Melbourne Hotel – Remotely
Programming remotely is another one of Ryelec’s services that we offer. You can read more about remote programming here ~ and this project is a really great example of one of our remote jobs that we have taken on.
A fellow electrician and programmer had a well-known hotel approach him with a bit of a tricky automation request. They have 4 meeting rooms in their hotel that have adjustable walls dividing the rooms that can be opened and closed to increase or decrease the meeting room space. And so, they wanted both staff and clients to be able to adjust the lighting for each meeting room via roaming iPads. But, they needed the lights to track differently for when each wall was opened or closed, because if the lights were all controlled together, then clients could be adjusting the lighting levels on a presentation next door when they’re trying to turn the lights up in their own meeting.
Since the interface would have a high turnover of people using it, we had to make sure that it was incredibly user-friendly, which is another reason that we needed the lights to adjust according to the walls, because just labeling individual meeting rooms for each lighting group would mean the client would have to know which room they are in and what configuration the walls are in – which would be very non-user-friendly.
So, we wrote some custom LUA scripting that told the system that when all walls are opened, control all the lights for each room together, since if the walls are all opened then it is one big meeting room. And when each individual wall configuration button on the ‘Staff Only’ page is Toggled, the scripting tells the system exactly which lights need to track which in order to ensure that each room is controlled accordingly, with the absolute bare minimum amount of work from staff. They just tap the buttons to tell the system what configuration the walls are in, and graphically, walls will either appear or disappear on the floor plan when the buttons are toggled. Then click into the Client Page for whichever room the client will be in, then app lock the iPad to the CTC Wiser app so clients can’t navigate out of the lighting control, hand the iPad to the client, and know for sure that no rooms will interfere with any other room. That is the whole purpose of commercial automation – to take the stress off staff so they can stick to more important tasks, and ensure that business operations run as smoothly as possible.
Since the clients will have access to an iPad whenever they book out a meeting room, and we don’t want them to have any access to wall configuration or other room lighting control, we also had to engineer advanced security to ensure that they couldn’t see any page that they don’t need to see. This means that the interface has a staff only section with scenes, schedules, wall configuration, lighting control, indicators and floor plan while clients just see the page for the room they’re in, as selected by staff.
You can check out some pages of the cleverly thought-out and engineered interface below!