SI's roll-style shading
At CEDIA last month, Screen Innovations (SI) branched out into the window shades category, after focusing the last 14 years on custom projection screens for the home market.
“Our dealers are family,” said Ryan Gustafson, SI president. “That is why we are creating a game-changing line of indoor and outdoor shades built specifically for the custom-install channel. For the first time, we are going to make shades cool! Our innovation will give SI customers solutions they’re proud to sell.”
The project has been led by Tom Cooley, COO of SI, who has decades of shade manufacturing experience, including building one of the fastest growing shade companies in the U.S.
Building on Cooley’s experience and Gustafson’s passion, SI promises to demystify the shading industry through a marriage of software and hardware.
“Everyone has web-based software for shades,” Gustafson said, “and yet, cut-downs and remakes are rampant in the industry.”
SI started with what it says is a “reimagining” of what an automated specifying and ordering tool should be. Cooley designed the SI Shade Builder based on his direct experiences, while also utilizing input from dozens of dealers.
“It’s essential that our Shade Builder resolves the pains that many dealers associate with selling shades today,” Gustafson emphasized.
SI's box-style shade In addition to its new dealer tools, SI is taking aim at shading products themselves, which Gustafson says can be painful to install, bulky or unfinished in appearance, and often times lack the proper options. SI’s Nano Shade line features lithium 2Nm rechargeable motors, with more than 500 open and close cycles on a single charge. Utilizing a patent pending neodymium magnetic charging design, SI aims to completely eliminate batteries.
Nano starts at just 2-3/4 inches, making it integrate and disappear into the window. Available in two variations. Box is a cassette that eliminates the need for a fascia and builds the illusion that they are recessed into a built-in pocket. Roll is an open-roll design, offering customers a more contemporary, minimal look.
Zen, SI’s outdoor shade solution, maintains the same styles, with Box and Roll variations. Zen offers unique innovations such as ShyZip side-channels that help keep out flying insects, while also sealing the outdoor space and controlling heat gain or loss during the seasons. Additionally, Sail, another member of the outdoor family, reimagines today’s cheap, flimsy umbrella-style outdoor sunshades. Enlisting many of the design elements present in the sailing industry, Sail incorporates a 16-foot motorized shade that can deploy or retract with the touch of a button.
Cooley described his motivation behind Shades: “One of the greatest pain-points that I experienced in the industry was a general lack of emphasis on design-oriented options for project planners to work with. Designers hated the shading portion of the project because options were too few in the areas that mattered, and too confusing everywhere else. That’s why we are introducing a wide array of designer-selected color options for all of our shading products.” Incorporating color is one aspect of SI’s goal to make shades both beautiful and remarkable in their functionality.
Control is a major component of shade functionality, and SI ensures that customers will have the most seamless integration, with all major automation partners including Control4, Crestron, Elan, and Savant. Additionally, they will be compatible with Amazon’s Echo, enabling voice-activated control of the entire family of shading products.
SI’s new line of shades will begin shipping in November 2017, starting in Texas and rolling out regionally through the rest of the country in Q1, 2018.