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3 Ways Interactive Whiteboards Boost Employee Engagement

3 Ways Interactive Whiteboards Boost Employee Engagement

Did you know that more than half of people identify as visual learners? Those people, likely many of your staff members, want to see and interact with pictures when they process important company information.

Are your presentations speaking to them? At DeVance Electronic Lifestyle, we recommend giving people tools that facilitate open, impactful communication. Engage your staff and empower them to participate with conference room equipment. If you want to combine the perks of visual tools with hands-on application, there’s no better place to start than interactive whiteboards. Keep reading to see why we find these devices beneficial for engaging employees and building stronger teams right from your Irving, TX, conference room.

SEE ALSO: Conference Room AV Upgrades You’ll Want for Your Business

 

Work the Room


As a manager or business owner, we’re sure you’re familiar with this scenario: You’re presenting and trying to get everyone engaged, but instead you see blank stares around the conference room. Spare yourself this embarrassment by breaking the ice with interactive whiteboards that ensure feedback from even the most reluctant or introverted employees.

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4 Overlooked Elements That Boost Your Commercial Audio Video

4 Overlooked Elements That Boost Your Commercial Audio Video

When you’re planning a conference room and considering all the commercial audio video details, you’ll likely first think about the most noticeable elements you need -- like your display and speaker technology.

In our many years of experience installing automated boardrooms, we have found that often, the smaller, less flashy components make or break the meetings. Keep reading to better understand what we mean, and which three factors you should no longer ignore!

SEE ALSO: Boost Sales and Work Harder With Digital Signage

Room Scheduling Software

Many hiccups can arise during a meeting scheduling process. It’s not uncommon, for example, for someone to set up a video conference but forgets to send the link to your calendar. A software glitch can allow a room to get double-booked.


Designating a place and time for a simple meeting should never be painstaking. Crestron’s Fusion room scheduling software connects everyone in your office to an easy-to-use scheduling platform. Employees can see which rooms are available on touch screens throughout the office, and press a few buttons to book a meeting, set a space and invite attendees. For your convenience, Fusion syncs with standard email tools, like Outlook and Google.

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How Voice Control Makes Your Homelife Easier, Simpler

How Voice Control Makes Your Homelife Easier, Simpler

We are firmly in the age of the smart home. From motorized shades and smart thermostats to lighting control and high-end home cinemas, there’s no shortage of devices aimed at automating and simplifying some part of your life. The trouble is, these devices aren’t always the easiest to use and don’t always cooperate with each other.

What’s the solution? In short: voice control. By uniting your various smart devices in one network overseen by your smart speaker, you get greater control over the technology in your home. Smart speakers are also very convenient to use, even in comparison to a universal touchpad remote.

You may curious about voice control platforms like Amazon Alexa. But how much do you know about what they can do? Not to worry; in today’s blog, we’ll show you how voice control can be an invaluable addition to the smart home control system for your Frisco, TX, living space.

SEE ALSO: 4 Tips for a Superior Media Room Installation

SIMPLE CONTROL THROUGHOUT YOUR HOME

A primary goal when installing a home automation system is to streamline how you manage your various devices. This way, they can all be managed from a central interface. One remote is undoubtedly better than multiple remotes, but voice control makes smart home control even simpler.

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Boost Sales, Work Smarter with Digital Signage

Boost Sales, Work Smarter with Digital Signage

We live in a world saturated with advertisements everywhere we go. While this can be frustrating and overwhelming for consumers, businesses face a different problem: Getting your products and services noticed in a crowded media landscape. You need every tool at your disposal to cut through the noise and bring customers to your business.

Digital ads are a powerful technology for business owners regardless of size or industry. The ability to create more compelling displays with a more specific focus in less time is invaluable as a marketing tool, and that’s what digital signage offers. If you want to know more, here’s a list of ways this smart building control system is beneficial for businesses in the Irving, TX, region.

SEE ALSO: 5 Must-Have Technologies for Your Boardroom Automation System

GET THE WORD OUT FASTER

Designing, manufacturing and setting up traditional print displays is a time-consuming process. The information may be out of date by the time your signage is ready to go, or you may want to highlight different products and services. Digital signage makes switching the content of your displays simple and easy. With a few clicks or button presses, you can upload a new photo or video to the screen, and the process takes seconds instead of hours.

A WIDE ARRAY OF ADS

One significant advantage of digital signage is the wider variety of content you can display on them. Printed marketing materials give your words and images, but electronic displays allow to show videos, slideshows and more, as well as include an audio component. A video display with music is much more attractive to potential customers than a static image, and you can include a lot more information in the ad.

