How to Control Your Automated Home With Natural Speech

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Introducing Josh.ai, the Voice Control That Understands You

We've discussed how voice control adds another dimension to home automation in your Charlotte, NC home. Systems like Amazon Alexa add hands and eyes-free control to all the capabilities of your smart home.

If there’s one knock on these popular systems, it’s that sometimes you have to say things a certain way to be understood. It’s frustrating when your hands are full, you need to turn on a light, and you have to repeat a voice command.

Undoubtedly, these systems are continually learning and get better all the time. But there is one that has been designed from the start to make it easier to control your home with just your voice – Josh.ai. Keep reading to learn more about this new and innovative approach to voice control.

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Smart Home News for Control4 System Owners

Smart Home News for Control4 System Owners

Technology is never stagnant. Innovation requires that every gadget or device should constantly be improved upon, and your smart home automation system is no exception. We make sure that you have the latest tech at your fingertips. In this blog we'll cover some of the newest features you can experience from our top partner Control4.

SEE ALSO: 3 WAYS A CONTROL4 SYSTEM CAN TRANSFORM YOUR CHARLOTTE, NC HOME

Wearable Technology

The first time you saw someone talk into their watch to issue an important command, it was probably on Star Trek or in a James Bond film. But today this technology has been realized with the Apple Watch and various other models. According to Forbes, 245 million wearable devices are expected to ship in 2019. People want to wear their tech because it's portable, convenient, and just plain cool. Control4 just released news that you can now control your Control4 smart home with the Apple Watch. Open the Control4 app on your watch and enjoy these features:

Media: See what audio or video that is playing in each room in your house and change volume, add additional rooms, or turn things off.
Thermostats: See all thermostats in your home, adjust the temperature, and apply presets.
Lighting: Control individual lights in any room of your house or activate lighting scenes that control many lights at the same time.
Security: Check status of locks, unlock or lock doors, and open or close garage doors.
Local or Remote: Control your home from the comfort of your couch, or use your watch when you're away at work or traveling.

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Smart Home Automation Adds Value to Your Property in Several Ways

Smart Home Automation Adds Value to Your Property in Several Ways

Home automation is a growing industry, forecasted to exceed $5.5 billion in 2016. But what exactly is home automation? Imagine all of your devices and appliances are networked together to provide you with seamless control of every aspect of your home.

The team at The Integrated Home has more than 40 years of experience in all facets of the automation industry. Based in Charlotte, we serve clients throughout the region by providing design, consulting, and implementation services for both residential and commercial projects.

Using a smartphone, tablet, or in-wall touch panel you dictate how the various systems in your property behave. Dim the lights, adjust the thermostat, or change the music playing throughout your home all by pressing a button.

Each of our homes and offices are unique spaces with specific needs. We strive to enhance your lifestyle by providing exceptional technology solutions based on what you want. We can upgrade one room in your home or outfit your entire office with advanced technology solutions. We design and install allows for future expansion. We believe in building a technology relationship for the long-term focused on your evolving needs.

    Some of our services include:
  • Control 4® System Installation
  • Media room design, build and implementation
  • Climate control system integration
  • Whole house audio and video
  • Home lighting control systems
  • Central vacuum and indoor air filtration systems
  • Surveillance/access control systems
  • Corporate boardroom integration

Check out our Project Gallery to see snapshots of a few of our projects. Let us customize your home or office with simple, easy-to-use solutions that fit your lifestyle and your budget. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary assessment of your project and to learn more about the team at The Integrated Home.

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What Builders Need to Know About Working with a Smart Home Installer

Are you a builder or architect in the Charlotte, NC, area looking to bring smart home automation to your next project? This task can seem a bit daunting at first, especially if you don’t know much about smart technology, but we can assure you that you don’t have to become an expert overnight to bring these solutions to your clients’ homes.

By working with a smart integrator like The Integrated Home, you’ll eliminate any issues that might come up in the installation. In this blog, we’ll dive into the process and what teaming up with our integrators means for you and your project.

Want to find out more? Keep reading!

SEE ALSO: WHY BUILDERS SHOULD BRING HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEMS TO THEIR PROJECTS

Constant Communication Throughout Installation

One of the main concerns builders have before they begin on a smart-home build is how much knowledge they need regarding integrated technology and systems. If you’re going it alone, one knowledge gap can cause problems.

