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Advanced smart home integration: tech-savviness not required

Our residential case study looks at a recent London-based demo apartment kitted out by Advanced Integration Ltd. with RTI controls which "delivers simple, customised control of advanced AV and smart home technologies"

When Advanced Integration Ltd. turned a London apartment into a demonstration space for potential clients, the goal of CEO Marios Tsiftis was two-fold: showcase the latest AV and smart home technologies, and demonstrate how simple they can be to interact with using RTI control. He envisioned a showroom bursting with systems that the least tech-savvy visitor would be able to easily operate via a variety of devices, from RTI handheld remotes and in-wall touchscreens to a variety of mobile devices — all featuring a bespoke GUI. 

Highlights of the 861-square-foot apartment include a Legrand Vantage lighting system with recessed motion sensors; HVAC system with a CoolMasterNet automation bridge; and Venstar thermostat with flush-mount sensors. For security, the apartment features a Leviton alarm, CCTV system with Dahua cameras, and an ekey biometric scanner at the main entrance for keyless entry. 

A CasaTunes CT4 music server feeds audio to five zones, allowing prospective clients to enjoy music via AirPlay, Bluetooth, or popular streaming services anywhere in the apartment. Bedrooms and the living room are outfitted with white Waterfall Audio Hurricane glass speakers, while bathrooms feature D109 IPX6-rated speakers from Origin Acoustics. In addition, the living room boasts a high-end sound system from Wisdom Audio and Sunfire.

Video sources include an Apple TV, Roku HD Ultra, Sky Digital cable box, Sony 4K Blu-ray player, and Integra AV receiver. They are distributed via a 4K HDBaseT HDMI matrix switcher to a 65-inch Samsung display with Future Automation electric mount in the living room, 55-inch LG display in the master bedroom, and 43-inch LG display in the guest bedroom.

To show prospective clients how simple it can be to operate such a high-tech home, Advanced Integration relied on control and automation solutions from RTI.

“When it came to control over our showroom’s technology, we required a cost-effective, reliable solution that allowed us to easily deliver a completely customised user interface and update the system with new technologies as needed,” said Marios. “With its renowned dependability and powerful Integration Designer APEX programming software, RTI was an easy choice.”

The apartment’s control system is powered by an RTI XP-8v control processor. Taking advantage of its multiple control options, Advanced Integration used IP drivers for seamless integration with all environmental, security, and AV systems and sources; RS232 for the LG and Samsung displays; and infrared (IR) for the Future Automation wall mount. 

Visitors to the demo apartment interact with its technology using an RTI KX2 touchpanel keypad in the master bedroom, and RTI T3x remote control in the living room, and iPad minis in each room running the RTiPanel app. For the ultimate in simplicity, the interfaces provide users with one-touch scenes incorporating multiple systems. For example, when entering the apartment, tapping the “Welcome” icon turns off the alarm, turns on the living room lights, and sets the temperature to a predetermined level. When leaving, tapping the “Away” icon reverses the process and turns off any displays and video sources. Additional scenes include “Wake Up”, “Relax”, “Shades”, and “Goodnight”.

“Our showroom is designed to make advanced technology as easy as possible to use by people who aren’t accustomed to using technology,” added Marios. “Visitors are always amazed at what they can do in the space and how simple it is to do it with RTI and our customized GUI.”