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What makes a secure smart home for New Zealanders?

September 10, 2018
What makes a secure smart home for New Zealanders? When it comes to smart home systems, security features are a core component that can enhance a user’s experience, providing them peace of mind that their home is safe and secure at all times – both when they are onsite and when they are away from the property. Smart home security features generally consist of specific devices such as alarms and cameras, as well as integrated applications within the overall system. Smart home systems advance tried and tested methods Common home security measures, including locking doors and windows, installing sensor-controlled automatic lights and installing alarms have been around for decades. Today, alarm systems that detect intruders and contact authorities as soon as a breach occurs are still commonly used. However, smart home systems are proving to advance traditional security. These systems put more control in the hands of the homeowner by providing greater information on what’s happening inside of the home, as well as providing the ability to put both preventative and responsive measures in place. Securing your home: cameras, alarms and automation At Real IT we consider security to be a crucial element of any smart home system deployment. Our electrical services for smart home deployment includes security and access control, CCTV cameras and automatic gates – all of which significantly improve the overall security of the home and prevent any unwanted guests. More specifically, our experienced team will deploy integrated, smart security and alarm systems to secure the property from day one. In addition, CCTV cameras and automatic gates are deployed depending on the user’s home and requirements. For all CCTV systems, we supply, install and maintain all devices. We specialise in a variety of host surveillance equipment and security camera systems, as well as intercom and gate systems, so each system can be integrated with smart home controls and tailored to your specific needs. Securing your home: smart data and access control Once the smart home system is up and running homeowners can use flexible access control systems to select who has access to which door, track comings and goings, and provide one-time access codes. The integrated solutions provided by Real IT combines sensor data with audio and video footage, and also links to other smart subsystems including lighting, motorised shades and audio. This ensures users receive real time notifications about strange activity at their property, and can also monitor device use. Having remote access means owners can also maintain the home from afar – for instance, if they leave for a business trip or a holiday, they can turn lights or audio on and off to make it look like they are still home. Another key factor of our smart home systems is keyless entry. With this, users can create access control via tags, key fobs, remotes, keypads or even biometric access. This also logs who is entering and exiting the property, and gives the option to give specific codes to specific people or for a one

A New Standard Of Wellness in Smart Homes

August 17, 2018
A new Wellness Standard, and what it means for Smart Homes in New Zealand.   As technology develops and the health and wellness movement converges, we are at a crucial turning point for smart homes. Heralding this next phase of smart homes are organisations such as Delos, which has recently released the WELL Building Standard – focused on advancing health of buildings around the world. Understanding the new wellness standard This new standard sets a threshold for what constitutes a healthy home for the people living in it, in the same way the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating systems standardises what constitutes a home that’s healthy for the environment. According to Delos, the average person lives 90% of their life indoors, and a significant amount of this is spent in our homes. This is a vastly different way of life for human beings and has only taken place very recently, and the certification is a bid to ensure our current environments are best serving us. The standard itself is the result of a multi-year long collaboration between experts from a range of disciplines, including building science and health science, and is backed by a diverse board of advisors. It breaks down a smart home into core elements and applies standards to each. So what makes a healthy smart home? This new standard goes beyond environmental impact to look at the factors of a home and how they impact human health. It looks at how the cardiovascular, respiratory and immune system, as well as cognitive function and sleep outcomes, are influenced by the four walls of our homes, and how key elements of lighting, temperature, air quality, water quality and sound can be controlled with an optimal blend of hardware and software to contribute to our wellbeing. Smart homes that meet The Wellness Standard blend physical components, such as water filtration devices and intuitive sound systems, with algorithms that learn how the home is used and understand how the key elements can be attuned to the occupants wellbeing. For instance, Delos’ DARWIN platform, described as the first home wellness intelligence network, creates a ‘wellness ecosystem’ that mitigates indoor environmental concerns and provides premium air and water quality, circadian lighting, and thermal and acoustic comfort. More specifically, the system detects unhealthy levels of air purity and ups filtration where necessary; uses algorithms and software to ensure lighting automatically adjusts throughout the day to match our natural body clock; and uses sound therapy research to inform the audio system. Darwin provides the intelligence system and blends with existing smart home hardware and devices. Where to next? The standard and the overall approach has been dubbed ‘science-based innovation’, and Delos spokespeople have announced that already thousands of projects in 37 countries around the world are now wellness certified, having incorporated wellness principles into their homes and buildings. The leaders and advisory board at Delos say they see a growing demand for smart homes to utilise IoT (Internet of Things) and automation

