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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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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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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wipliance-jaymarc

10 Home Design Trends Making a Statement in Seattle

The next generation of interior design will move you.

 MARC ROUSSO, CEO, JAYMARC HOMES, FUTURECAST FORUM MEMBER | Updated: November 27, 2018
Originally Appeared in Seattle Mag

10453 SE 19th St Bellevue - $3,468,888 (Monte Carlo Plan)

Sponsored by Realogics, Inc.

The tech industry has planted deep roots in the greater Seattle area, and it was only going to be a matter of time before it made its mark on housing. It has been a lot of fun to integrate more innovative technology into our homes, such as “smart” thermostats and remote lighting controls. But, just as transitional design fuses modern materials with more classic architectural design, cutting-edge components are seamlessly integrated within tried-and-true planning to deliver the best of both worlds. After all, who would want to live inside a server room?

We look at technology in terms of how it can relevantly enhance the classic comforts of home. These are some of the trends that we see continuing into the near future – you’ll notice lots of the familiar on a larger, more luxurious scale. Ultimately, we all want to love where we live.

1. Islands: The Bigger the Better

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smart-home

Top 10 Tech Transformations for a Smarter Home

How modern home design is taking the fiction out of sci-fi.

 CAMERON ALAVI, WIPLIANCE  | Updated: November 27, 2018

The concept of the smart home is no longer reserved for sci-fi flicks and Jetson-esque cartoons, which just a few short years ago may have seemed lifetimes away. Increasingly more homes are becoming connected, intelligent, and changing the way we live our daily lives, moving us closer to the once fictionalized idea of a technologically advanced home. As demand for smarter homes increases, these ten trends are quickly weaving their way into home design across the Puget Sound and beyond:

1. Advanced Home Networking

It seems difficult to imagine living our lives without access to the internet. Much in the same way that people depend on the internet, so do smart homes and the devices in them. Many experts refer to this as the “Internet of Things”, or the network of devices, appliances, and features that we operate with wireless, mobile and voice controls to create a smart home. The most basic prerequisite for a smart home is a solid internet connection and very good in-home Wi-Fi. Sticking a router in your laundry room and hoping for the best simply doesn’t cut it anymore because every device, from surveillance cameras to thermostats, needs to live on the network if it is going to be integrated into the home. The network structure in today’s smart homes typically consists of enterprise class networking equipment including several strategically placed Wireless Access Points (WAPs) to ensure that the whole home is blanketed in solid Wi-Fi coverage.

Image courtesy of Wipliance

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425 Northwest Idea House

Originally Appeared in 425 Magazine 

Lisa Patterson | Sept. 21. 2017 

Blocks away from an evolving downtown Bellevue and its ever-changing skyline, and steps from Meydenbauer Bay, is a stunning home perched on a hill overlooking Whaler’s Cove. This year’s 425 Northwest Idea House built by JayMarc Homes of Mercer Island and designed by Medici Architects of Bellevue is a 5,690-square-foot masterpiece — every detail meticulously thought out and executed to perfection.

“It turned out beautiful,” said Marc Rousso, president of JayMarc Homes. “It has really nice views, especially at night. But my favorite part about this project was allowing people to showcase their talents — that is the coolest part, that the team could come together and really show what they can do.”

Rousso and his best childhood friend, Jay Mezistrano, have been business partners since college. JayMarc Homes has been building homes on Mercer Island and in Bellevue for seven years and has grown to 33 team members who collectively have about “450 years of experience” in the industry.

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