As companies evaluate new kinds of technologies that suit their needs, the office environment has been undergoing a transformation in the last few years, and automation systems may be applied to increase efficiency in the office, according to smart home enabler Control4.
New ways to use voice control will continue to be uncovered, but currently it’s useful for meeting scenes. It could also be used to coordinate the atmosphere for demos and showrooms, or presentations across several rooms, Control4 Senior Director of Product Marketing Brad Hintze said in an interview with SMAhome.
Paired with automation, voice control can be leveraged to manage office, conferencing and meeting room spaces. Control4 automation systems can leverage the database of over 11,000 devices to make scenes for any space. “Voice commands suit the office environment by providing a simplistic way to control devices in the room,” Hintze said.
For a conference room, a “Presentation” scene can lower the shades, turn on the display, and adjust the temperature of a meeting. Voice control makes this process more intuitive, by allowing users to walk into the room and say, “Alexa, turn on Video Call” to get started. Then, for example, when a presentation ends a presenter can say “Alexa, brighten the lights to 80 percent” to turn attention away from the display and onto the discussion.
“Just as use of voice control has increased in the home, we expect it to grow in office environments. When this type of intuitive, hands-free interface is paired with an automation system, the office setting can be transformed to run much more efficiently,” Hintze noted.
For instance, a simple “Alexa, turn on Welcome” command in an environment like a dental office can turn on the lights, activate the televisions and Apple TVs over each chair, turn on machines and equipment, and adjust the temperature in the most frequently-utilized areas. What once may have taken 30 minutes to complete by a staff member, is now done in mere seconds.
The goal of integrating voice control into a business should be to make business operations run more smoothly, create a more modern, high-tech work environment, and encompass intuitive personalization that is catered to the needs of any office environment.
Control4 has been a leading provider of smart home systems for over 15 years, and the number of automated Control4 smart homes are growing worldwide, Hintze pointed out. “As people add automation and voice control experiences into their homes, it’s not uncommon for them to also integrate smart technology and voice control into their offices.”
“Automation can make security, energy management, and room or building management easier, and we see small and midsize business owners who have Control4 in their home add it to their business property,” Hintze added.
Control4 said its automation systems are customized for each space, leveraging the ecosystem of over 11,000 Control4-compatible devices. Over time, a Control4 system can be customized to suit changing schedules and routines of the occupants; in an office, this could be when employees arrive and leave, or when meetings are held. And one of the best features is that many of these changes can be done easily by the business owner themselves, Hintze said.