The largest and most complex residential installation the company has ever undertaken.
Over the course of several years, and multiple development stages, Zentec has outfitted the home with three lighting systems, 50 automated window blinds, 17 television zones, a home theater, 13 audio zones, three pool control systems, heating and AC systems, a security system with live camera feeds, door and gate control, and voice control via Amazon Alexa.
"Our client had heard of home automation systems that delivered disappointing results, and had concerns over what they might have to live with. The pressure was on to exceed their expectations, and RTI provided the reliability and advanced functionality required to do just that."
With so many electronic systems over a massive area of 43,000 square feet (4,000 square meters), simple control over the home’s technology was imperative. The homeowner requested a single system that could easily control every aspect of their residence across several different platforms, including a large touchscreen and multiple iPads and Android devices. Furthermore, they wanted the user experience to be consistent across each control point.
“This was a very demanding project from a control standpoint,” says Ian Corless, Director of Zentec. “We needed a platform that could not only bring all of these systems together, but was easily expandable as the scope of the project changed, and customizable to create the consistent control experience the homeowner was looking for. Our client had heard of home automation systems that delivered disappointing results, and had concerns over what they might have to live with. The pressure was on to exceed their expectations, and RTI provided the reliability and advanced functionality required to do just that.”
The home’s control system is powered by RTI’s XP-8, XP-6, and XP-3 control processors, each of which offers a wide range of control options. IP drivers allow the processors to integrate seamlessly with a variety of the home’s electronic systems, including an Elk/Ness M1 security system, Sonos multiroom audio system, Axis security cameras, and 11 Amazon Echo units. Two RTI ESC-2 Ethernet-to-serial converters are being used to provide serial control over the Jandy pool systems, Clipsal C-Bus lighting systems, blinds, and heating system. The 17 televisions are controlled via IR, while dry contact closure is used for the AC system.
The client interacts with their home technology via 13 iPads and five Android devices running the RTiPanel app, and a 42-inch touchscreen in the kitchen featuring the Virtual Panel app for PCs. Used as the primary complete home control system, the kitchen touchscreen offers a full-site floor plan. iPads and Android devices provide individual room control and remote access over the home’s systems from anywhere with an internet connection. The homeowner can view two-way feedback on the touchscreen and mobile devices, allowing them to view and adjust lighting levels, open and close the shades, adjust the temperature, monitor the security system, and much more. With RTI’s Integration Designer® APEX programming software, Zentec was able to easily provide a completely customized user interface with custom graphics that was consistent across all devices.
“This home put my 30 years of industry experience to the test and was a real career highlight for me,” adds Corless. “One of the more rewarding aspects was seeing the finished control system do exactly as we promised, with a customized control interface to match the client’s particular tastes. The RTI system provides the homeowner with a seamless control experience. Without it, operation over the home and its technology would be extremely complicated, not to mention time consuming, with so many systems to shut down when leaving and to turn on upon arrival.”
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