Utilizing Virtual Technology During the Coronvius Pandemic

Utilizing Virtual Technology During the Coronvius Pandemic

In just a few short months the Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, has gone from an isolated outbreak in China to a global pandemic. While personal and family health has remained a top priority, we are also modifying the way we do business, travel, and educate our children.

If necessity is the mother of invention, adaptation is the father of survival. Learning to leverage virtual reality in our lives is a natural transition. Our modern-day activities that once required an in-person presence can now be accomplished virtually. 

Virtual Reality (VR) has come a long way with capabilities that stretch far beyond gaming. VR can help make the workday feel more professional, education more engaging, and bring all the sites of your favorite vacation spot to your home as you keep yourself and your family safe.

BUSINESS

Video calls and conferences are being widely used to keep us connected in a wide range of business situations, but in many cases, they are proving to be insufficient. There’s no substitute for being in the same room as your team members or coworkers. That being said,  VR technology is gaining traction in keeping the lines of communication open in both B2B and B2C activities.

Utilizing VR in business allows you to gather together with your colleagues without possible exposure to the virus and without the need for travel. Products from Oculus (https://business.oculus.com/) have upped the quality of VR experiences and made virtual meetings and training sessions a reality. It’s now possible for participants to feel as though they’re interacting in the same virtual space. This 3D environment facilitates remote communication and collaboration in unprecedented ways. 

Business training is one of the most important VR applications because you can place your employees in realistic settings. 

If you are taking a more individualized approach, Oculus VirtualSpeech gives your employees the opportunity to hone in on their public speaking skills. You can upload slides for presentations and receive real-time feedback on delivery. You can even receive an eye-contact rating.

TOURISM

VR tours are proving to be useful ways too, including allowing anyone in quarantine to tour America’s national parks or visit the Smithsonian National Museum of National History without leaving home, VR also allows you to travel anywhere in the world without leaving the safety of your living room. 

Google has been on the cutting edge of VR travel technology with Google Earth VR which lets you explore the world via headset by strolling around or soaring above the most famous places on earth. Most recently, this tech giant has released The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks which allows you to take 360-degree tours of some of the most remote and beautiful places in the United States.

EDUCATION

The coronavirus has led to the temporary closure of schools worldwide. According to en.unesco.org, these closures have affected over 87% of the world’s student population. In a matter of weeks, students across the globe found themselves in temporary home-schooling situations.

New educational approaches could result in innovations to narrow the gap caused by the digital divide, and there are companies who have already been focusing on providing new educational options via the VR learning environment. Teachers around the globe are finding new ways to use VR technology to connect with students, bridging the gap created by social distancing. 

Tools like the Expeditions app, originally intended to bring virtual reality and augmented reality into the classroom, could prove just as effective at bringing the classroom into students’ homes. 

Apple has created tools, such as headsets, to combine virtual reality with augmented reality. It is currently developing the ability to record AR and VR experiences to be watched again later or transmitted to others. While it’s already possible to record live gameplay, this application would enable you to capture both real-world and computer-generated elements.

WHAT’S NEXT

These are unprecedented times and we have to continue looking for ways to interact and stimulate our well being. Through virtual reality, social interaction seems possible and can reduce our levels of anxiety and isolation, along with improving our quality of life. 

Contact us to learn more about how virtual reality technology can help get you through the Coronavirus pandemic, and beyond, as well as give our recommendations on VR products that may be useful for you.

The Importance of Collaboration for Architects, Interior Designers & AV Specialists

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For years, architects and interior designers have done an impressive job for homeowners, commercial and office spaces, dedicated to delivering their client’s wants and needs. However, in this digital age, much has changed. Audiovisual technology has revolutionized the way building spaces are imagined and designed, creating a new paradigm that requires architects, interior designers, and AV specialists to work together from the initial stages of any construction project.

Here is why it’s of utmost importance this trio should work together:

 

Maintaining the Aesthetics of the Design:

Most clients prefer to conceal AV technology in their homes or offices. They want a design that is functional yet beautiful. Designers benefit by having an AV specialist know a room’s layout through their vision. They will be able to locate any hidden-behind-the-wall impediments that may affect special lighting features, sound systems, or designated entertainment areas. They are also vital in creating and designing quality technology systems that achieve seamless integration within a space both aesthetically and efficiency in performance.

Some home improvements can cost a lot of money while adding no significant value to your home. On the other hand, an efficient climate control system not only lowers your bills but also provides a strong selling point if you ever decide to part with your home in future. Because most buyers weigh the cost of energy bills, HVAC repairs, and replacement while looking for a home to buy, having an efficient climate-control system in place will attract potential buyers.

