Vp Andrew Wale Discusses Ui Designs And Energy Dashboards
“Providing a consistent user interface experience is our focus, whether from the 12-inch tablet in the theater, the six-inch in-wall touchscreen in the lobby, or through the smart phone in a different country.” —Andrew Wale, VP of Marketing, Vantage Controls
Vantage is part of Legrand North America’s Home Systems Division. The Home Systems Division comprises two brands—Vantage and Legrand (formerly On-Q/Legrand). Because of Vantage’s brand recognition in the CEDIA channel, it remains its own specialty brand within Legrand and will continue to market its solutions under the Vantage brand on a global basis. Vantage Controls vice president of marketing Andrew Wale recently answered our questions about energy management, user interface design challenges, and competing with the iPhone.
Green seems to be moving beyond the buzzword into more established and effective energy management tools for the homeowner. What approach has your company taken to provide a better solution for your dealers and their clients?
Since inception, nearly 20 years ago, Vantage has provided a means of controlling energy usage through lighting control, sensor integration, and window treatment control. Our approach has been to offer a solution that allows integrators and homeowners to define their energy savings strategies, and implement them through our Energy Management Solution. They can then quantify the savings through a touchscreen dashboard. We have designed the Energy Management Solution so that homeowners can utilize the existing control system infrastructure, and have their integrator customize the energy saving strategies to find the balance they want between their lifestyle and energy efficiency.
Vantage Controls’ WebPoint 2.1 in action on the iPhone
Obviously the user interface is critical to many of the products that Vantage Controls offers. In what ways has your company had to adapt the way it designs its touchscreens and remotes?
Vantage is one of the few companies today that provides its integrators with the ability to deliver personalized interfaces across primary home control devices. The challenge comes as user expectations are driven more and more by iPhones or Zunes than the traditional LCD remote or touchscreen. It is not unusual for Vantage integrators to combine touchscreen, keypad, remote, and smart phone interfaces as part of project. Vantage’s WebPoint 2.1 software allows homeowners and integrators to instantly generate a Vantage touchscreen interface for an iPhone or any other wireless device. While we do not think there will be one ubiquitous control device, we do believe in ensuring consistency across the spectrum of devices. Providing a consistent user interface experience is our focus, whether from the 12-inch tablet in the theater, the six-inch in-wall touchscreen in the lobby, or through the smart phone in a different country.
In what ways is Vantage Controls able to react to major trends like the iPhone, without losing focus on innovation?
This continues to be a major focus for Vantage—keeping pace with new technologies, while being able to determine which technologies, and in what form, will be the next winner. Vantage benefits from deep technology relationships, both internal and external. Our roadmaps look at technology in a very granular form— O.S. developments, micro lifecycles, evolutions in graphics engines, etc. These give us a baseline for where technology, and our product portfolio, is going. When we see an opportunity to utilize technology developments to deliver a “breakthrough,” then that is where we focus. So in reality, it’s about making informed choices. We can’t follow every interesting trend, but we can make sure we are true to our brand by delivering a richer experience for both integrators and homeowners.
Vantage Controls’ Energy Management Solution
In general, how does Vantage Controls differentiate its products and services to dealers from other manufacturers of similar systems?
First, from a channel standpoint, Vantage is only sold direct to authorized dealers. No traditional electrical distribution, no big box retail, and no specialty distribution. Second, our focus is to provide the most robust whole-home control and automation solution possible. Whether through a complete Vantage solution, or in conjunction with products from our integration products, Vantage provides its integrators with the ability to deliver a superior experience to our clients. Third, with all the complexity of products and technology in today’s luxury market, the Vantage Controls’ Energy Management Solution
Vantage Design Center allows integrators to design, program, commission, and maintain their projects with unprecedented efficiency and effectiveness. From personalized touchscreen design to quick set-up wizards, the Vantage Design Center provides a costeffective method for projects that include lighting, audio, video, climate, energy management, and security interface.