Advancements in technology are allowing myriad features in today's home to be automatically and electronically controlled, from audio systems and televisions to lighting and appliances, setting a new benchmark for convenience and comfort.
Picture Perfect The Aquos D40U series from Sharp includes 45-, 37-, 32- and 26-inch (shown) wide-screen HDTVs. The Advanced Super View LCD panel with multi-pixel technology has a sharp contrast ratio of 1,200:1 and wider viewing angles than previous models (176 degrees), allowing the television to be viewed from almost anywhere in a room. There are built-in ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuners and dual HDMI and HD component terminals. All series models feature high brightness and black TFT low-reflection coating so they can be placed near bright light sources or windows without compromising picture quality. The series is available in a piano-black finish with fixed bottom-mounted speakers and an included table stand. Sharp Electronics Corp. 800.BESHARP.
Look, No Hands By providing automatic control,
Radius Proximity Technology from Technical Concepts, eliminates the need to manually turn the faucet on and off. The control box is mounted under the sink and automates any faucet design. The technology is currently offered on Opella and on Water Décor's faucet lines. The company has applied the same technology to additional products that automate soap and lotion dispensers and the flush of toilets. Technical Concepts. 800.551.5155.
Sound Machine The BeoCenter 2 from Bang & Olufsen is a complete entertainment center for the living room. Polished aluminum surfaces on its elliptical form surround the soft-touch pad. When a light touch activates the touch-sensitive foil under the “load” button, the wing-formed doors glide open. White text on the large, four-line display guides interaction, where additional information from CDs, DVDs, and the RDS radio system is displayed. Contrast on the display adjusts automatically to light conditions. Attached to BeoLink, the system can also provide whole-house control from one Beo4 remote control. Bang & Olufsen. 847.590.4941.
At Your Fingertips Honeywell's TouchCenter touch-screen display guides users via graphic interface and menu-driven prompts. TouchCenter provides homeowners with centralized, fingertip control of lighting, garage doors, and select appliances, and contains a built-in message center that allows family members to record and play back voice memos. TouchCenter installs easily, wired to the control with a standard four-wire connection. Honeywell. 800.467.5875.
Made in the Shade The Sivoia QED (Quiet Electronic Drive) Roller 64 system's compact profile allows it to be housed in smaller window jambs and pockets. The electronic drive fits into a 1 5/8-inch-diameter tube and a 3½-by-3½-inch installation pocket. The built-in Intelligent Hembar Alignment system ensures that roller shades will raise and lower at uniform speed and stop at preset positions with +/- 1/8-inch accuracy. The Roller 64 controls up to 64 square feet of fabric and can be programmed to a variety of stop points using a hand-held infrared remote control (shown) or a wall-mounted keypad. A variety of shade fabrics and colors is available. Lutron Electronics Co. 888.LUTRON1.