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Trust an HTA-Certified Integrator for Smart Home Automation

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The Integrated Home Celebrates Three Years as a Luxury Tier HTA Dealer

If you’d like to bring multi-room audio, a home theater, or smart technology to your Charlotte, NC home, you want to be sure it works perfectly, looks great, and will be installed without delays or issues. But if you’re using a DIY approach or hire a subpar integrator, you may be left with a mess of wires, a system that isn’t wholly connected or is challenging to upgrade years down the line.  

So how can you ensure your smart home automation installation is the best? Look for an HTA Certified integrator. The Home Technology Association upholds the only industry standard of excellence for home technology installation companies. In Charlotte, The Integrated Home has been a Luxury Tier member for the past three years. We’ll explain what that means and more below!

 

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3 Ways to Merge Smart Technologies with Design Plans

Smart home automation isn’t a thing of the future – it’s for the here and now. But as a builder or designer, it can seem a bit daunting to bring it to your latest Charlotte, NC, construction or project.

Not to worry – that’s why our team of experts at the Integrated Home is here to help throughout the whole process. But you might still wonder how you can integrate smart tech seamlessly into your building and design plans without causing disruption.

In this blog, we’ll dive into the various ways smart technologies cannot only merge nicely with existing décor but can also enhance it. Take a look below to learn why your clients will be happy to see smart features blended in with your home’s design choices.

SEE ALSO: WHAT BUILDERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WORKING WITH A SMART HOME INSTALLER

Hidden Audio Video Features

A home entertainment system doesn’t have to take up a room’s space the entire time. When a smart TV isn’t in use, homeowners can easily have an installed wall panel slide over it to display artwork or a mirror instead, adding a flair to the room or making the room look larger.

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Worried for Your Home’s Safety? Control4 Can Help

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Why Now Is the Time to Increase Security with Smart Home Automation

In the midst of a pandemic, many Americans fear that things could take a turn for the worse. While authorities are distracted elsewhere, is your home more vulnerable to break-ins, robberies, and looting? There are fewer people on the streets to witness crimes, and with high unemployment, people may become desperate.

Even if no one attempts to ransack your house, there are other precautions we need to take during this time. For example, social distancing makes it challenging to answer the door without possibly putting your family at risk.  


Luckily, Control4 smart home automation helps with all safety issues, both large and small. Whether you have a Control4 system already in place or are new to smart technology, continue reading to see how it can give you peace of mind for your Weddington, NC home.

 

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What’s New from Your Charlotte Pinnacle Control4 Dealer?

We are a proud Pinnacle Control4 Dealer because they are always coming out with new and exciting products that we think will benefit our Charlotte, NC area customers. Not only is Control4 smart home automation user-friendly, it’s also customizable. The personalization features of the user interface makes Control4 stand out amongst the other smart home manufacturers. Recently, Control4 announced some new upgrades, called “When>>Then Personalization.” Read this blog to learn all about it.

SEE ALSO: One App to Rule them All

What is When>>Then Personalization?

The control device is one of the most important elements of a smart home. With Control4’s 4Sight App, you can customize your home any way you like at any time. This new feature allows you to fine-tune your system depending on your changing tastes in music, your schedule and more. 

For example, if your work schedule is going to change around the holidays, meaning you will be working later hours, you can program you home accordingly. This tool is also useful for when family members come for a visit and may want to adjust your home to make themselves comfortable. You can experiment with the settings and then change it back to the way it was when you need to. 

Let’s say your mother is coming for a visit around Thanksgiving and she likes to keep the home warmer than you. You can change the thermostat and any other settings like the shades, lights and more while she is visiting that week and then change them back to your personal preferences when she leaves. When>>Then Personalization ensures you never lose all of those valuable settings you loved before, and you can play with some new ones too. 

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Top 5 Smart Gifts for That Special Someone

No one wants to give an average gift. You want your friend, partner, or family member to feel loved, appreciated and special. Consider how a luxury smart device installed in their Charlotte, NC home can enhance the person’s lifestyle. So what are these are the top tech gifts of the season? We cover them below! One of these home automation accessories is sure to be the perfect gift for that special someone.

