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Music Muse: Notes from note girl #2

Music Muse: Notes from note girl #2

One of my daughter’s favorite movies is a made-for-Disney-Channel flick about a single dad who wins a futuristic home that cooks, cleans and looks after the children. Their “smart house” throws the perfect party, instantly converting the awkward teenage son into the coolest kid at school and tutors the daughter in math, so that she can ace her multiplication test.

Tracy Lane, Music Muse

Such a house may sound like something that could only exist in a fantasy film, but actually it’s not quite as much fiction as one might think. In the last decade, new homes have become, more often than not, wired with technical advancements that provide the homeowners-to-be with some level of futuristic-style convenience in lighting, audio, security and home theater systems. As of now, the automated nanny in-home system has not quite been perfected. Existing homes can be wired with the available advances, but homeowners may find themselves a bit overwhelmed when shopping for these modern marvels. The vast array of brands and options compiled with the challenges of installing the systems and the perhaps even larger task of learning to use the systems, are enough reasons for many homeowners to avoid such modern conveniences.

Recently, I attended a dinner party at the home of some lifelong friends, whom I regard as highly intelligent, but admittedly are even more low-tech than myself. Let’s call them George and Jane. They pulled off a rockin’ dinner party with a fabulous mix of nonstop tunes amplified throughout their home, patio and backyard. Although this couple is famous for throwing excellent parties, the new touch added an element that was extremely appealing to me and intriguing to all the guests that evening. Never was there a moment of dead air as one of the hosts had to abruptly rush away from stimulating conversation to change CDs, press play and re-establish the mood for the room.

The most scintillating of topics that evening: How and when did George and Jane become so technically advanced? Was it a weekend online class in how to install and operate a home audio system? Nope. It was Bridgid Miller.

Bridgid Miller’s genuine enthusiasm about what she does beams, even over the phone. I called her to ask about August Systems, her company that has been converting the homes of people like George and Jane Doe into George and Jane Jetson since 1996. “We knew the constant changes in technology were thrilling and fun,” Miller explained. “By designing electronic systems and creating warm spaces perfect for entertaining and relaxing, we knew we could offer our clients a level of service that a retail store could not.” She also recognized that there was a need to make this new technology user-friendly. “We are not just design and installation,” she said. “We provide uncomplicated control systems and in-home training.”

Miller discussed the recent change of Columbia as a market with a wealth of new homes in need of the services August Systems could provide to a market in which home improvement has moved to the forefront. She has capably adapted and continues to offer a variety of state-of-the-art services to homes of any age. When asked if there were ever a case in which a home was too old to be compatible with the installations she offers, Miller said without hesitation, “We can get the wire we need wherever we need it.”

So, how did George and Jane throw that amazing party? August Systems has installed iPod docks throughout their home, accompanied by a touch screen panel. Simply insert an iPod, set the panel to jukebox mode, and a perfect party playlist is on in seconds. Miller explained that the system allows playlists to be programmed and saved for future moments such as when George and Jane want to relive the experience of their party that dazzled all their friends and neighbors.

But thus far I’ve only touched on the fun part of George and Jane’s system. Their system also provides them with energy-saving efficiency, controlling their HVAC, and safety and security, allowing them to view their home from their laptop when they are away. George and Jane say all of this is so easy to operate that even they can do it without having to read a handbook and accidentally setting off the alarm each time they leave their home.

Give Bridgid a call at 573-874-2791, or visit the August Systems Web site:

You could host the greatest parties in Columbia and secure your home before your family vacation this summer.

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