 

Keeping The Overall Vision:

By partnering with an AV specialist, architects and designers can rest assured their vision for the look and feel of the space will be maintained, as well as the timeline of installing these components. 

 

Maintaining Architectural/Structural Design: 

When it comes to the construction phase, architects should consider any AV technology system that is within the plan. Designing and specifying all AV systems at the initial phase of any architectural project will ensure that the systems get the necessary financial plan. Unfortunately, audiovisual technology is often overlooked, leading to further complications down the line. AV is an expensive technology to retrofit if it’s not incorporated in the initial phases. When working together with architects, AV specialists ensure that all the necessary elements are included in the construction phase.

 

Coexistence of Devices:

Installing different AV technologies is not as easy as it seems. There is a lot to consider before various technologies become functional. Different devices have an impact on each other. To mitigate the challenges that come with the multiple devices coexisting, coordination from the interior designers, architects, and AV specialists is crucial.

 

Cost-Effective:

The risk of not involving an AV specialist in the architectural and interior designing process can drive extra costs and trigger other challenges for building owners. AV technology is expensive to retrofit when not incorporated in the initial design phase.

 

Staying Current on Technological Trends:

As an architect or designer, it can be challenging to stay current about other aspects of the job that aren’t directly related to your specialty. Because technology is continually evolving, few architects and designers are aware of all the technical aspects of the latest technology. Partnering with an AV specialist will ensure you are working with someone who is up to date on all the most recent home technologies, trends, and products. 

 

Summing it Up:

Today, many people want their space to be creatively planned, comfortable, and intriguing. For overall success and to suit the client’s requirements, the collaboration of architects, interior designers, and AV specialist is necessary.

 

Learn more by contacting SAGE today

When Technology Meets Interior Design

WHEN TECHNOLOGY MEETS INTERIOR DESIGN

These days, exceptional interior design demands the adoption of technology. While technology used to be a stumbling block to flawless interior design, today, the best interior designers have the skills to incorporate technology into home designs to enhance the style, functionality, and sustainability of spaces while maintaining the integrity of their design

Installations such as TVs and sound systems that would get in the way or were an eyesore are now able to simply blend in or disappear. 

So, whether you are remodeling your home, or performing a much-needed upgrade, here are some technologies that your interior designer should be aware of.

Mirror TVs

 

One of the most common challenges interior designers face today is successfully blending entertainment with style. One product that has effortlessly accomplished this is the Mirror TV.  Mirror TV functions like your normal TV; allowing you to watch all your favorite shows and movies. However, unlike a normal TV that turns to a dark screen when turned off, a Mirror TV is designed to look like a framed mirror, beautifully adorning your walls.

Mirror TVs are stylistic and practical and great for living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. Smaller sizes are great for bathrooms and kitchens, while the large sizes are ideal for living rooms and bedrooms. 

Beautifully framed mirror TVs relieve you of the monotony of installing many plain mirrors as well as having bulky TV equipment in each room. It is also pretty captivating the instance you turn a mirror into a TV by the touch of a button.

They have lots of options to choose from in terms of color, finishing, and frames. 

 

TV Lifts

 Gone are the days when flat screens were only mounted on walls. TV lifts are all the rage for modern homes and offices. Functionally, it helps to make minimalistic designs a success—you have a TV that doesn’t occupy space on the walls, and no unsightly wires either. The most common TV lift devices are Pop-Up, Pop-Down, Wall Panel, and Monitor lift systems. 

The Under Bed TV lift is a unique mechanism that stores your flat screen under your bed. This eliminates the need for installing cabinetry at the foot of your bed. It is a compact and sleek pop-up design that helps create a different dimension in your room as its revealed and concealed by the use of a motorized flap.

An in-ceiling TV lift ensures complete integration of your TV and space while offering functionality and discretion. It offers you the theatre experience as you operate it automatically from your seat.

 

Motorized Panels

When it comes to interior design, motorized panels offer a wide range of benefits. These panels are designed to hide TVs or hide rooms. They can slide back at the push of a button to expose a TV when being watched and make it disappear when not needed.

Motorized panels are a functional and aesthetic solution for both home and office. They can be custom made in a variety of textures, patterns, finishes, and grains. You can choose between artwork and fabric movable panels. These panels are great at hiding anything you don’t want people to see all the time.

Invisible Speakers

Invisible speakers, commonly known as tape-in/plaster speakers, have become popular fixtures in both homes and offices. The concept of invisible speakers is not entirely new. However, advances in sound technology have made these systems quite trendy. They are installed in wall and ceiling cavities, taking up no extra space. And, they don’t just blend into the wall or ceiling, they become part of it. More so, these high tech speakers sound quality remains crisp, even through walls and ceilings. 

