Home Control: Touchscreen VS Smartphone

on Wednesday, 02 March 2016. Posted in Knoxville Home Automation

Which solution works best for controlling a home?



A few years ago, a little thing called the “app” changed the way people interact with the electronics in their homes. With so much hoopla surrounding control apps, it can be easy to forget about one of the most respected user-interfaces available: the dedicated touch screen.  

Don’t let this tried-and-true mode of control slip your mind, though. The dedicated touchscreen, like the new 7- and 10-inch models from Control4, offers a wealth of benefits that no other type of interface can match. The user-interface on a touch screen presents a great deal of information about your house—all in high-resolution quality—from reviewing the current settings of your home’s thermostats and lights, to receiving a status report of electronic door locks and viewing the current weather forecast. With all the pertinent data at your fingertips, organized and laid out in a manner that’s easy to read, the touch screen is arguably the most engaging and intuitive of all user interfaces.

Even as new features get added to a touch screen, like the HD camera, hi-fi speakers and microphone that Control4 recently added to its 7- and 10-inch models, its user-friendliness is never compromised. In fact, with each new function, a touch screen becomes an increasingly more powerful and valuable home control tool.


Touch screens are a fast and responsive user interface that’s always there ready for you to interact with your home. There’s no need to boot up or wait for an app to load. You’re in charge of the electronic system in your house, instantly.

Then there’s the convenience factor. You may not be able to carry a touch screen in your pocket like you can your app-enabled smartphone, but unlike your phone, a touch screen is always right where you left it, never lost between the cushions of your couch. Plus, it’s always powered up and ready to shoot off commands to all the connected devices in your house.

Well all that being said there are also still so many reasons why using a smartphone for home control is great as well. With only a swipe and a tap, smartphone-loving homeowners are in complete charge of everything from thermostats and light switches to complete home automation systems. Convenient? Absolutely. And who can deny the cool factor associated with whipping out a phone while on a date to get the house ready for a nightcap? VIDEO:http://ow.ly/Z1I7V

Heres just a few things possible with apps:

10 ways to use your smartphone for home control

So Smartphone VS. Touchscreen winner? We Just can't decide! Really it just depends on you and your preferences! Give us a call today to start designing your smart home experience and find out which works best for you!

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Go from Bored-room to the BOARDROOM!

on Tuesday, 23 February 2016.

Upgrade your Office with Boardroom Technology

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We’ve heard it many times, “Time to meet in the boardroom". But let’s be honest, how many times do you get ultra-excited to commence another discussion full of PowerPoint presentations and laser pointers that conk out in the middle of the presentation. Chances are you’re reading bored-room instead of boardroom on your way in. So, why aren’t you excited to get in the boardroomThe reason why you’re not fully engaged these days isn’t because of the compelling information you are discussing with your colleagues or presenting to your group.  Perhaps it’s because the technology in the room itself is outdated.

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Whether you’re just starting a business or you’re looking to take your company to the next level, we can do a boardroom technology installation to make your work environment more convenient and effective. Easy-to-use controls can transform the way you conduct meetings, communicate with employees and manage your day. Plus, a strong network and integrated system will allow you to control every aspect of your conference room with the touch of a single button.

An automation system makes it possible for virtually everything in your office or business to work together, from lights to thermostats, TVs to projectors, sound systems to security systems, and much more, your ideas of control can be as unique as your business.  A boardroom stuck in the old century surely can't meet the efficiency, productivity, and elegance of a boardroom integrated with the most up-to-date systems modern technology has to offer.  

5 Ways to Upgrade & Get the Best outof your Boardroom:


fast handoff roamingA strong network is the backbone of your business operations. Your audio, video, lighting, shading, climate and security system can all be controlled from a single mobile device—like a smartphone or tablet –when you have Internet-enabled, wireless technology. We can combine wireless and wired solutions to build a robust network that can support all of your systems. Without it, your calls over the Internet might lag, or get dropped altogether. It’s crucial to have Internet access at all times in today’s global marketplace. Poor performance could ruin a presentation or an important phone call. A Wireless Controller Kit is also a great thing to have in an office with multiple wifi connections. This device will allow you and your employees to have seamless roaming between access points throught out the office. 

Lighting and Shading

224 VersatileDesign224 MixandMatchIt’s no secret that a comfortable worker is a more productive worker, and as the days get longer and hotter this summer, you’re going to need a way to keep your employees cool. Keep the sun out with motorized shades and create a bright environment with smart lighting. Integrate automated climate control to quickly raise or lower the temperature as needed throughout the day.But don’t think smart shading and lighting are just about staying comfortable. By including these features in your boardroom, you can create the perfect environment to conduct your meetings. Keep all eyes on you when you lower the shades and raise lighting in a specified zone so you can command attention whenever you gather. These options are also cost effective as they will help you save energy and money!


wisconsin institute 2The audiovisual systems required for Boardrooms, are often the most advanced multimedia solutions that a company or organization will invest in, since it is often the Boardroom that hosts the most important client facing meetings, or where critical internal decisions are made. In addition, room aesthetics are very important, and the technology must integrate seamlessly into the room architecture and furniture to take account of the; image, nature and grandeur of the space. Some things to consider in your set up are HD intercom systems to make talking to your employees throughout the office more personal and professional. See and hear what everyone has to say without leaving your desk, and gather everyone into the boardroom for an important meeting from your tablet or smartphone. HD Displays such as flat screen TVs, Digital signage, interactive touch screens and HD Projectors with big screens are options you might conside for your best video options. You will also want to be sure your soundsystem is the best it can be with top of the line speakers and audio players. and Last but not least a state of the art security system that will ensure your company and employees the best safetly they can have!  

