Eye-friendly (and earth-friendly) products

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There is no doubt that homeowners prefer hidden technology these days. Add sustainability to the mix and you have a winning combination that consumers are eager to buy. Global research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) last year (commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund) shows a staggering 71% increase in the popularity of durable goods searches over the past five years, with growth continues during the pandemic. Consumers pay attention to the choices they make that impact the planet and make it better. So which products, companies, and home tech categories get gold stars for being kind to the earth and the eyes? Here are some favorites from the field.

Screen Innovations (SI) Lithium Ion Shades

“In manufacturing, we often see the worst of the worst in terms of waste and disregard for the environment, and it can be tempting to take shortcuts to increase the margin or for some other benefit, but at SI we don’t ‘simply never lower our standards,” said Ryan Gustafson, Founder and CEO of SI.

While other motorized interior and exterior battery operated shades still use up to nine large D batteries per window, SI shades use rechargeable lithium batteries, which operate for up to two years on one charge and can be recharged 500 times . When they finally reach the end of their life, they can be recycled, unlike D cells. small, are designed to eliminate light gaps and are simply fun to have and use.

Sonos speakers

Sonos packs a unique punch when it comes to durability and helps technology be less visually distracting. Offering a software-driven sound experience, users not only have access to a wide range of music, podcasts and other content, but also the peace of mind that their system is always up to date. That’s because Sonos was designed to continually refine its software and provide over-the-air updates to improve the experience without interrupting it. It’s not only cool, but it’s also incredibly user-friendly.

In terms of durability, Sonos says its hardware “lasts much longer than other consumer electronics,” said Sarah Atkinson, national business development manager at Sonos, citing the results of their “Listen Better” Report on Social Responsibility and Sustainability. The survey results, not to mention the fact that they host a website dedicated to the cause, speaks not only to the quality of Sonos hardware, but also to their corporate culture and commitment to action. Sonos actually has a lot green initiativeslike striving to be neutral by 2030 and net zero by 2040.

All smart and superior durability

Savant is setting an example with the recent unveiling of his 15,000 sq ft Vegas Modern 001 showcase home. 5 foot residence designed with concealed technology and durability in mind. The home also features the largest residential solar panel in the region, a fully automated electrical panel, as well as Savant Energy’s microgrid technology.

In this cutting-edge home, the Savant Energy app tracks daily energy production as well as usage, with a full history by load type. Savant coupled with the extensive solar infrastructure can keep the house running under normal conditions for up to eight hours or nearly 24 hours if only essential devices are active. Most importantly, Savant’s microgrid works day and night to intelligently optimize power consumption in all conditions. To conceal the technology, “gutters” were built into the walls and other surfaces not only for cables, but also to house speakers and other technology so they were virtually out of sight.

Samsung Bespoke Your Home Fridge, The Frame TV and Studio Stand

Over the years, Samsung has responded to consumer demand and has significantly improved its accountability. In 2017, Greenpeace awarded Samsung a D- for environmental friendliness. However, just three years later, in 2020, according to the EPA ranking, they ended up using 1,246,201,605 kWh of green energy from various sources, which accounted for 99% of their total energy consumption. energy – a dramatic difference from only 1% of their operations used energy from renewable sources in 2017. They have just announced a commitment to plant millions of trees to fight climate change. early this year, and are now collaborating with Patagonia to keep plastics out of the oceans.

As for their decor-friendly products, the company’s “Bespoke Your Home” line has beauties such as this BESPOKE 4-Door French Door Refrigerator, which lets you choose the colors of the four doors to create a more personalized kitchen. . There’s also, of course, Samsung’s The Frame TV, which I particularly like atop the Samsung Studio Stand, which makes The Frame TV look more like a framed piece of art on display in a gallery than a a standard television.

Hide it in the wall (or ceiling or other solid surface)

Do you have technology that you feel good about buying but don’t necessarily want to see? So check out SMART-WALL. This designer and manufacturer of custom ceiling, wall and surface mounts for home technology devices, recently launched a sleek enclosure for Sonos Arc and Beam soundbars. This enclosure offers homeowners and designers a sleek installation alternative for placing the soundbar on a media cabinet or attaching it to the TV. WALL-SMART also manufactures mounts for Crestron, Control4, Savant, Apple products, Josh.ai and a wide range of networking equipment, voice assistants, video conferencing and security cameras, tablets, laptops, etc. touchscreens, keyboards and more.

The bottom line? Making technology less intrusive and sustainability are clearly becoming even more important for homeowners and consumers in general, who are looking to buy from companies they believe in and brands respond to. I will be looking around the showroom for ways to make technology less visible at KBIS and IBS and I am moderating a panel discussion at KBIS on sustainability and the audio recording will be available on demand at www.design-uncut.com. I’m interested in hearing from you, though. What products and companies do you believe in and why? Do you have any that you would like me to take a look at and maybe talk about in the future? Email me at [email protected] and let’s start the conversation.

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About Cecil D. Ramirez

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