February 16, 2012
| by Lisa Montgomery
Ask anyone who has ever owned a Sonos music system if they’d trade it for something different and you’d probably be met with a look of confusion followed by a firm “no way.” The owner of this renovated 3,800-square-foot residence in the luxury Trump World Tower in New York City wasn’t about to give up his beloved whole-house wireless audio system, either. Neither was he ready to switch from the RTI remotes he had been using at his house in the Cayman Islands to a different type of clicker. With the help of technology design and integration firm, Cliqk, New York, N.Y., he was able to integrate both a Sonos system and an RTI control system into his new high-rise dwelling, and have the two very different systems work seamlessly together.
From any RTI touchscreen—either a K4 or RK3—the owner can see what is playing on the Sonos system (including album art) and navigate his playlists. “Nothing like this existed to control Sonos at the time of the project,” says Mark Hernandez, president of Cliqk. “Our in-house technologists worked hard to integrate Sonos and design a user interface that was as simple and full-featured to use as the Sonos interface itself.”
In fact, the entire project could be described as a cobbled-together approach to systems integration, says Hernandez. In addition to programming the RTI touchscreens to operate the Sonos system, Cliqk also “super-powered” the touchscreens and handhled TC2 remotes to control six IP-based Prolifix thermostats, operate every Lutron HomeWorks light switch, and signal multiple motorized Lutron Sivoia QED shades to open and close over the condo’s expansive windows.
A common approach to controlling such a diversity of products is to group like-commands together on individual pages of a touchscreen. For example, there might be a page the displays controls for the window shades; another for the lights; and another for music. Cliqk followed this design when setting up the RTI touchscreens, but went a step further by grouping commands into macros that could operate dissimilar components simultaneously. “This streamlined the controls significantly,” says Hernandez. For example, when the owner wakes up in the morning, the shades in the master bedroom lift and Bloomberg news plays over the whole-house audio system, for example.
Another macro that Cliqk programmed into the RTI system, “Movie,” dims the lights, lowers the shades, activates the 5.1 surround-sound system and turns on the flat-panel Pioneer TV. To simplify things further, the home page on the touchscreen was designed to provide immediate access to the owner’s favorite TV channels, favorite Rhapsody music channels, favorite lighting scenes, favorite shading scenes and the ability to set all six thermostats to the same setting with one button press.
Check out the slideshow for a tour inside this luxury condo.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.