In response to the fever pitch of consumer excitement over automation technologies, leading New York City electronics integrator Sakab Designs has opened a multilevel technology experience center that demonstrates the full power and capabilities of the latest home and office automation tools from Nortek Security & Control.

According to Sakab Designs owner Jeff Sakkal, the new showroom offers home and business owners a taste of what’s possible when they invest in an established automation system that ties together everything from lights to door locks to multi-room audio and video.

“We wanted to give local home and business owners a real-life experience that shows how the latest technologies can simplify and improve everyday tasks,” says Sakkal.

“The two-floor experience center uses the robust Elan control system to demonstrate nearly every possible facet of home automation. The main floor shows the system’s residential benefits through zones that include a living room, game room, kitchen and backyard, while the possibilities for businesses are demoed in the second-floor conference room, office space and reception area.”

Sakkal notes that while automation technologies have reached mainstream status in large part due to the introduction of piecemeal DIY solutions, a fully developed family of products installed by a pro provide a desirable, seamless user experience along with greater flexibility and power.

“Nearly all new homeowners want some level of control and automation, but most have only seen the bargain brands and basic capabilities enabled by DIY systems,” comments Sakkal. “Once they see how a fully integrated home can offer the simplicity of one-button control and pre-programmed daily schedules, there’s no comparing it with store-bought options.”

Experience Center Offers More Than Just Residential AV Tech

The top floor of the Experience Center is specifically targeted toward business customers.

Visitors to the Experience Center can witness the value of security products like 2GIG’s Stove and Grill Guard Sensor that sends mobile alerts if an oven or stove is left on accidentally.

“Peace of mind is always a top concern,” says Sakkal, “so advanced security tools and notifications feature prominently in our demo experience.”

The top floor specifically targets business customers with technologies such as Linear Access Control products that enable highly specialized functions for building and room entry systems. Among the highlights are three doors with electronic locks connected to Linear keypads on the outside and “push to exit” buttons on the inside. The doors are also special by themselves, featuring electrified glass windows that automatically change from clear to frosted when the door locks.

“When we provide a demo, Linear’s access technologies and related components like the auto-frosting glass highlight our company’s mastery of the latest tools,” Sakkal said. “We’re showing off technologies that our customers often have never considered or even seen, so the demo is as exciting as it is informative.”

Aesthetics Matter

Another goal of the experience center is to alleviate concerns among home and business owners that technologies have to intrude on a space’s aesthetics. A multi-room video distribution system, for instance, can eliminate the need for a cable box and local wiring at each TV. Likewise, all controls become centrally located on a touchscreen, remote or mobile phone app, allowing spaces to use fewer wall-mounted light switches, thermostats or other unsightly control methods.

“It’s important to show our customers that modern technologies can provide incredible benefits while actually improving the aesthetics and usability of nearly any space,” comments Sakkal.

One of the core benefits of a consolidated system over a DIY solution is having a single app or interface that controls everything. The showroom includes multiple wall-mounted Elan touchpanels, wand-style TV remotes and voice controls to show how simple and user-friendly the system is. Users can do everything from the app, which provides an identical interface on every device, so there’s no longer a need for multiple apps to access different systems.

The experience center is powered by a single Elan gSC10 system controller and includes two multi-zone audio/video controllers. A total of 10 touchpanels show the benefits of different sizes and locations, while cameras and video storage, speakers, thermostats and doorbells highlight the broad range of in-house products available.

Additionally, 4K HDMI extenders from Xantech and power protection and conditioning units from Panamax demonstrate further integration possibilities.

“Allowing prospective clients to see and test all the features and tools for themselves is the only way to convey just how simple and powerful modern control can be,” says Sakkal.