Showcasing Automation Technology in India

An inspiring display area that enables customers to fully immerse themselves in smart home technology has won the Best Showroom category in the 2018 EMEA CEDIA Awards. Sound Sense created a space presentinga range of integrated control solutions, in realistic home and business environments, including a luxurious home cinema. The installation was also highly commended in the Best Dressed Rack category.


Home technology has grown into a multi-billion pound industry, driven by the steady advancement of automation technologies, along with rising customer awareness. One of the most rapidly expanding global markets is in India where many wealthy people, living in urban areas, are looking for technology which can help to enhance and simplify their lives.


Sound Sense is based in the city of Surat in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is the eighth largest city in India and was named the world's fourth fastest growing city in 2016. It has also been selected to be developed as a "smart city" under the prime minister's Smart Cities Mission; whereby urban areas use data collection sensors to manage assets and resources efficiently.


With a large tech-savvy client base extending across the north-western and western regions of India, the integrator decided to design and build a showroom which could comprehensively demonstrate the range of automation options available to both residential and commercial users. As its customers are making a significant financial investment, Sound Sense felt it was important for them to experience different technologies and system configurations first hand to really understand and appreciate the choices on offer.


As a major financial venture for the integrator, it was essential that they achieve real return on their investment, so a considerable amount of time was spent researching the demographics of the region to ensure the centre reflected the needs and budgets of potential clients. The 2,100 sq ft facility, comprises a living area, incorporating a dedicated home cinema, entrance and foyer, and a conference room.


The purpose of the living room is to demonstrate a variety of AV systems, in a relaxing environment, in conjunction with integrated environmental controls. The room has been set up with a 65" in-wall LED TV and Totem 7.4.4 Dolby sound system. For ease of comparison, two dropdown Screen Research screens have been fitted, side by side, along with two “hidden” Sony projectors. A third screen and JVC X5500 projector offer an alternative configuration. The room also features a variety of home automation systems, including occupancy sensors for lighting and air conditioning. 


Alongside the lounge area, is an 8-seat dedicated home cinema, calibrated to the highest industry standards: CEDIA, ISF, HAA, and THX. This provides customers with an opportunity to see what can be achieved in the home environment. It has been fitted out with a range of high-end products comprising: a DCI Christie CP2208 DLP projector; Trinnov Altitude 32 AV processor; a stunning 20-foot DT masking screen; and a Wisdom Audio 9.4.6 sound system. The user is fully immersed in rich, bright colour images andcrisp, clear audio from the comfort of luxurious Moovia dual- motorised recliner seats. Together, they re-create an authentic cinematic experience.


Customers can view a wide range of media sources on the different displays, including a Kaleidescape 4K media player; Amazon TV; Blu-ray; Apple TV; and Tata Sky satellite. All the disparate systems within the showroom, including all AV and media, lighting, and air conditioning, have been integrated through a Creston CP3 processor. This means clients can experience complete, simple, “one touch” control of each of therooms using either an iPad or a Creston touchscreen keypad.With both devices, a clear GUI guides the user through the different elements of the room such as input source selection, playlist selection, volume control, music, and motorised screens. The integratorcan also demonstrate different product configurations or different pre-programmed mood scenes such as lighting choices for different times or activities.


For business users, Sound Sense has designed a replica conference room to display how automation technology can help facilitate modern, effective meetings. The room features a TV mounted on a Future Automation lift and automated blinds and lighting.


As with the residential configurations, the area shows how integrated control of lighting, shading, and climate can generate a professional environment. This means, through a single touch, the integrator can demo, for example, the correct ambiance fora distinct atmosphere such as a presentation or a meeting.


Other systems which can be viewed are an entrance foyer incorporating a TCS IP video door phoneand an eKEY biometric finger scanner.Furthermore, automatic sliding doors leading into the foyer illustrate automated lighting and background music. Even the restroom has an occupancy sensor which automatically turns on lighting, music, and a discreet mirror TV.  There is also scope to see behind the scenes with a beautifully presented rack room containing all the back office equipment required to support the various installations.


Sound Sense has successfully achieved their overall goal ofproviding customers with an opportunity to view the breadth of integration and customisation options available to help them define their own requirements for a hi-tech lifestyle. The integrator is also delighted with the ROI which, to date, has met their targets.