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How Lighting Control Makes Your Conference Room Smarter

How Lighting Control Makes Your Conference Room Smarter

If there’s one space in your business that absolutely needs to shine, it’s your conference room. As a central location for meetings, presentations and more, your conference space needs powerful technology that works whenever you need it. This includes everything from your A/V system to your lights.

Yes, your lights. The lighting in your conference room impacts your productivity, energy efficiency and more. Commercial automation systems can lead to significant improvements in all these areas. Here’s why you should install conference room lighting control in your Irving, TX, business.

SEE ALSO: 5 Must-Have Technologies for Your Boardroom Automation System

LESS WASTE, GREATER CONTROL

Commercial lighting control not only reduces the amount of energy your business uses, but also helps you use that energy more efficiently. Automated lighting control uses motion sensors and other devices to make sure only occupied rooms – including your conference room – are using power. Lights and other electronics being used in empty rooms is one of the major inefficiencies businesses face, but it’s easy to address with lighting control.

Another way to improve efficiency is to use preset schedules. By setting your lights or certain fixtures turn on or off automatically at certain hours, you’ll conserve energy by not leaving lights on overnight unnecessarily. Over time these small gains add up to significant savings.

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4 Tips for a Superior Media Room Installation

4 Tips for a Superior Media Room Installation

No matter how large or complex the project, a media room is a significant investment for any homeowner. Top-notch A/V equipment costs thousands of dollars, and there’s the time and effort required to design the room and install the various components. If you want a media room in your Dallas, TX, home, you want the best home theater systems and other features you can afford. Here are four guidelines to follow as you begin your media room project.

SEE ALSO: Does Your Home Have the Proper Wiring for Smart Tech?

USE A 4K DISPLAY

4K video content is much more readily available than in years past, and the price of 4K projectors and TVs has dropped significantly. With these facts in mind, a 4K display of some type is the logical choice for your home theater. We work with only the best brands to meet your display needs.

To give you the best possible viewing experience, it’s important to choose a display that’s the right size for your room. One tried-and-true guideline is that the distance between the screen and the viewer should be 1.5 to 3 times the size of the screen. In practical terms, this means that if you have about 10 feet (120 inches) between your display and the audience, you shouldn’t buy a display bigger than 6-7 feet (72-84 inches).

SURROUND SOUND IS CRUCIAL

Obviously, image quality is important when it comes to your media room, but quality sound matters just as much. To ensure you get quality sound, you’ll want surround sound for your space. At the very least, a 5.1 speaker setup is crucial. This speaker setup includes 5 main speaker channels (front, left, center, and two other channels placed somewhere behind or to the side) and one subwoofer to amplify the bass channel. These speakers can be placed on stands throughout the room, mounted in the walls or ceilings, or stand freely on the floor; go with the options that best suits your home’s aesthetic.

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Conference Room A / V Upgrades You Want for Your Business

Conference Room A / V Upgrades You Want for Your Business

Are you dealing with slow, awkward, glitchy A/V technology in your conference room? Tech issues can quickly become tedious, tiresome problems that eat away at valuable time and prevent work from being done. Why not eliminate these problems with commercial automation systems?

With a new and improved audio video system for your Frisco, TX, business, you can get more work done in a more efficient and productive manner. Don’t settle for dropped calls, stubborn software and mismatched connections. Read on to see how upgrades to your audio video system can help your office work smarter, not harder.

SEE ALSO: 5 Must-Have Technologies for Your Boardroom Automation System

STRONGER BETTER NETWORK

The strength of your business’ computer network impacts all the technology in your office. This includes everything from projectors and speakers to computers and anything else in your conference room. A weak network means blurry video, stuttering audio and other problems during presentations. You want the best components and a professional installation to ensure your network meets your needs.

DISTRIBUTED A/V

Can’t fit your team into one conference room? Do people in multiple locations or offices need to see your presentation? Want simpler controls while increasing your system’s capabilities? A distributed A/V system takes care of all these problems and more by creating one centralized channel for any audio or video feed to flow through. Instead of struggling with a tangle of wires and ad hoc connections, you can stream your presentation through one interface with the certainty that anyone can clearly see and hear it. Plus, you only have to deal with one device instead of juggling remotes to accomplish a simple task.