The technology you need in the ultimate home office

July 24, 2018
What does the home office of the future look like? Today, as technology continues to advance and businesses adopt flexible work practices, it’s more common than ever to work remotely and from our homes. Leading providers are noticing this trend, and are now offering smart home systems that support productivity, connectivity, collaboration and overall success with smart, seamless technology. The benefits of having a smart home office With the latest technologies now available to consumers, smart home offices are springing up around the world, offering a private space that provides all of the benefits received at top of the line corporate offices and enables you to work where you want, when you want. With a smart home office, you’re able to entirely personalise your space – from picking the music to brewing your own coffee, and also have all of the applications required in an average day’s work available at your fingertips. With the influx of applications at our disposal today, every employee or business owner has their own set of tools they use on a daily basis. As a result, we are seeing smart home systems come to market that are not only compatible with numerous applications, but integrate each tool onto one platform, resulting in one intuitive system. From conference calls, to time management, to scheduling, the features of a smart home office enable you to focus on what’s most important, your tasks for the day, while minimising the barriers to get them done and maximising your comfort. Building a truly smart home office Crestron Mercury, offered by Real IT, shows what’s possible with a state of the art smart home office system. Currently, this is the only system that combines all UC (unified communications) and AV (audio-visual) tools and features into one interface, so all elements can be controlled from one console. It integrates the latest technologies to ensure high quality sound, display and connectivity, enabling you to talk and present to colleagues and clients around the world, collaborate in online workplaces, manage and schedule upcoming tasks and appointments, and gather data about your room and work habits. With Crestron Mercury you can call via Bluetooth audio paired with mobile phones or the full SIP conference phone; present from any device with Crestron AirMedia; collaborate with any soft phone, web conferencing or UC application including Skype for Business, Cisco WebEx or Slack; schedule all important events with Microsoft Exchange or Crestron Fusion; and manage all consoles from the cloud. Cloud-based provisioning and management helps to ensure the system stands up against any security concerns, while also providing access to data from built-in sensors, allowing you to optimise the use of the room. Understanding that each employee and business owner has unique requirements and doesn’t necessarily understand complex IT systems, Crestron Mercury is also specifically designed to be simple to deploy, use, manage and function at a high quality regardless of size of office. This product is a prime example of a smart home office system of the

The power of environment: health and your home

June 18, 2018
The wellness movement As our lives speed up and our daily demands increase, it has become more important than ever to invest in our health and wellbeing and understand the value and impact of our lifestyle and environment. Around the world there is a growing trend of people turning their attention to their wellbeing, leading to the rapid rise of the ‘wellness movement’ and a greater interest in the role of diet, mentality and our surroundings. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the global wellness industry grew by 10.6% to $US3.72 trillion ($NZ5.29 trillion) between 2013 and 2015. This accounts for more than 5% of global economic output. As a vast amount of people begin to invest in their wellbeing, we are also seeing a rise in people enhancing their environment and homes as crucial cornerstone of their overall comfort and happiness. Katherine Johnston, a researcher for Global Wellness Institute, says ‘we must shake up our thinking’ and consider our homes to be as important as immunisations and fitness wearables. “All the industries that create our home environments play a massive role in human health. And they need to partner to meet the desperate need – and fast-rising demand – for healthier homes and communities,” she says. Oopelia Yeung, a researcher for the Global Wellness Institute, says, “We will never address skyrocketing chronic disease and health costs without dramatically transforming where and how we live. We’ve got to shift investment into the places that give us the most outsized health returns – our homes and communities.” Creating your environment with Real IT: introducing the wellnest – by Cogworks Forward thinking companies are responding to this trend by creating offerings that focus on enhancing wellness through the home. At Real IT, for instance, we are now offering the ‘wellnest’,  (created by Cogworks) which pulls together the latest advancements in smart home automation, high quality AV equipment and careful material selections to create a space that is designed for the mind, body and ultimate comfort. The wellnest takes elements of traditional home cinemas but goes beyond entertainment to deliver a full media experience. It includes immersive audio, state of the art projectors and sizable screens, as well as premium lighting which can be set based on mood or preference, heating systems, and air conditioning and purification systems. It also uses natural materials for carpets and panels, and ensures the construction process doesn’t use any volatile organic compounds to reduce air pollutants. From the construction process, to the equipment used, to the carpet, everything in the wellnest is attuned to the wellbeing of those who will use the room. While there are a number of apps and specific smart home products available that promote wellness, the wellnest is unique in that it creates a whole room retreat and wellness solution. The space pushes the boundaries for what is possible within a home and inspires distributors and customers to expand their own thinking on what home cinema and home wellness means in our modern