2008-10-26Elektrozine.be October 2008

Elektrozine.be October 2008
Duotecno installs home automation system at Modular

Earlier this year we visited Modular which relied on Duotecno for a home automation system. The fully integrated system includes following rooms: the lounge, the entrance-hall, the showroom, the training centre and the lavatories.

Last year in September Modular introduced its new head office officially to the press. Meanwhile several public spaces were equipped with the Duotecno home automation system. Tom Samyn (Modular): "It's an integrated system with lighting, audio and video. The several rooms (the lounge, the entrance-hall, the showroom, the training centre and the lavatories) can be controlled with touchscreens and computers. We have the possibility to create moods for the lighting, dimmed lights or changing the color of the led lighting. Everytime you get the needed feedback on the touchscreen. In the lounge the projector is able to go up or down (switched on)."

The lounge, or Light Club as it's called at Modular, is equipped with a full-fledged music installation with Bose speakers and even mixing consoles for a dj. Burt Eeckhout (Duotecno): "Though we concentrate on home automation we also provide solutions for all-inclusive concepts like this one at Modular. Thanks to the Engineered Sound Processor (ESP) by Pro Bose Modular has the possibility to work with up to 48 audio zones or audio channels. This enables us to take care of the audio in the other rooms. Modular generally uses the radio, a cd, music on the pc or the Encore Audio Media application. This solution is known for it's application in the catering industry: you have a full database of music at your disposal."

It's easy to indicate which source is to be selected for the audio, which music is played in different rooms and at which volume the music plays. This user interface is accessible from all the touchscreens and computers. Burt Eeckhout: "By standard the displays show icons lik all displays in residential applications but our engineers adjusted the interface to meet the expectations of Modular. The touchscreen in the lounge will only display the buttons which are relevant for the lounge and it's similar in the other rooms. The name of the rooms can be chosen freely, like the lounge at Modular, so the ease of use comes first."

Tom Samyn: "In the lounge we need to be able to cope with a lot of facets and we experiment a lot with the moods. Sometimes a seminar takes place in the lounge, an other time architects are here. In that view it's important to adjust the mood.

We continue our journey to the showroom where Duotecno has supplied the interface with a full floor-plan. This has to enable the personnel at Modular to control the showroom more intuitively. The impressive showroom -600 m² and 12 m height - is divided into cages where profiles are presented. Burt Eeckhout: "Modular has supplied us with the floor-plans which we fully implemented in the home automation interface. An overview is created which can be used to control the profiles. Imagine working with push buttons like in the past?"

Is it possible to change the configuration of the showroom? Tom Samyn: "It's possible to activate the profiles with one touch or light up an entire cage. All circuits (over 80) and tubes are off course fixed, just like the dimming channels. Off course there are some technical limitations and we have to take into account which appliances to connect to which channel or circuit. By using the floor-plan you get a visual feedback and this helps us. Especially people who do not use the showroom a lot are very positive about this. With home automation we he have a lot more control to see what we are doing and what we want to operate.

The first contacts between Modular and Duotecno dates back to 2006, even before the new head office was build. At first it was the intention to control the lounge and training centre with home automation but after a couple of meetings the reception and the showroom were added. Tom Samyn: "Over the course of time using the building and rooms you realise what the needs are so we added the extra rooms to the home automation and customised the displays after intense use."

Burt Eeckhout: "Home automation is finetuning on demand. It's not possible for everything to work and be controlled perfectly from the start. The menus are made by the client: What does the mood watching tv mean to you and to someone else? It can't be perfect from the start."

Source: Elektrozine 16 oktober 2008