Virtual reality headsets aren’t all fun and games. A new service from Andrew Lucas London and its sister company Andrew Lucas Studios is enabling consumers to “walk through” their new home theater or smart home by donning an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. At the same time, they receive an estimate on how much the project will cost.
Demonstrated at a recent home show, the virtual reality technology developed by Andrew Lucas Studios, allows users to move themselves around an entire property in a similar manner to Google Street View. They can swell on the aspects that interest them and interact with the space around them, giving them a clear idea of the proposed home theater or smart home solution. From there, they can make changes to the design.
Design and Price Your Theater
Example homeowners can upgrade to a different set of components, choose a larger screen, or add a user interface. Andrew Lucas’ online quotation tool automatically adjusts the price in real time. The quote shows not only the price of the equipment, but also the projected extra costs for labor, cabling, and post-installation service.
“Virtual reality can be an incredibly useful tool for clarifying in the customer’s mind exactly what an architect or smart home specialist is hoping to achieve,” says Hamza Abbas, sales director at Andrew Lucas Studios. “A video flythrough or 3D rendering can offer a certain level of insight, but a VR experience is a much more realistic experience, with the added bonus of letting the prospective homeowner explore their property at a pace that suits them.”
Installation cost could be divided into a monthly payment scheme, allowing them to pay for their home over a period of time instead of purchasing everything up front.
“One of the main frustrations a typical smart home customer has is in understanding the ‘hidden’ costs that occur in a smart home project,” says Krystian Zajac, chairman and founder of Andrew Lucas London. “Our new quotation tool brings complete transparency to the quotation process, letting our customers understand exactly what costs are incurred by certain areas of the smart home and allowing them to tailor their property to suit their needs – and their budget.”
Home Design Services
The online quotation tool covers Andrew Lucas’ three main services: home theater, smart home and virtual reality.
An Andrew Lucas home theater is designed to meet any client’s entertainment needs, whether they’re a film aficionado seeking perfect quality or a parent looking for a space to relax and watch the latest Disney films with their kids.
Although the specific products cannot be disclosed, the company’s fully furnished home theater offering includes a professional projection system and screen (including 4K Ultra-HD projection system with HDR support options), acoustic treatment and 5.1, 7.1 or 3D audio speaker systems (including hidden speakers), AV receiver and universal remote as well as climate and lighting control.
“We will offer products from multiple manufacturers to suit the needs of the property owner,” says Zajac. He says once someone picks a package and gets the pricing, they can go ahead and purchase it.
“They will be able to pay a deposit and secure the order; in due course, we will also allow clients to pay for their smart home, home cinema or VR room with regular monthly payments over an agreed period,” says Zajac. “For home cinema we have three options on a sliding scale, based on price and functionality. All of these can be personalized with optional extras.”
All of the company’s smart homes, home cinemas and VR rooms are designed and installed by the Andrew Lucas team.
For a smart home project, homeowners can input the basic details of their property and select up to three packages: security, comfort and entertainment. These can then be personalized with several technology upgrades, finishes and additional control interfaces, with a price estimate adjusting in real-time to show the price of equipment and projected extra costs such as labor, cabling and aftercare.
“We offer both wired or wireless options for smart home packages, each containing a number of ‘essential’ products,” says Zajac. “These are calculated to match the layout of the home.”
The packages include intruder alarms, smoke and leak detection, indoor/outdoor cameras, video doorbells, heating control, smart lighting, motorized shades, voice control integration, unified control, as well as multiroom audio/surround-sound audio, video distribution and streaming outdoor speakers.
Each of the solutions is modular, so the customer can start with a single-feature system (e.g. smart heating control) or choose a whole-house set-up. Meanwhile, the company’s dedicated app allows users to manage their entire property from their phone, from lighting and shades to home entertainment and security systems.
Company also offers the service for virtual reality rooms — dedicated spaces for VR entertainment (think a home theater, but specifically for VR). These are fitted and installed by Andrew Lucas London. Meanwhile, Andrew Lucas Studios is the company’s VR and AR design consultancy service, which creates VR visualizations for design professionals and homeowners.
“This is also something we offer to other smart home installers that wish to provide visualizations of this sort to their own clients,” says Zajac.
The company’s VR room offering is described as a ‘wireless, backpack-based experience’ that includes high-end VR platforms and gaming PCs, as well as room-scale tracking technology, acoustic treatment, 3D audio speakers, plus, the virtual reality room can be fitted with extra technology to double up as a panic room.
This includes blast-proof doors, hidden cameras, a reserve power supply, a separate phone line and a biohazard protection system that monitors air quality and filters out hazardous substances via the ventilation system.