Cutting-edge home theaters and automation systems mark the future of home entertainment and control.
story by karen hufford photography by Rob Downey
While on a family vacation, you remember you forgot to turn off the kitchen lights before you left. You grab your iPhone, and with a few screen taps, your bright kitchen thousands of miles away immediately turns to dark. While you’re at it, you decide to check on your property, just to make sure everything is safe and sound. With a few more screen taps, you’re now viewing video surveillance of your Space Coast home. With the peace of mind knowing your residence is secure, you set down your iPhone and resume the family fun.
It sounds like a scene straight from “The Jetsons,” but thanks to innovative engineers and advanced home-automation contractors, this type of control is no longer a futuristic fantasy.
“We can offer homeowners iPad/iPhone-based control solutions and systems that integrate with other systems in the home, such as security, air-conditioning and heating, pool control, irrigation, lighting, shades, and of course, audio/video,” explains Joe Nelson, owner of Connected Technology in Melbourne.
Nelson began his career in the audio/video industry years ago, primarily as a project manager for a large commercial audio/video contractor, overseeing projects for Hard Rock Cafés, ESPN Zones and casinos. In 2003, he ventured out on his own, launching Space Coast Sight & Sound, Inc., now doing business as Connected Technology.
Today, the company’s focus is on customized solutions for clients at the best possible value. It services audio/visual and home-automation needs that range from the simple integration of a smart TV with a multi-function remote, to more complex installations of whole-home control systems. With various technologies, construction methods and materials available, possibilities are usually only constrained by the homeowner’s budget, timeframe and imagination.
No matter the size and scope of the project, though, simplicity and ease-of-use for the homeowner is always one of Connected Technology’s top priorities. “Technology is wonderful if it’s easy to use and understand,” says Bill Sloan, sales manager at Connected Technology. “If it takes an MIT graduate to operate, it’s not going to be viable for most homeowners.”
This is especially true for homeowners wishing to incorporate a theater system into their residence. From the sight to the sound and even the touch, the technology used in today’s home theaters to stimulate the senses can greatly enhance the entertainment experience.
“The technology, resolutions and size of today’s screens have really brought the visual world to life. And audio can stimulate the senses with everything from the subtle surround-sound effects to the thundering bass that can actually be felt,” explains Sloan.
“Whether it’s a dedicated home theater or a multi-purpose media room, we can provide homeowners with entertainment solutions that match their lifestyle and their budget,” adds Nelson.
Nelson recalls a dedicated home-theater installation his company completed that includes a controller built into the arm of a chair. “When the system is started, the drapes open in front of the screen, the projector drops and the lights dim, all while the sound and video comes to life,” he explains.
While this home theater is no doubt remarkable, perhaps the most notable project in Connected Technology’s portfolio is nearing completion on Lansing Island. This 24,000 square-foot home, built by Ranson Construction with interior design by Liz Harris, is wired for maximum entertainment and minimum operating difficulty. It features motorized televisions that change angles based on the homeowner’s position in the room, as well as hidden Live-Wall speakers. The home’s audio/visual components, as well as security, lighting and other home-automation control systems, are easily accessible through televisions, strategically placed keypads and smart-phone devices. The home also features a custom-designed dedicated 12-person Mardi Gras-themed theater outfitted with equipment that truly rivals commercial movie theaters (pictured on the cover).
Considering the complexity and frustrations often associated with audio/visual and home-automation installations, it’s indeed smart to consult with a professional. And Nelson and Sloan recommend doing so during the construction phase of a home, whenever possible.
“We can provide the proper infrastructure, so that when technology evolves, there is an upgrade path,” explains Sloan. “This helps our clients get the most value, quality and dependability, as well as the best solution both for today and tomorrow.” b
Connected Technology designed and installed this Lansing Island dedicated home theater with the assistance of interior designer Dee Patnoe. It features a touch-screen controller integrated into the arm of the theater chair, so with the press of a single button, the shades lower in front of the windows, the projector drops from the ceiling, the drapes open in front of the screen and the lights dim while an image appears on the screen. The home theater’s dedicated system and control station is discreetly tucked behind glass doors.
Technology’s tagline says it all — Connect, Control, Enjoy! For more information, call (321) 733-2600 or visit their website at ConnectedTechnology.co or their Facebook page at Facebook.com/connectedtechnology.co