Trufig

If you’re taking the time to invest in the most up-to-date technology for your home, you also want to ensure your surroundings and contents are aesthetically pleasing. Trufig is a revolutionary flush mounting system that provides you the option of keeping the integrity of your design vision, eliminating conspicuous and bulky design flaws. From phone plates to switches/dimmers to home automation keypads and electrical outlets, this innovative technology eliminates protrusions from finished wall surfaces, complementing the architecture and creating a harmonious design, rather than distracting from it.

Custom Lighting Controls

Sublime interior design always takes into account lighting controls. A typical centralized lighting system makes a huge improvement by reducing “wall acne”. A bank of 6 or 7 light switches can be replaced with a clean single gang keypad. That being said, options from Forbes to Lomax, Meljac and Bocce take it one step further and definitely add a new level of excitement to design. These companies offer a variety of button and toggle solutions that blend in nicer with the decor. They can be integrated into your lighting system but also be programmed to control your window shades or even your music.

Working with the Right Interior Designer

As technology continuously advances, it is imperative that interior designers are aware of these emerging trends and their correlation to interior design. This allows for ingenious contributions in functionality, style, aesthetics, and proper use of space. Regardless of what you’re looking to upgrade in your home, finding an interior designer is the easy part, but finding one that knows all the new aesthetic options available will make the difference between an average upgrade or a technologically-superior one.

Gifts That Keep On Giving

GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING

This holiday season, give gifts that keep on giving. These luxury gifts are sure to deliver enjoyable, impressive experiences day after day.

Sony 8K TV

As 2019 edges into 2020, a new wave of television technology is emerging: 8K Ultra high def TVs. This upgrade doubles the resolution of the older 4K models and sets the standard for larger television sets. Granted there isn’t much content today (if any) but if you are looking for the best and want to make someone real happy, the only way to go is the Sony 98″ Master Series (XBR-98Z9G) for $69,999. If you don’t love the person that much, then the 85″ model is a steal at just under 13K.

Custom Meridian Speakers

Do you and your loved one pour a glass of boxed wine when you get home from work? No, your tongue would hate you, so why are you being so mean to your ears each night? You don’t realize the true sound quality of your favorite songs until you listen to them in MQA format on a pair of Meridian DSP 8000 Special Edition Loudspeakers. Priced at $84,000, these are the largest and most powerful Meridian offers. The sleek lines and smooth design of their speakers help to make Meridian speakers become a part of the décor, rather than an eyesore. And as an added bonus, you can purchase these speakers in any color you want. So, if you need them in Ferrari Red to match your car, you’re in luck!

Full Swing Golf Simulator

Want to play Pebble Beach in your pajamas? Who doesn’t! Thanks to the Full Swing Golf Simulator, starting at $50,000 you can play whenever you want. Rain or shine, clothed or not… Just bring your clubs. 

The Full Swing Golf Simulator is an amazingly accurate in-home golfing system. Weather is no longer a factor in keeping golfers from their favorite pastime. Additionally, the system includes a swing analysis that gives real-time feedback. This information, coupled with coaching tips, provides invaluable insight. So, for the golfer who has everything, this is the only gift choice that would make an impact.

Focal Utopia by Tournaire

If you are looking for a gift smaller in size then look no further than Focal. They have long been a leader in audio technology, but recently, they decided to enter the luxury personal listening market with the Focal Utopia by Tournaire, one of the world’s most sought after luxury jewelry brands.

Together, this duo outdid themselves and everybody else with these $120,000 gold and diamond-encrusted headphones. With 18k gold and 6k in diamonds, these headphones don’t make the sound quality any worse. How can you go wrong? 

KETRA – The Modern Lighting Solution

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When it comes to creating ambiance, lighting is one of the more integral elements. Many traditional lighting systems don’t have the ability to create the desired appearance without sacrificing a natural look. Moreso, most lighting products on the market these days only offer one consistent color temperature. Exposure to a constant and unchanging light can have negative impacts on sleep patterns as well as other health concerns such as stress, depression, and more. Not anymore. Now, thanks to Ketra, you can achieve the aesthetics you desire, whether it be day or night, while simultaneously improving your health and happiness.

Ketra is revolutionizing the lighting industry with the usage of natural light, focusing on the development of lighting products that produce the highest quality and range of natural lighting systems. Ketra’s lights differ from all others on the market in that they focus on creating lighting systems that mimic subtle color shifts that occur during the day.