SEE ALSO: 3 Ways to Get Ready for the Holidays

  1. Sonos One with Amazon Alexa

Sonos has combined the proprietary voice-control technology of Amazon Alexa with their incredible Play:1 speaker to bring you the best of both worlds. You can browse thousands of song titles with your voice, manage your busy schedule, and enjoy all of the other benefits of Alexa. The Sonos One with Alexa can play Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM and so much more with a simple voice command.

  1. Apple TV 4K: $179

This gift would be perfect for the movie-lover who wants to watch everything in 4K. It comes with a voice control feature, so you can browse for titles by simply saying the name of what you are looking for, and the home screen is ad-free. This device is also the only streaming box that supports Dolby Vision, which is a huge plus. The colors on the screen will pop, and the images will look crisper with this brand new 4K streaming device.

  1. Amazon Echo 2nd Generation: $99.99

The Echo still stands as one of the top gifts for the holiday season. Their 2nd generation model has a number of new and exciting features, including unique colors and Dolby sound upgrade. You can choose from an oak or walnut finish, sleek silver, and soft fabrics in charcoal and heather grey or white sandstone. In addition to the music upgrade and colors, the new Echo can also hear you better since it has seven built-in microphones for voice recognition.

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One App to Rule Them All

One App to Rule Them All

It seems like everyone keeps saying, “there’s an app for that.” But if you continue to add apps to your smartphone, not only will you overload your phone, but you’ll also get app clutter. When it comes time to clean out the closet so to speak, you have to assess which ones you actually use on a daily basis and which ones you can do without.

DIY smart homes create app clutter because each time you buy a new device you have to download the app onto your phone. Buy a Sonos speaker for your Charlotte, NC property? You have to use the app to stream music wirelessly. Have a Nest thermostat? You have to open the app every time you want to change the temperature from afar. 

But what if you could simply open one app and use it to control your Sonos speaker, Nest thermostat, Lutron lights and shades and so much more? The answer is integration. The word may sound very lofty and you may even be reaching for a dictionary right now, but it means that you are connecting separate systems into one unified system. With smart home automation you can control every separate device with just one user interface. 

One amazing benefit of working with a Control4 dealer like us, is that you don’t have to get rid of the brands you know and love. We can connect them together and put them under the Control4 app. 

One App, One Solution

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How to Integrate Your Vehicle into Your Smart Home

How to Integrate Your Vehicle into Your Smart Home

We have covered a lot of details about how to use automation in your Charlotte, NC home, but what about your car? How does your vehicle fit into your electronic lifestyle? Many auto manufacturers are adding the newest automation technology to their cars, which is great for smart home owners—especially if you use Control4. Here are a few things you can do by integrating your ride into your smart home system. 

SEE ALSO: Update Your Charlotte Home with These Three Trends

Push to Start

You’ve seen the option to use a push button to start your vehicle, but what if you could take this to the next level and start your car from inside your house? With Control4, we can integrate your smart car into your system so all you have to do is touch a button on your mobile device and start the car early before you step foot out the door. This is especially helpful on those extra cold days when you want to warm up the car before you venture outside. It may not get below zero in Charlotte, but there are those times when you tend to run to your car to avoid the chills.

You can even set a daily schedule for the car to start 10 minutes before you leave for work. But if you don’t want to use up the extra gas, you could set the task to occur only when the temperature drops below 30 degrees. So you get to decide how cold is just too cold for you!

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How Can Smart Home Automation Improve Your Concord, NC Residence?

At The Integrated Home, we get a lot of questions about smart home automation. Our clients in the Concord, North Carolina area want to know what integrated technology can do for their property, and why it’s worthwhile to upgrade new and existing houses with the latest equipment. We’ve heard your questions, and we think it’s about time to answer some of them. In this blog, we’ll take you through the basics: what is smart automation, how it can improve your home, and why it’s a great investment for your present and your future. If you’re interested in enhancing your lifestyle with added convenience, security and fun, read on to learn more.

What is Smart Home Automation?

The answer is simple: it’s a way of taking control of the different devices in your house, and making them work together for an easier and more convenient life. It’s more than simply having remote controlled shades in the living room or motion sensing lights in the yard; it’s integrating these disparate components so that you can control them with the press of one button.

