So, you’re lucky enough to live in a place with a fantastic view.
Now it’s time to design your living room. Around what do you arrange your furniture? Your breathtaking views, or a wall with your TV?
That’s a choice homeowners don’t have to make, thanks to a company called Trak-Kit, and its mobile mounts. With the tap of your Crestron panel, a portion of your wall can move, travel around a corner, and display a flat panel television and integrated sound bar anywhere you want. And when you’re done watching TV, simply send the display back along its track and enjoy your view.
I recently trekked down to New York’s meatpacking district to check out Trak-Kit’s workshop and showroom, which is located on the top floor of a distinctive wedge-shaped building at the junction of Ninth Avenue and Hudson Street. Overlooking a former hub of industry that’s now one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods—filled with fashion boutiques and tourists en route to the High Line—the workshop has an aura of pre-industrial-revolution craftsmanship mixed with cutting-edge robotics.
Beyond the dusty, cluttered workshop lies the Trak-Kit showroom, which can double as an event space. Here two flush ceiling mounts hang the company's popular casings, which combine flat screen TVs with Flow Architech speakers. At the top right, a hanging mount with built-in lighting spans the entire length of the room.
This essence is due in no small part to the proclivities of the company’s founder, Shadi Shahrokhi, a bit of a renaissance man. After a childhood spent inquisitively taking apart and reassembling electronics, he studied architecture at several prestigious schools, including Columbia University, then founded a design-build architecture firm. After working with high-end clients in New York, he discovered a niche that fit his interests: tailoring unique ways to help people enjoy their electronic entertainment without compromising the value of their architectural space.
Shahrokhi founded Trak-Kit in 2006, and began implementing his moving, track-mounted solutions in the homes of his architecture clients in the New York area. As word spread, he gained some impressive clientele: after designing a new, custom mount for the prince of Dubai, he received a request from NBC Studios. He has since installed units for the likes of IBM and the U.S. Pentagon.
Trak-Kit mounts run a wide gamut of form and functionality. The most basic setup, the Low-Profile Trak, involves a TV mount that hangs from, and rolls along, a track mounted on the ceiling. The track can be recessed into the ceiling for a clean presentation; if that’s impractical, the track can be hung from the ceiling and housed inside paneling that matches the room’s décor.
The heavier duty Super Trak models can hold up to 900 pounds, are capable of implementing 90-degree turns, and come in two levels of functionality: manually operated, with the option to add automation later, and automated. Automated models integrate easily with most control brands, such as Crestron, AMX, Savant, and Control 4.
More sophisticated models, such as the Multi Panel Trak, let homeowners animate their walls, like something out of a mystery cartoon. Tap a panel, and the wall separates into three panels, allowing the center panel to rotate 180 degrees. Mount a flat panel TV on the center panel, and you can watch it in two different rooms.
Perhaps the nicest feature of all the mounts is their clean presentation: all of the cabling is neatly concealed, traveling up the vertical mount into the ceiling, and along the track in the company’s patented tread belt.
Building on the success of Trak-Kit, Shahrokhi launched an architectural speaker brand in 2014, called Flow Architech. Essentially, these speakers pack audiophile performance into housings that can be custom-tailored to perfectly complement any architectural style.
So what’s next for Shahrokhi? According to Federica Mian, managing partner with Trak-Kit and Flow Architech, the tinkerer is always at work coming up with new ideas. One of his inventions actually aids his productivity in inventing: the corner of the room features a bed that automatically descends from the ceiling, so he can spend all of his time in the studio working. From the looks of things, it’s paying off.
If you’re interested in implementing Trak-Kit or Flow Architech solutions in your installations, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt Pruznick is associate editor for Residential Systems and Systems Contractor News. Follow him on Twitter @Pruznick.