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Benefits of Lighting Control

Benefits of Lighting Control
· Enhance Convenience - DeVance Electronic Lifestyle can program “scenes” to set the ideal levels of lighting throughout your home and automate your window shades for privacy and ambient lighting control. For example, pressing the “Goodnight” scene button on a keypad, smart phone, or tablet might turn off all the lights in the home except a bedside table lamp and lower all the privacy shades as well as the blackout shades in the bedrooms, creating the perfect environment for safely going to bed. Another "party" scene button may set the lights throughout the family room, kitchen, and patio areas to a mid-level while setting the shades in these areas halfway down so you can create a fun and relaxed environment perfect for entertaining. Whether you are out of town or just outside on the patio, you will be able to control all these applications with one simple touch, anytime, anywhere.· Aesthetics - Complete the stylish look of your Highland Park, TX home with beautiful architectural and designer keypad styles, a variety of options for keypad button configurations to suit your needs, with faceplates available in an assortment of colors, finishes, and materials to coordinate with any decor. DeVance works with both Lutron and Crestron products which offer an extensive collection of wireless dimmers, keypads, touchscreens, and a great selection of design options for shades and custom drapery controls as well.

Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is Coming!
Christmas is less than 10 days away! Have you finished your Christmas shopping?!?If not we have you covered with our DeVance 2018 Holiday Gift Guide...There are some amazing brands featured, such as Bang & Olufsen, Bowers & Wilkins and Sonos. Some of the item are here in the showroom, so you can even test out in person.1.) The Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 2 is a smart speaker with intelligent voice control, crafted in solid aluminum and designed for stunning 360-degree sound experiences. The BeoSound 2 has Google Assistant built in. Have a holiday party at your house and need tunes? No problem. Just say the words “Hey Google” and ask for your holiday playlist. Also, this speaker can deliver the morning news and weather updates with flexible & adaptable design that fits anywhere in your Frisco, TX home. Come check out this stunning product in our DeVance Experience Center!

2018 DeVance Holiday Gift Guide

2018 DeVance Holiday Gift Guide
At DeVance, we like to create the perfect gift guide for all the special people inyour life. Now is the best time to get started, and we have compiled a list of the latest tech-savvy productsthat you, your spouse, a parent or a child, or anyone special in your life will love!Here are some of our favorites: 1.) The Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 2 is a smart speaker with intelligent voice control, crafted in solid aluminum anddesigned for stunning 360-degree sound experiences. The BeoSound 2 has Google Assistant built in. Have aholiday party at your house and need tunes? No problem. Just say the words “Hey Google” and ask for yourholiday playlist. Also, this speaker can deliver the morning news and weather updates with flexible & adaptable design thatfits anywhere in your Highland Park, TX home. Come check out this stunning product in our DeVanceExperience Center!

Tips for Tailoring your Media Space for the Ultimate Game Watching Experience

Tips for Tailoring your Media Space for the Ultimate Game Watching Experience
“Are you ready for some football?”Are you ready to watch the Dallas Cowboys or any of your other favorite teams play? If you don’t have season tickets, now is the time to check your family room or dedicated media space to make sure it’s has the best features this football season. You may want to upgrade your TV from HD to UHD, change your soundbar to a full surround sound system, or perhaps you need a better remote control for all of the games and shows you watch. In any case, we have everything you need to enjoy this year’s roster of sports entertainment. Keep reading to find out what our best recommendations are for a new media space or home theatre system. • Update Your Media Room or Home Theater with the Newest TechMost football fans will admit that you can enjoy the action better on a TV than at the stadium. We currently are featuring The Frame TV in the showroom (Samsung 65” Frame 4K UHD TV), which displays like a beautiful piece of art when the TV is not being viewed. You can choose from a plethora of art designs or you can add in your own from your photo collections or other source. And when you’re watching the game on The Frame, not only will it feel like you're right on the field with the players, but you'll also be able to tell the smallest difference between a player being inbounds and a football crossing the goal line.The one thing going for the stadium experience is the crowd environment, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised how you can recreate some of that ambiance with a Dolby Atmos surround sound system. You'll not only be able to hear the thud of every tackle but listen to crowd noise surrounding you from all sides. You'll feel like you're in the stadium without having to deal with the heat or bad view.

Why Your May Need a Professional Home Network Installation

Why Your May Need a Professional Home Network Installation

Since we live in a connected society, having a reliable Internet connection is more important now than ever before. The average American household has a local Internet service provider, modem and router to connect all of their smart devices and stream content, but sometimes this simply isn’t enough. Why would you need an upgrade? Read this blog to discover the reasons why you may need a better solution and why you need a professional home network installation in your Dallas, TX home.