Are you ready to upgrade your office with boardroom technology? Contact us to get started on a boardroom technology installation today and turn Bored-room to BOARDROOM! 

IMF World Bank

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Why Professional Monitoring is the way to Go!

on Monday, 22 February 2016. Posted in Knoxville Home Security

Monitoring Systems

5 Reasons You should Leave your Security to Professionals:

A professionally monitored system can stay up to date with less effort than a self-maintained system. Security systems come in a lot of different varieties. If you install and monitor the system yourself, you might only have an alarm set up for the front and back doors, or you might also include sensors on windows. With security monitoring, you get a lot more for your money.

The value of a security system isn’t just in what it costs to install and maintain. Its real value is in how it performs. And in most cases, professional monitoring performs better. Here are 5 reasons why:

#1: Monitored Systems are Always On Duty

CAI24MonitorDiagWhen you have a monitored security system, it’s always on duty. Whether you’re on vacation, at work, or asleep, monitoring means someone else is watching over your property every day and night. With an unmonitored or self-monitored system, you’re the only one in charge of protecting your property. If your system is self-monitored and you miss an alert, there might be no one available to notify authorities to help if there’s a problem. And if your system isn’t monitored at all, you might never know there was a problem until someone gets back on site. 

#2: Help Can Arrive Faster

A professionally monitored system will dispatch the appropriate help when an alarm is triggered. 

FirePoliceEMS logosIf there’s a fire, break-in, or any other problem, you’ll know that help comes whether you’re available or not. With a self-monitored or unmonitored system, you’re responsible for making a call for help. But if you are unable or unaware, there’s no one else to back you up.

  #3: They Work When Cell or Email Service is Unavailable 

Monitoring means that regardless of whether you’re reachable by phone or email, help will come when a problem is detected by your system. Monitoring services try to confirm any alert triggers with you. But help arriving doesn’t depend on you having access to your cell or email. With a self-monitored system, text and email alerts that the system sends might fall on deaf ears if you’re in an area with no cell service, can’t hear your phone ring, or can’t check your email. If you don’t get the alert, you won’t know that there’s a problem. And unmonitored systems have no alerts at all.

#4: Professionals Service Your System

Sooner or later, everything digital or mechanical will need service. With a professionally monitored systems, service is most likely included in your contract. You won’t have to worry about expensive repairs and extended down time for broken equipment. With a self-monitored or unmonitored system, you are your own repair team. Or you could hire a third party to make repairs when needed and pay those costs out of pocket.

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#5: Potentially Lower Up-Front Costs

Professionally monitored security systems come with professional installation. And with a service contract, those costs are often significantly lower than you’d pay if you bought the equipment and installed everything on your own. If you do the installation work, all costs are paid up front. And there’s also the risk of an improper installation, which could compromise your security system.


There are plenty of arguments for having an unmonitored security system or one that you monitor yourself. One of the biggest is no contract for service. but no contract equals no contact. And that means you’re on your own.

For the best protection that your business and home can get, call us to learn more about the many ways iSS can help make life safer and simpler!

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Life is Motion!

on Tuesday, 09 February 2016. Posted in Knoxville Home Automation

The Many Advantages of Shade Control:

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 Whether you’re planning on making renovations to your home by motorizing your window treatments or if you’re in the process of having a new house built, you might want to know about the many advantages of having motorized window blinds. As you’ll soon see, it is not limited to having control over the lighting in the rooms of your home. It offers you so much more. You might be thinking of this as an added expense. Let us assure you that your motorized blinds will pay for themselves even before the year is up!


Benefits of Motorized Shades:

energy pigSAVE ENERGY: Having a motorized shading system can help to save energy! This in turn can mean some great money savings for you! Different scenarios can in different conditions. “Winter warm” opens the shades, taking advantage of sunlight warming a southern façade. “Summer cool” does the opposite by lowering shades and blocking solar heat gain, thereby reducing your cooling costs. In addition, several shading fabrics are made from sustainable materials for complete environmental and energy savings!




 drapery1ELEGANCE & AMBIANCE: We work with Lutron and Somfy because their controls are designed to look  and work beautifully. Stylish  control & fabric options coupled with innovative technology elegantly transition a  space to create the right amount of light for any activity. Fabric, wood, aluminum, PVC or leather…possibilities  are endless when it comes to interior shades and blinds. While creating ambiance and lighting effects, your  window coverings also play a significant role in your comfort and privacy.



214 Convenience CONVEINIENCE: Managing daylight is not restricted to a single wall station in your home. Shading systems can be controlled using  many different keypads, IR remote controls, wireless tabletop controls, mobile devices like your tablet or cell  phone or set to an astronomic time clock for automatic adjustment of shades. Conveniently close or open all your  blinds or shades at the same time, perfectly positioned and aligned, with a touch of a button. No more cables or  strings that get tangled up! These motors are also ideal for large windows, high-up or hard to reach window  coverings.



 burglar peeking windowSAFETY & SECURITY: If your window shades and blinds are closed 24 hours a day for  several days, the house will look vulnerable. Also, you run the risk of coming home to find all your plants  have died from lack of sunlight. Don’t be forced to choose between security and living plants. Use your  home automation system to automatically adjust some of your window coverings throughout the day or  evening to make sure your plants get the sun they need, while making sure the shades and blinds are  closed up at night to keep prying eyes out.


Romans Motorized REDUCE GLARE & PROTECT FURNITURE: The shading systems we offer diffuse light and prevent glare from washing out a computer or  television screen. Shading systems also protect furniture, fine art, rugs, and even wood surfaces,  from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter by using  shading systems to deflect or harness solar heat.



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In The Right Light...Everything is Extraordinary! 

Call today to make your home Extraordinary too! 

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