Go Inside Barrett’s First Technology & Design Expo

Go Inside Barrett’s First Technology & Design Expo

Exploring the Intersection of Technology and Design for Chicago Smart Home Installers


In a stunning showroom overlooking the Chicago River, the CEO of Leon Speakers paints a portrait of Chicago jazz legend Buddy Guy. Smart home installers, interior designers, and technology professionals sip margaritas while chatting over Big Star tacos, sharing details about their industries and learning how they can all benefit from recent advances in their respective fields.

A raffle is being held benefiting Almost Home Kids, a transition home for kids with traumatic medical experiences, and two guests will walk away with the one-of-a-kind Buddy Guy painting and an iPad dock from TRUFIG. The atmosphere inside Merchandise Mart’s Pella Crafted Luxury showroom is relaxed, friendly, and interactive, with different smart technology manufacturers setting up their products in the rooms surrounding a communal space for food, drink, and presentations later in the afternoon.



Barrett’s Technology Solutions’ Technology & Design Expo was a first in our 52-year history, and the success of our their event on July 25th has highlighted the need for an annual showcase of how technology and design should work together. Wish you were there? Read on for a recap of the event to whet your appetite for the next expo.


SEE MORE: Partnering with a Smart Home Company: Frequently Asked Questions


Retailers Spotlight Their Latest Innovations

Representatives from CinemaTech, Leon, Lutron, Meridian, Millson, Salamander, Savant, Séura, Sonance, Sony, and TRUFIG showed off their most recent innovations, giving guests the opportunity to experience these sophisticated smart home and business solutions first-hand. Sink into a luxurious CinemaTech home theater recliner, try out Lutron’s massively popular motorized window shades, and see how Leon hides flat-panel TVs within elegant picture frames with drop-down pieces of fine artwork.



People gathered around the Sony’s 4K UHD ultra-slim flatscreen TV, transfixed by the vibrant colors and crystal-clear definition of a nature video. Meridian brought its iconic loudspeakers, giving listeners a rich, multidimensional soundscape with a piece of technology that is aesthetically pleasing and customizable for any color palette.

The Séura Smart Mirror had a lot of people talking. Hidden behind a mirror is a smart device with access to the millions of apps in the Google Play store, a futuristic piece of equipment that introduces a world of new possibilities for your morning routine.                                                                              


SEE MORE: How Can You Learn More About Smart Home Technology?


Richard Millson Shares His Knowledge

After a quick introduction to smart home automation from Barrett’s president, Joe Barrett, guests were treated with a keynote speech from Richard Millson, CEO of Millson, a Vancouver-based home technology company that specializes in brilliant design solutions for tricky technological challenges.

Millson began by breaking down some of the perceived differences between the technology and design fields. Perceptions included ideas like technology being man-made, intimidating, confusing, difficult, alien, and prioritizes function while design is organic, inviting, obvious, effortless, human, and focused on form. He looked at how companies like Apple, Tesla, and Nest have brought these two worlds together to create technology with a design that makes people want to use it, and talked about how his own passion for design has shaped Millson’s biggest successes like the CinemaFrame, the world’s first completely concealed high-quality entertainment control system.

Millson ended by bringing attention to the manufacturers in the room and their strides in technology and design. He brought attention to how Savant upgraded its user interface with an aluminum and glass remote that feels good in your hand and has a touchscreen on top for added functionality. He applauded Sonance for creating speakers that fit seamlessly into their surroundings, and Leon for creating a speaker bar that could be easily added to a flat-panel display to dramatically increase its audio capabilities.




Chicago-based smart home installers and interior designers curious about smart home technology solutions like the ones above should reach out to the experts at Barrett’s to learn more. You can contact us by calling 630-898-2850 or filling out the online form on our homepage, which also has a newsletter subscription link so you don’t miss out on any future Barrett’s events.