input to their surroundings. If sunlight affects visibility and the temperature of your smart home or office, program your shades to lower based on the height of the sun or the internal temperature of the room without even getting up from your chair. Want more privacy during meetings? With a few clicks in the Savant App, have your conference room go from an accessible room to a private meeting space – all while impressing your participants.
Security – Ease of Mind
Integrating motion sensors, cameras, and your alarm system in the Savant App gives users the unprecedented ability to monitor, keep up-to-date, and secure their smart home or office without even needing to be near it.
HVAC – Energy Efficiency
Take control of your existing HVAC system from anywhere in the world with internet. Change the temperature of zones in your smart home or office, create custom timers for energy efficiency, and make sure only the right people in your home can mess with the thermostat.
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