josh

Hands-free, secure and full of bass: How to create the smart home of your dreams

The Seattle Times Oct. 24, 2019 at 2:45 pm

It seems like everyone is doing it. Talking to Alexa, asking Google questions, dimming the lights and turning on the oven with an app.

Yes, smart homes are hot, and for good reason: They can save valuable resources such as energy and money. But is being that plugged-in really all it’s cracked up to be? There are issues of privacy, and of just being overwhelmed by technology.

We talked to some experts and did a little digging of our own in order to pass on some key tips and products to help build the smart home of your dreams — rather than something out of a dystopian nightmare.

If you’re looking for more safety

Because Seattle has one of the highest rates of property theft in the country, you may be looking to beef up security on the home front. Thanks to advances in technology and industry disrupters, there are now an array of options for home security systems, from simple to robust.

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13 Coins Seattle: A Restaurant That Can Scale Up Its Screens Easily

This Ultra HD Over IP system provided by Wipliance provides Seattle dining institution 13 Coins with an easily scalable screen solution.

Oct. 14, 2019-
Originally Featured on TECH DECISIONS

With its building slated for redevelopment last year, 13 Coins — a Seattle dining institution — closed the doors on its flagship South Lake Union location after 50 years of serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For the next chapter in its legacy, the 24-hour restaurant set up shop in a new building on King Street in Pioneer Square, within sight of CenturyLink Field and a short walk to T-Mobile Park.

The new 13 Coins features two levels. Upstairs is the main dining area and bar with an adjoining outdoor patio, while the downstairs “Lower Quarters” features another bar and four private dining areas that can be rented out independently or combined into one large space.

The Tech Decision

For owner Al Moscatel, it was important to preserve the vintage charm of the restaurant’s original location, which hadn’t changed much since opening in 1967. For dining on the first floor, that meant keeping 13 Coins’ signature high-back booths, swiveling captain’s chairs, and open kitchen.

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wipliance team

Integrator Spotlight: Lee Travis, Wipliance

Your business was founded in 2006. What is the origin of your business name? What did you do before were you in custom integration? Talk about how you got interested in doing this work – and as you gained experience, what it was that you felt you were able to offer clients that was unique in the field.

Lee Travis: The name stands for “wireless appliance.” Years before I had the company, I felt that in future we’d have so many more wireless devices. And we’re not in the white goods business, but if you take the word “appliances” and drop off the app and put a “wi” there, that’s how you get the name.

I got into the car audio business first. I attend the Consumer Electronics Shows and at my 33rd CES this year, we won the Integrator of the Year Award. I loved car audio, but that industry began to change, and it was becoming a little more homogenized. OEM was developing better systems and cell phones were getting down into the free range – when we used to pay five grand for a cell phone, and the average cell phone bill was $1,500. As the car audio business waned, we started to do some home systems – people would ask us to do theaters, with those big CRT projectors. Eventually, I made a full move over to home and commercial, adding in other things builders wanted us to do, such as the communications and security wiring. They wanted us to cover all of the low-voltage category.

 

Obot Electric and Obot Energy, appear on your website as corollary businesses for your installation operation. Why did you develop these service offerings? And what are the advantages to being a one-stop shop - providing “end-to-end solutions,” as you say on your web site - for clients, relating to these corollary disciplines?

“Obot” stands for “on budget, on time.” What would happen is, when we’d go to install a home theater for someone, and we’d need power for a projector or for a TV and power for lighting control and shading as well. We would usually sub that work out to electricians, but often, they would prioritize their work over ours. We’d have a Lutron lighting control job set up to do on a Tuesday, and the electrician was supposed to be there and couldn’t show up till Friday. So I wanted to be able to control the whole customer experience, to make sure we could deliver the system [in a timely way] to our clients.

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Fine Tuning Automation

Fast-growing Bellevue firm Wipliance believes in first taking care of its own

Lyn McKay for 425 Business 
May 22, 2019

With Internet of Things technology powering a growing number of devices in buildings, real-time updates from cloud-stored data becoming the daily norm, and remote management now at consumer fingertips, the idea of personalized building automation has taken on a life of its own.

“We used to spend the majority of our time installing high-end audio/visual systems, but now we install everything from climate control to lighting, window treatments, security, and more, into living and work spaces,” said Lee Travis, owner of Wipliance LLC.

Travis launched Wipliance in 2006 and operates the Bellevue headquarters location; a second location in Scottsdale, Arizona; and an electrical-contracting company. In total, his combined workforce is now 30 strong.

Today, the company supports residential installs, as well as notable commercial building projects such as the new SPIRE luxury condominium tower in downtown Seattle. Other commercial customers include restaurants and bars, tenant improvement contractors, and companies looking to automate board rooms or other conference spaces.

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nexus-event

NEXUS event redux: High-tech, high-rise living in downtown Seattle

BY  on 

PICTURED ABOVE: GeekWire’s Brian Westbrook hosted a panel discussion with thought leaders profiling NEXUS in a new generation of high-tech, high-rise living.
Existing and prospective homeowners attend “At the NEXUS of it All Event”; Celebrate the official topping off of an iconic tower

On April 11th, a series of events atop the Peak Lounge in the Kinects Apartment tower transformed this sky-high venue into an informative neighborhood showcase and a celebration for hundreds of current and prospective homeowners at NEXUS.  Presented by Seattle Magazine, the exhibition included The Downtown Seattle Association, LID I-5, NHL Seattle, Waterfront Seattle, the Washington State Convention Center expansion and NEXUS, which stands front and center in the fastest-growing neighborhood on the West Coast.

“Burrard Group hosted an extraordinary event that illuminated how the northern migration of downtown Seattle positions our homebuyers at the nexus of all,” said Matt VanDamm, Vice President of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR). “We certainly share in the excitement for this pivotal development.”

PICTURED ABOVE: NEXUS by Burrard is a 389-unit, 41-story high-rise condominium, which is 93% presold – the remaining 28 homes were recently released for sale.

The events kicked off with a broker luncheon and open house followed by a GeekWire podcast presented by the FutureCast Forum on “High-Tech, High-Rise Living”. Moderator Brian Westbrook hosted panelists including urban living specialist Julie McAvoy of RSIR, development strategist Billy Mainguy of Burrard Group, home automation expert, Lee Travis of Wipliance and real estate economist Brian O’Connor of O’Connor Consulting Group. Among the key findings, downtown Seattle is entering a housing cycle of increased homeownership following a record number of apartments being built, largely fueled by a tech-driven economy. Consumers desire a progressive, in-city lifestyle that is optimized by home automation and a sense of community that is activated by exclusive to building apps and thoughtful amenities that encourage owners and friends to converge and connect. Meanwhile, NEXUS was notably referenced as the archetype of such next generation development and remarkably, it is the only residential opportunity offered for individual homeownership in the burgeoning neighborhood.

 

“We forecast strong job growth and housing demand to continue well into the next decade as Seattle’s tech hub resists any slowdown that may be experienced in the national economic cycle,” said O’Connor. “The challenge however, will be affordability. New developments like NEXUS are experiencing construction hard cost increases of 6-8% per year, which increases the price of supply ahead.”

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