The Integrated Home’s professionals are experts at seamlessly incorporating technology into your home. Augment the look of your dining room with smart lighting, adjust the temperature with an automated thermostat, and choose the perfect playlist for an elegant dinner party with a single, intuitive control device. Do the same throughout your house for a more comfortable and beautiful lifestyle.

How Can Smart Technology Improve Your Home? 

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Control4 Allows Families to Live Smarter

Control4 has been one of our longstanding partners, offering reliable and simple controls to families and individuals who seek high-quality technology. With mobile apps and smart home trends on the rise, Control4 has made some improvements to their systems and also added new products and features to their solutions.

The Integrated Home is excited to announce and explain some of this new technology to you. If you already have a Control4 system in your Charlotte, NC home and want to add some of these new features, or you have been waiting for the right system to come along to get you jump started, you should read on. Here’s a few of the latest innovations from this premier company.

OS 2.7 Software & Climate Control Features

Control4 has designed an elegant new user interface that provides easy and interactive climate control in the home or from miles away. Their “Comfort Control Experience” gives you quick access to all your thermostats’ functions and presets. The presets allow you to save all of your HVAC settings and recall them with one touch, or simply have them take effect automatically on a schedule or when a designated event occurs.

The climate comfort experience is designed to work with leading HVAC systems and includes control of temperature, heat/cool set-points, thermostat mode, fan speed, and humidity levels.

Control4 also now has their own battery-powered and wireless thermostat that has been designed in partnership with Aprilaire. It delivers a consistently comfortable home and features enhanced compatibility for use with more modern HVAC systems that have geothermal, dual fuel, and humidity control systems for increased flexibility and comfort. Additionally, the new wireless thermostat can be powered using AC power or batteries, allowing for maximum installation flexibility.

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Amazing Smart Home Products You Won’t Find on Black Friday

Amazing Smart Home Products You Won’t Find on Black Friday

Some people like to shop on Black Friday so they can snatch up those amazing deals, while others avoid the stores like the plague because of the massive crowds. For the families who want to avoid the lines, there’s always Cyber Monday. But if you are a techie and want the best home theater products or smart home automation gadgets, you may be hard-pressed to find what you are looking for – even online. Sometimes retail stores make price cuts on those hot items, but most of the time they are trying to get rid of older TV models or less-than stellar tablets. But if you want only the highest-quality products and trustworthy brands, come to The Integrated Home in the Lake Norman, North Carolina area. You’ll never be disappointed with your purchase or wonder if there was a better item out there. We have exclusive partnerships with the best brands in the audio/video business—so you’ll never find them at the shop around the corner. Keep reading to see our list of the best products you won’t find on November 25th.

SEE ALSO: Enjoy Hands-free Automation with Amazon’s Alexa

Lutron Shades: Perhaps you want to spruce up your home with new décor accents, but you also want the convenience of living in a connected home. Instead of buying those discounted curtains, invest in motorized shades by Lutron. Why? Lutron is the number-one trusted brand for lighting and shading products. As a matter of fact, their founder invented the dimmer. With Lutron shades, you’ll be able to lift and lower your window coverings using a remote, mobile app, or keypad on the wall. You also won’t have to sacrifice style since they offer hundreds of styles and fabric selections.

Screen Innovations: Have you ever bought a flat-screen TV, brought it home and then were disappointed by the performance? Or maybe it just didn’t fit the room just right. Screen Innovations has beautiful screens for your living room that beat many TVs on the market. Their Black Diamond model displays vivid picture in broad daylight, without glare. You can leave your windows open on a sunny afternoon and watch a movie or football game in crystal clear picture. When you work with The Integrated Home, you also have the option of hiding your home theater system. We can add a motorized lift to conceal your screen so that it’s displayed only when you use it.

Control4 Remote: There are so many universal remotes at retail stores, but they can’t reliably control your entire smart home. You need a professional integrator to make this possible. Control4 has a smart hand-held remote that can change the temperature, lighting, shading, security, and of course the TV channel. Wouldn’t it be great if you could dim the lights in the living room and turn the channel at the same time? With this exclusive control device you can.

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