In the quarter-century since InnerSpace Electronics, Inc. opened its doors in Port Chester, New York, co-founders Andrea and Barry Reiner have designed and installed hundreds of home automation and entertainment systems, from dedicated home theaters that replicate the big-screen cinema experience, to cozy living room media systems. But for the husband-and-wife team of the premier custom electronics systems integration company, one recent award-winning room stands out, showcasing the company’s ability to combine impeccable design and innovative technology integration solutions to create a unique automated entertainment environment perfectly suited for the home and family.
The room recently won Electronic House magazine’s Gold Award for Best Home Theater Up to $25,000, not only for its stunning big screen projection system, invisible surround sound system, and advanced, touch-of-a-button control system, but also for the challenges involved in transforming an unusually shaped, oblong bonus space into an absolute technical marvel that serves as a gathering place for the entire family.
“A trend we’ve noticed among many of our clients is that when their kids start reaching those adolescent years, they want them home more,” says InnerSpace Electronics co-founder and vice president Andrea Reiner. “It’s almost as if the parents are competing with each other to see who can have the best toys, so the neighborhood kids all come to their house instead of going out.”
Granted, it may be a stretch to call a $25,000 home theater system a “toy,” but for Andrea and Barry Reiner, redesigning the room from scratch—including not only the electronics, but also the décor, from furnishings and finishes to lighting fixtures and carpeting—was certainly a lot of fun. Crafting a high-quality home theater system for a room that was relatively shallow from front-to-back and wide from side-to-side did create some technical challenges, though, especially when it came to selecting and placing the video projection system. But these are exactly the sorts of challenges that InnerSpace Electronics, Inc. thrive on.
“The simple solution would have been to rotate the home theater system ninety degrees to create a room that was deep, but not very wide,” says co-founder and president Barry Reiner. “If we went with that approach, though, when you walked into the room you’d be walking into the backs of chairs, and it would no longer be a cozy family room kind of gathering place that the owners wanted.”
To keep the operation of the room as simple as possible, the InnerSpace team designed a dual-purpose control system, with both a traditional hard-button remote control for guests and an advanced Savant control system that allows the family to control the theater, as well as the rest of the home’s, electronic systems via their iPhones and iPads over the Wi-Fi network. “When we opened this business twenty-five years ago, Wi-Fi and mobile devices weren’t even a consideration; they didn’t even exist,” Barry says. “Today, the network is the most important appliance in the house. Not only are all of our control systems completely dependent upon wireless technologies and networking, but when our clients come to us, the home network is already a sore point in their lives because of the increased traffic demands of everything from Netflix to the children’s dependence on the network for homework assignments.”
“The reality of this business and our clients’ lives is that they are fast-paced and driven by changes in technology,” Barry continues. “Compare our industry today to when we opened our doors, and it’s like two entirely different businesses. But I think that’s what separates InnerSpace and other businesses that have been successful from those that haven’t. We have taken the opportunity to grab onto market trends and technology changes, and incorporate them into the services we offer to improve our clients’ lives at home. We treat every client interaction as a separate and new opportunity and look forward to serving our clients for years to come.”