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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

9 Reasons You Need Lighting Control in Your Next Home

March 8, 2018
At Real IT, we love lighting control,  after all,  lighting is a fundamental part of the luxury, convenience, comfort, efficiency, and safety of your home. When it’s integrated with your smart home system the possibilities for increased convenience, efficiency and fun are endless! 1. Enjoy Automatic Pathway & Orientation Lighting: Well-placed orientation and pathway lighting in hallways, bathrooms, and staircases increase safety inside your home, now you can activate the lights through movement sensors in the ceiling so there is no need to stumble in the dark for a switch or have your sleepy eyes blinded by bright lights in the middle of the night. 2. Get Functional With Task lighting: Allow automated focused light to illuminate your work spaces and make the completion of visual tasks easier. As an example in open plan kitchen dining areas, task lighting can ensure your kitchen work surfaces are well illuminated without compromising the soft ambient lighting being enjoyed by your dinner guests. 3. Increase Your Energy Efficiency: You can save money on your utility bills by having a smart home system turn off the lights at certain times of the day. If you forget, the system still remembers. 4. Add Incredible Convenience to Everyday: You can save time and manage your household better by pressing one button on an smart home keypad, touch panel or mobile device to turn multiple lights on and off at once. 5. Get Better at Highlighting Your Homes Best Features: Don’t remind yourself every night to turn on the accent lighting you placed to highlight your decor, artwork or architecture. Your smart home system can be programmed to do this for you, always coming on at the correct brightness based on the lighting levels in the room. 6. Deter Unwanted Guests: Make it appear that you are home when you are off on vacation. Lights can be set to switch on and off in a random pattern to make your house look occupied and discourage intruders. 7. Experience Lighting Scenes: One of the most exciting aspects of having lighting control in the home is creating ‘scenes’. These scenes control some or all of the lighting circuits in the home and create lighting environments to suit every mood at the touch of the button. E.g Relax scene, Home scene, All Off and Party scene. Of course, these scenes can mix in audio, video, HVAC, and other systems to further enhance the one-touch experience. 8. Dont Compromise On Interior Design: The conventional light switch is so 1995. Modern lighting keypads come in a broad array of styles and finishes to suit any need and environment, from discreet keypad options to dazzling touchscreen displays. The Engraved keypads can perform many functions with easy-to-use labeled buttons, replacing various unsightly switches with a single compact solution.   9. Get Expert Automation Assistance: Finally there is a company who takes lighting design seriously. At Real IT  we understand that the difference between a good lighting design and a great one is a process

How Much Does A Smart Home Cost?

January 19, 2018
One of the questions that always comes up when we meet with a potential smart home client is: How much does a fully integrated smart home cost, for everything? Although this is a very difficult question to answer because there are so many factors to consider, we will try our best to explain some general pricing and best practice guidelines here. An easy way to understand the way pricing works in smart home projects is to use the analogy of building a house. This is a convenient analogy because you are probably in the process of building your house right now so you will find it quite easy to relate to the procedure and the way pricing can change drastically depending on your ultimate goals. As you know, if you are building an architecturally designed 4-bedroom+ house the build price can start at around 3 million, but then quickly jump up to 5 million+ when you start upgrading permanent features such as designer kitchens, specialty roofing, flooring, and luxury tiles etc. On top of this initial jump, you can easily spend another $500k on finishings and fixtures such as feature chandeliers, high-end faucets, and general décor. These jumps in pricing based on preferences also apply to smart homes systems. When you look at a basic system, the start price is around 30-50k, but this can quickly jump up to $100-$200k+ when you start adding lighting control, motorized blinds and climate control to all the rooms. On top of that, you can easily spend an extra $50-250k + on a cinema. Consider your landscaping and joinery costs, these are similar costs to what you can expect to spend on a professionally designed smart home. When allocating budget in a smart home project we give the same advice to our clients that good architects, builders, and interior designers give theirs. Focus your budget on the more ‘permanent’ fixtures and aspects first because they are the most difficult and expensive to change later down the road. The last thing you want is to rip up that wooden floor in the kitchen because you always wanted polished concrete or to realize that you really needed underfloor heating in lounge. Likewise, if you think you need a bigger 4K TV or a better set of speakers all you have to do is buy new ones but when you get the permanent infrastructure wrong, i.e. The wiring, switcher or controller can’t support the highest current, resolution or speeds required; it can be costly to try upgrade that key component. Unaware of this, some people focus on finding the “cheapest” permanent infrastructure then try to layer expensive finished products such as 4K TV’s and high-end stereo equipment on top of it. This approach is penny wise but pound foolish, and sacrifices low-maintenance, quality, warranty, and aesthetics. Cheaper systems almost always compromise on quality components and wiring and will inevitably lead to regret. This is what differentiates the DIY, Common Cowboy and ‘Done by the Electrician’ installations from