SEE ALSO: A Strong Network is the Foundation of Smart Home Automation

  1. You have a smart home system, or many smart devices.

If you own a smart home or are thinking about hiring an integrator to install one, a professional home network is a requirement, not an option. Or, if you have a dedicated home theater or multiple smart devices like a smart thermostat, you’ll need one too. High-bandwidth devices like 4K TVs and smart speakers put a lot of pressure on home networks, and simply purchasing a faster Internet speed won’t solve the problem. You need a local professional to place routers in the right locations and provide commercial-grade hardware. Higher-quality networks use faster CPUs and memory to process multiple connections at once, and advanced thermal management to keep equipment cool. They also can handle a greater number of connected devices and the intense network traffic.

  1. You live far away from network service areas or have large objects blocking a signal.

If you live in a more remote location outside of Dallas, Texas, or if your home is surrounded by buildings or trees, your connection may not be reliable. Concrete structures and other objects can block service, and certain locations can make accessing the Internet especially difficult. We can assure you that it doesn’t matter where you live, we can find a solution and install a network that meets all of your smart home’s needs. We even have cell phone boosting equipment so that you can get a better cellular signal in your unique location. Our team will work with you to provide a wireless network than works for you and your budget.

  1. You stream a lot of content.

If you use streaming services like Netflix or Spotify every day then you’ll need a strong connection to support all of that content – especially if the movies are in 4K or if the music is high-res. It is a fact you can access more music, movies, and games when you have Internet access. However, these shows will often freeze, lag, or have extremely poor-quality picture because the Internet connection isn’t strong enough. You might be paying for the fastest IP speeds, HD quality movies or hi-fi music, but it won’t be delivered without a proper network inside your home. A professional network quickly and easily solves this problem. You’ll never experience slow download speeds or poor quality content again. You can come home after a long day of work and relax with your favorite program instead of getting frustrated over poor connection.

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Interior Design Trends for the Smart Home

Interior Design Trends for the Smart Home

What do you want the focal point of your home to be? To draw attention to a piece of art, a beautiful rug, or an antique chair you need to eliminate the distractions. In the interior design world, technology tends to be an obstacle. Designers are always trying to hide all of the tech since it can be an eyesore. Too many switches will create “wall acne” and cords, wires, or unsightly black boxes don’t exactly match the theme for your McKinney, Texas home. In this blog, we will focus on how to make certain elements of your lights and shades disappear with smart home automation. Keep reading to learn all about it. 

SEE ALSO: 5 Household Items to Make Smarter with an RTI System

Smart Shades

For this part of your home you won’t be hiding the roller fabric, or drapes, you’ll be hiding the motor that moves the shades up and down. Some motorized shade companies install a big box on the top of the window, which can look like a giant obstruction on the wall. To solve this issue, DeVance hides the motor in an enclosure—which is like a pocket inside the wall. You won’t see the motor or wires at all, instead everything is hidden and your family can focus on the beautiful fabric over the window. Smart shading also eliminates those hanging cords used to adjust the curtains. Instead, you’ll use a small remote control or your mobile device to open or chose them.

Smart Lighting

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Is Your Backyard Ready for Entertaining?

Is Your Backyard Ready for Entertaining?

While the rest of the country might be enjoying a few more chilly days, Texas is in full summer mode, with the sun blazing! If you’ve been meaning to get outside more often and soak up that vitamin D, the smart approach is to set up your patio or backyard as the perfect spot for entertaining. Instead of driving somewhere just to enjoy the outdoors, you can simply step out the back door!

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before you can start entertaining friends and family in an amazing outdoor area, you need the right outdoor entertainment. Keep reading to learn about the best approach to an automation and audio/video system for your Celina or Prosper area home.

What You’ll Need

When setting up an audio/video system outdoors, there are some factors you need to consider that aren’t usually an issue with an indoor system. For example, as rare as rain is in Texas, you wouldn’t want a sudden rainstorm to completely fry your television or sound system. Another issue that’s far more common is having the electrical components overheat on those summer days. Even dust and wind can compromise the performance of the equipment.

