The pivot to virtual has been a theme throughout 2020, and integrators can use the online platform to their advantage by showcasing today’s smart home to potential customers and specifiers. Savant announced it is now offering virtual smart home tours featuring the automation provider’s New York City Experience Center to assist integrators in their sales and demo process during the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 situation.
Virtual tours have been designed to simulate the experience of visiting the facility firsthand, providing participants from anywhere in the world with a comprehensive demonstration of the latest smart home innovations from Savant, the company says.
Savant gave members of the press a sneak peek at what a virtual experience showroom demo will look like. Additionally, to launch this initiative the company will invite dealers to participate in a virtual grand re-opening of the NYC Experience Center the first week of November.
Using the demo simply involves the Savant dealer scheduling a time to have the customer, designer, architect, etc., and the Savant team is ready and waiting to help guide the Experience Center guests.
New Way to Look at Showroom Demo Tour
“The way we’ve taught potential clients what it would be like to live in a smart home, dealers rely on showrooms,” says Angela Larson, Savant’s senior vice president, customer operations. “It’s a critical thing … how will lighting control improve my life, how will I interact with my smart home, will this be too complicated? Dealers use showrooms to educate on these things. We’ve been giving a great deal of thought to deliver that in a virtual way.”
Larson says the stamp of approval came from local integrator Home Theater of Long Island, which Larson says commented that taking the virtual tour was just like going to the real place. On the other end of the spectrum, she adds that the Experience Center tours have enabled Savant to engage with its international base of dealers who otherwise might rarely if ever visit the physical location.
Virtual tours begin with a 3D walk-though of the Experience Center, including the new GE Lighting offering that reflects Savant’s recent acquisition of the lighting brand. A boardroom space shows USAI Lighting, Savant shading and AV distribution.
Up next a sports bar offers dynamic entertainment solutions with multiple displays, and moving on the Lighting & Energy Lab is a space “where we can really geek out,” says Blair Piersall, Savant’s VP of sales. “These are two categories we end up spending so much time talking to end users about. They’re really experiencing instability, so the idea of energy independence … we have the back-end equipment to make solutions work for you.”
Savant Smart Home Capabilities, ‘Scenes’ & Interfaces
Visitors are then introduced to today’s smart home capabilities. The Savant Experience Center virtual tour guide will customize the demo for the client, showcasing functionality associated with climate, lighting, entertainment, security and energy while highlighting each feature and answering questions along the way.
The Experience Center has been outfitted traditional smart home solutions along with trending technologies such as dynamic lighting for wellness, energy automation, a deluxe home office plus an array of customizable user interface options including Savant’s Pro Remote X2, touchpanels, and apps. Certain parts of the virtual tour have dots that can be clicked on for more information and videos.
Prospective clients, along with their designers and architects, will experience personalization capabilities such as Savant Scenes and custom playlists, emphasizing the luxury and convenience that these features would bring to their lifestyle.
Piersall says Savant Scenes really resonate with homeowners via the virtual platform. “A ‘welcome home’ scene that Savant typically uses at its Experience Center – all the lights go to appropriate settings, shades go down, AV is activated so we’re ready for the tour – it’s an example of what they can do in their own home to hit a button as they roll up so the home’s all set for them,” he explains.
Illustrating TrueImage technology for Savant’s interfaces is another highlight, along with using the UI to yield aspects such as personalized circadian lighting. Changing a room’s various lighting fixtures’ colors and brightness with the TrueImage dimming via app is a powerful experiential tool, Piersall says.
“The challenge is how to give a client the feel for a remote control experience without necessarily being able to hold it in their hands,” he says. Savant uploaded to the virtual platform a video to show customers the ins and outs of the Savant Pro Remote including how it works as an extension of the app and is built around customer preferences.
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