Flat screens: Raise your home’s IQ

921ffae1477672b36d91a382ef8fdfe2

For most of us, a successfully mounted flat-screen is a serious home improvement worthy of a Saturday afternoon gloat session. Wait, you hid the wires? Watch your back, Ty Pennington!
But some homeowners want dwellings as sleek and user-friendly as their iPhones — and thankfully, there are professionals for that. We checked in with Eric Rymshaw of Fury Design and Jason Hendrie from Creative Systems — part of the interior design and tech team behind a new “smart condo” at the superposh 1706 Rittenhouse Square Street building — for some of the fanciest tricks of their trade.

Custom options for custom controls

“Clients want various degrees of technology. What’s nice about the smart homes is there are options for everyone,” says Rymshaw. Let’s just say budget or space wasn’t an issue with the 4,000-square-foot single-floor condo at 1706, which the owners essentially purchased as a blank-slate shell. In addition to “standard” features such as lighting, AC and heating that can be controlled with in-home touch-screens or remotely via Internet, an iPod dock allows music and movie playlists to be shared throughout the home. As for the owner’s dogs, they appreciate the TVs being programmed to turn on for a little afternoon entertainment.

A smooth, sleek look

“What’s amazing is that this looks like a normal house. You don’t see this system inside the walls — it’s not like there’s a computer room somewhere,” says Rymshaw. Far from it: A control system by Crestron Electronics operates by touch-screen, eliminating the need for the multiple switches usually needed for complex lighting and entertainment systems.

Energy efficiency

In addition to the obvious allure of having your favorite album on when you come home from a long day, smart homes can also make it easier to manage energy usage. At 1706, even the window dressings pitch in. “The shades open and close automatically based on where the sun is,” says Hendrie. “Of course, leaving some of them open so the dogs have a view.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.