Because of these factors, we suggest TVs that are specifically designed for outdoor use, unless they are adequately protected from the elements by a custom cover or enclosure. Here are a few of the brands we’ve found to have excellence performance and reliability:

For Televisions:

If you want 4K Ultra HD visuals on a sleek, thin display, the best brand is Séura. You might have heard of Séura in the context of hidden technology since they also provide excellent mirror televisions, but their outdoor TVs have the same level of quality. Séura’s weatherproof TVs are actually able to adapt to the amount of natural lighting in the space, so you get a great picture on both sunny and cloudy days.

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5 Household Items to Make Smarter with an RTI System

5 Household Items to Make Smarter with an RTI System

If the idea of living in a “smart house” is appealing to you, then you’re in luck. In recent years, more and more smart devices have been developed that make it super simple for you to manage every aspect of your home, from the lights to the television to even the window shades! Below, we cover some of the most common ways to upgrade regular parts of your Keller, Texas house to a full smart home control system. 

Thermostat

Thermostats are one of the most popular and common types of smart home technologies. A smart thermostat allows you to manage the temperature throughout your home anywhere, anytime. Just pull out your smartphone and select the temperature you want. Many of these thermostats learn your preferences over time, so they adjust automatically to keep your home at just the right temperature for comfort.

Lighting

Go beyond basic light switches with a lighting control system that lets you create the perfect lighting environment in every room at the push of a button. Every fixture, from the ceiling fan to the accent lamps, can be managed by your smartphone, a tablet, or handheld remote. Each fixture’s brightness is adjustable, which is useful for energy efficiency—you don’t have to waste energy blasting the lights in rooms that have plenty of natural sunlight, for example.

SEE ALSO: How to Get Started with Lighting and Shading Control

Blind and shade control

With motorized shades, you never have to manually open or close the blinds or drapes again. Instead, you can have your smart home control system automatically adjust the shades throughout the day. And when you’re relaxing on the couch and the setting sun causes a glare, you don’t have to break out of the comfort zone to close the shades—instead, tap that option on your smartphone and go back to relaxing.

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If You Want High-End Audio, Here’s the Best Brand

If You Want High-End Audio, Here’s the Best Brand

With so many options for audio/video systems available, there’s always the risk that you end up with a shoddy, low-quality solution instead of truly exceptional sound and visuals. For luxury homeowners throughout the Highland Park and greater Dallas, Texas area, it’s important to choose a brand known for achieving that high-end quality.

DeVance Electronic Lifestyle works with many of the finest luxury audio brands available, and of all those brands, there is one that we recommend most for high-end homes: MartinLogan. If you’re interested in learning what makes MartinLogan speakers the best, then read on.

Innovative Design for Superior Sound

There are many methods for designing speakers. The one you’re probably most familiar with is the circular cone or dome-shaped speaker. That shape is easy to manufacture and provides good quality sound, but if you’re interested in the best sound quality possible, electrostatic is a better design for you.

Electrostatic speakers work by converting an amplifier’s output to a high-voltage charge. The speakers are designed with an ultra-light, electrically conductive material that evenly disperses the audio signal throughout the room. Technical aspects aside, the important thing about an electrostatic design is that it overcomes the limitations on rigidity and uniformity that so often cause cone-shaped speakers to deliver a less-than-stellar sound performance. 

SEE ALSO: Explore What it Means to Live with Smart Home Automation

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Does Your Home Have the Proper Wiring for Smart Tech?

Does Your Home Have the Proper Wiring for Smart Tech?

Getting started with smart home technology is incredibly exciting. You get to pick out devices and solutions that will make your home more beautiful, energy-efficient, secure, and comfortable! But before you start picking out the fabrics for your motorized shades, ask yourself this question: “Is my home ready for smart home automation?”

Many homeowners throughout the Prosper, Texas area don’t realize that standard electrical wiring may not cut it for advanced automation technology. Even new construction doesn’t typically come with wiring suitable for reliably operating smart technology.

But don’t despair! There’s a simple solution in the form of prewiring services. Below, we answer the most common questions that homeowners have about prewiring. 

What is Prewiring?

Many smart home contractors (including DeVance Electronic Lifestyle) offer prewiring services that ensure your home has everything it needs to support all of its smart devices—both now and in the future as technology gets more advanced. Typically, these services include an initial assessment to get an idea of the quality of your home’s wiring. Based on that information, we may run new wires that are capable of handling whatever your smart devices need!

Why is Prewiring Necessary?

Standard wiring in homes often doesn’t go beyond AC power lines, TV cables, and maybe some phone lines. However, the majority of smart home devices operate using low voltage cabling. If your home is wired with the right types of cables, the sky is the limit for what you can automate!

