Master of Your Domain: Affordable and Reliable Automation Systems Offer Complete Control of Your Office and Home

By Ince, Claire | Black Enterprise, September 2006 | Go to article overview
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Master of Your Domain: Affordable and Reliable Automation Systems Offer Complete Control of Your Office and Home


Ince, Claire, Black Enterprise


How many executive does it take to turn off a light switch? None, if it were up to Tyrie Jamerson, partner and CEO of Near Future, an integrator at the forefront of the burgeoning field of office automation. His Dallas-based firm is responding to a growing demand to transform workplaces into "smart office," with computerized features, such as programmed light switches, voice command systems, and remote security cameras.

Nationwide, integrators such as Near Future are blazing new trails by creating office automation solutions that barely existed a few years ago. Now affordable, futuristic offices are available to owners and property managers of commercial, medical, educational, and industrial facilities.

"The primary benefit of automating your office would be to streamline your operations, which should lead to some cost benefit," says Jamerson, whose company specializes in integrating audiovisual, computer, voice, and surveillance systems in commercial buildings. "For example, when I travel, I'll automate my lighting so that I don't use up valuable electricity while I'm out of the office." According to Jamerson, office automation prices range from $85,000 to $350,000.

Near Future, which generated revenues of $1.2 million in 2005 and expects $2 million in 2006, has been providing automation technology to the upscale W Hotel in Dallas.

Automation technology is not just available for high-end offices. Homeowners are tapping into residential market automation systems to control household functions, including lighting, heating and cooling, entertainment equipment, security systems, and even window shades.

Anthony Smalls, president and CEO of SmartHOME Solutions L.L.C. (www.smarthomeav.com), expects choices for home automation systems to expand as new models become available. "Today, anything from thermostats to energy controls, cameras, and speech enhancements can be done to automate your home," says Smalls, who estimates the price tag on a fully-automated home at $3,500 to $15,000.

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