It’s a common misperception that today’s college students are tech-savvy. While they love their electronic toys, whether iPads or PlayStation3s, they won’t embrace any technology that isn’t user-friendly. And they certainly don’t want to live in a place where it’s difficult to use their favorite gadgets and devices.
“Making technology easy is the name of the game for student housing; plus it needs to be secure,” says Henry Pye, a vice president with property management software and systems provider RealPage, based in Carrollton, Texas. He provides A/V consulting services to both conventional multifamily developers and student housing developers.
Pye currently is working on several student housing projects, including one in Tallahassee, Fla., for The Bainbridge Cos. The 219-unit project, dubbed Campus Circle, is situated directly across the street from the Florida State University campus. It broke ground in April 2011 and is slated for completion in fall 2012.
At Campus Circle, RealPage has specified A/V equipment to make technology usage easy for both residents and management. In the clubhouse, for example, plans call for a control system and interface from Control4 that will allow on-site staff to control all the televisions, speakers, lighting, and HVAC equipment from one place.
In the project’s media room, RealPage has suggested that Bainbridge install guestLINK’s PowerWave system, which serves as a hub to transfer media content to televisions. Residents can bypass the challenges associated with multiple inputs by plugging their electronic devices into an outlet on the PowerWave system to view the media on a TV.
Streamlined technology doesn’t involve just central controls and hubs, however; simpler products, such as slim and outdoor speakers, docking stations, and storage racks, also help optimize residents’ tech experiences. Read on.
Rock On: Enjoying music outdoors, near the pool or volleyball courts, is easy with Stereostone’s simulated-rock and -stone speakers. The speakers are designed to be virtually indistinguishable from real rocks and offer dual spider woofers, generally found only in high-end professional loudspeakers. For more information, call Stereostone at 800-350-7866 or visit www.stereostone.com.
Über Connector: Designed to interface with any third-party, in-room entertainment technology, the PowerWave system from guestLINK allows multiple connections to various electronic devices through one portal. Users simply plug in their laptop, camcorder, digital camera, game station, or other device to surf the Internet or view photographs or videos from their personal video library on an in-room HDTV screen. For more information, call guestLINK at 800-679-9711 or visit www.guestlink-cii.com.
Power Full: DreamGear offers docking stations for all video game platforms. The company’s PlayStation3 (PS3) Quad Docks feature four charging slots capable of charging up to four PS3 controllers simultaneously so users never have to wait for power or be interrupted mid-game. Four LED charge indicators indicate when a device is charging or is fully charged. For more information, call dreamGear at 877-777-DREAM or visit www.dreamGEAR.net.
Storage Star: It’s easy and convenient to store A/V equipment and keep it secure with Middle Atlantic’s CFR Series equipment racks. The racks are designed to integrate into cabinets, credenzas, podiums, lecterns, and other prebuilt structures. The low-profile design features a strong welded frame that allows for preloading equipment for transportation to the installation site. For more information, call Middle Atlantic at 973-839-1011 or visit www.middleatlantic.com.
Speak Easy: Instead of installing multiple speakers and running wires to add surround sound to a new TV, Polk Audio SurroundBar Series speakers achieve single-speaker surround sound from one slim speaker bar. The patented technology requires no rear speakers and creates “built-in subwoofer bass,” eliminating the need for a separate subwoofer. For more information, call Polk Audio at 866-764-1601 or visit www.polkaudio.com.
Control Freak: With controllers and interfaces from Control4, multifamily owners can control virtually any electronic device in their property. Controllers are the central hub of every Control4 system, while Control4 interfaces allow users to control lights, temperature, movies, music, and much more. The products are available as in-wall touchscreens and remotes. For more information, call Control4 at 888-400-4070 or visit www.control4.com .