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5 Must-Have Technologies for Your Boardroom Automation System

5 Must-Have Technologies for Your Boardroom Automation System

The modern boardroom is about more than just conducting meetings. It’s about collaborating with people all over the world, closing deals with key clients, and making strategic plans that could impact the company for years to come. If you’re relying on outdated or insufficient technology, you’re hindering your company’s ability to operate at peak efficiency and effectiveness.

Below, we cover the five technologies that are absolutely essential if you want a boardroom automation system that is reliable and capable of meeting all the needs of your Dallas, Texas area business.

SEE ALSO: 5 Commercial Audio Video Trends for 2017

1. High-End Sound System

Stop struggling to hear remote team members through weak, poorly placed speakers. A boardroom should utilize sound equipment that provides crisp, pure audio throughout the room. Brands such as Mark Levinson and Revel are a safe bet. These hi-fi audio systems are the product of decades of superior design and engineering. Your boardroom automation installer can strategically place the sound equipment and speakers so that you get perfect sound without any cords or devices cluttering up the room.

2. Lighting and Shading Control

Window shades or overhead lights aren’t typically what you might think about for boardroom technologies, but they should be. After all, the lighting in a room ties directly into the quality of your visual displays—too much lighting can wash out the imagery, but you still need a well-lit room to conduct meetings.

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5 Commercial Audio Video Trends for 2017

5 Commercial Audio Video Trends for 2017

The new year is just around the corner, and savvy Dallas business owners have started to consider what improvements they want to make in 2017. While many of these planning sessions focus on increasing operational efficiency, you might want to consider an alternative approach: improving the customer experience. Whether you’re running a restaurant, a retail store, or a car dealership, creating the right atmosphere for a relaxed and happy customer is a key component of business success.

So how do you do that? There are many different ways, but some technologies are rising to the top. Below, we cover five great commercial audio video trends that we predict will hit it big in 2017. 

SEE ALSO: 3 REASONS TO UPGRADE YOUR COMMERCIAL AUDIO / VIDEO SYSTEM

1. Interactive Displays

Waiting in lobbies isn’t fun for anyone, but technology can help make the time go by faster. Interactive displays use motion or touch technology to allow guests to manipulate what’s on the screen. These customizable screens could be as simple as ambient art that reacts to hand motions or a trivia game that gives points for selecting the right answer. Restaurant patrons waiting for a table, children waiting for a dentist appointment, or key clients waiting for a business presentation—interactive displays can help all of them have a more enjoyable experience.

2. Serve Yourself Technologies

People know what they want better than any waiter or customer service representative could, so why not let them control the service experience? This “do it yourself” automation technology started out as a way for businesses to save money on staffing costs, but it turns out that customers actually prefer this approach. Common applications are ordering kiosks at restaurants or price check scanners at retail stores. You’re essentially giving your clients instant gratification. There are no delays or miscommunication—just an intuitive screen that provides simple options for your clients to choose from.

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Holiday Gift Guide for Smart Home Devices

Holiday Gift Guide for Smart Home Devices

Getting that perfect gift for friends and family is a challenge. If you’re at a loss for what gifts to buy this holiday season, we’re here to help. As Southlake, Texas’ smart home automation experts, we stay on top of the latest trends in tech devices. This gift buying guide covers the best smart tech for both current smart home owners and people considering upgrading their homes.

For Current Smart Home Owners

If the person you’re trying to buy for already has a smart home, then they’ve probably already got a full set of gadgets and controls for every room. But don’t fret! Unless their smart home system was installed very recently, there’s one component they probably don’t have yet: voice control. Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are small devices that are easy to add to existing smart home systems, allowing you to control your home using just your voice!

In addition to asking Alexa’s normal capabilities, you can use the voice-controlled interface to initiate different smart home “scenes” that have saved settings for the best lighting, music, temperature, etc. for any given activity. For example, as you leave home each morning, just say “Alexa, turn on ‘Away.’” In response, your home’s lights will turn off, the shades will close, the music will stop, and your smart security system will lock the doors and turn on the alarm.

SEE ALSO: Explore What It Means to Live with Smart Home Automation

For Homeowners Just Getting Started

As wonderful as a full smart home automation system is, you don’t need all the bells and whistles right off the bat. To help friends and family dip their toes into the convenience and comfort that smart technology has to offer, consider getting an individual device that works great on its own but can also become part of a full automation system in the future. In addition to Amazon Echo, here are some other great devices:

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Carrollton, TX 75006
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