Ketra offers several key elements:

Circadian Rhythm

You may have heard of the circadian rhythm and its importance it plays in keeping you healthy. The circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock. When your circadian rhythm is thrown off, your health can suffer. Studies have shown how light greatly affects the circadian rhythm. Prolonged exposure to artificial, static light can disrupt your circadian rhythm, negatively impacting your mental and physical well being. Ketra’s lighting mimics the subtle color shades and intensity shifts of natural light, which allow your body to maintain its optimum circadian rhythm.

Personalization

Ketra lamps and luminaries are capable of providing a wide range of illumination options for both homes and businesses. From general lighting to decorative and task-oriented lighting, you can control the settings you wish to use. Each product features a custom driver chip that assures perfect calibration of light throughout the product’s lifetime. But it doesn’t stop there. Ketra’s Design Studio software provides an unlimited amount of curated content. Their color mixing feature enables you to enjoy adjustable temperatures from 1,400k to 10,000k, ranging from white to pastels, as well as endless saturation and enhancement options.

Integrated Control Systems

Ketra’s integrated control system connects via WiFi or the internet and gives users the ability to control their lights from either a computer or mobile application. Their control systems allow for precise control of lighting intensity, activation, and customized settings. Ketra’s unique system is easy to use and scalable to accommodate any size of the installation, whether it be commercial or residential. For even more flexibility, Ketra offers sleek and stylish wall mounted keypads that can fit discreetly into any decor.

Proper lighting inside your home or buildings is crucial. Gone are the days of one size fits all lighting systems. With Ketra’s products, your premises will soon be on the way to towards providing increased comfort, health and productivity.

Contact SAGE today to learn more.

Building a Home? You should Pre-Wire it!

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Building a new home is a great accomplishment requiring significant investments in both building materials and fixtures. In the days of smart technology, incorporating security and automation pre-wired solutions should be done at the planning stage. Pre-wiring means you can install your choice systems because the infrastructure allows you to do so, whereas, wiring as an afterthought will limit you as you can only do so much in a complete house.

At SAGE, we compiled a list of reasons why you should consider pre-wiring your new home for high-tech automation systems:

Integrated Security Connection

Modern security systems provide more than simple door locks. Automated security systems combine alarms with lighting controls to keep your home secure. It gives life to your home and the notion that there is occupancy at all times. Security automation minimizes risks of burglary, intrusion and unwarranted vandalism. The automation links with your smart phones and tablets to control and observe your home security from anywhere. Implementing the home security and automation plans in advance ensures you begin to use your systems the moment you move in.

 

Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring allows you to monitor the activities around your home from anywhere. It alerts you of the impending problems that can occur at your residence while you are away. Potential water leaks can prevent expensive harm caused by malfunctioning AC units, leaking pipes, water heaters, or ice makers. A high-temperature alarm averts mold growth and protects vulnerable family members as well as your pets from getting ill due to the abnormal temperatures if your AC unit fails.

 

Entertainment Systems

Your new home should have a centralized pre-wired solution for your entertainment units. It prepares your home for all possible purchases or installation of home theater systems sound from invisible speakers, entertainment spots, and television sets. It also includes a centralized point of control for all the wiring connection. Smart technologies in home prewire automation and security solutions make your life convenient and comfortable.

 

Future Connections with Pre-wiring Systems

You may not need to connect all the pre-wire networks in your home right now but may consider future installations like surveillance cameras and outdoor entertainment units. This allows room for future expansions with your pre-fixed technologies. Pre-wiring your new house while under construction gives you the freedom to choose where you want things to be which you may not have when it is complete.

On the other hand, your assets may increase later after you have moved in and you now need more security functions.

Having pre-wired systems will give you all the flexibility you need.

 

Resale Value

A well-constructed and well-maintained home are the envy of most people. The effort does not go to waste when you are looking to resell your home in future. Modern technology pre-wiring raises your home value in the property markets. In the ever-changing real estate market, most buyers want a home that will require minimal changes or renovations for the sake of their wallets.

 

Concealed Wires

Prewiring protects cables allowing you to construct a centralized connection. You can store your equipment like amplifiers, and AV receivers in one place or protect the wiring in an invisible enclosed area. In addition, concealed wires and cables are more tamper proof than exposed ones running all over the walls.

 

Protect Your Decor

Prewiring prevents many obstructions from the naked wiring systems hanging from the exterior walls. It neatly with cable covers that will not interfere with painting jobs and your home décor. Pre-wired cables and systems look aesthetically pleasing which is one of the reasons your home will be better valued; it looks good.

 

Cost Effective

You save expensive retrofitting costs by having a technician pre-wire when the infrastructure is still accessible. It is always more cost effective to have the wiring down during the construction phase. Installing security and automation as an afterthought will cause your technician to bill you for spooling and stapling cable throughout your house.

Contact SAGE to learn more about pre-wiring your home or schedule a consultation today