Enhance Multifamily Environments with Entertaining Tech

Media rooms can truly spruce up a multifamily common area.Media rooms can truly spruce up a multifamily common area.

In multifamily projects, developers need to focus on two main factors in relation to technology—in-unit tech to make the client feel unique and amenities within mutual areas of the development to help the client feel part of the community.

Embracing this latter concept involves zeroing in on what technologies are best. Sure, developers could include a basic lounge area or game room or even an outdoor pool area, but to truly stand out among the masses, technology is a must.

So what exactly are these ideal technologies?

RELATED: Best of TecHome: Entertainment & Recreation

Sports Simulators

Multifamily developers can take gaming to the next level by integrating sports simulators that bring realistic recreational gameplay indoors with a larger-than-life experience.

A key contributor to this tech concept is Visual Sports’ multi-sport simulator.

Sports simulators help create "a social environment."
Sports simulators help create “a social environment.”

The technology from Visual Sports focuses on simulating sports from golf to baseball to hunting, and even zombie dodgeball. The tech allows users to engage and interact with a unique tracking software called SwingTrack, and while Visual Sports dabbles in all areas of the residential spectrum, its focus on multifamily has increased exponentially in recent years.

In the past three years, Visual Sports has seen a steady increase of multifamily developments utilizing its technology and expects even more of an embrace over the next couple of years.

“With the increase of new multifamily projects across the U.S., developers are looking for new and innovative products to help differentiate their projects from the competition and provide their residents with a functional amenity that can be utilized all year round,” says Visual Sports marketing manager Chris Lee.

Multi-sport simulators such as Visual Sports provide developers with essentially a turnkey solution for community entertainment in multifamily, as it requires minimal design and construction resources.

One multifamily developer to embrace Visual Sports is Johnson Development Associates, which uses the technology in its Haven Apartment Communities located in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

“They create a social environment,” says Rich McPhillips, director of development for Johnson Development Associates. “People can hang out and have sidebar conversations, while one person plays golf or is throwing a ball at the screen. It’s a fun, interactive way to generate some energy in the community.”

Theatres and Media Rooms

Developers can combine home theater and sports simulator elements to create a media room and hangout space for renters.
Developers can combine home theater and sports simulator elements to create a media room and hangout space for renters.

Another solution for community entertainment is including a home theater-type setup in a development’s common areas, but keep in mind this creates a far different collaborative environment than the one formed through a sports simulator. With simulators, you have interaction and involvement, while a theater would favor a quieter atmosphere of individuals collectively watching a TV show or film.

It all depends on what your clients are demanding.

For example, Johnson Development Associates once used theatres but didn’t see them getting much use. It found that sports simulators not only drew a larger crowd, but created far more buzz even during the initial marketing process.

“We’re spending more for the simulators, but we’re getting more use than we did with home theaters,” says McPhillips.

Another fine solution would be combining both the theater and the sport simulators into an all-in-one media room, where clients can reserve time for how they want the room to be used.

This way, developers can create a singular common space that goes from movie night to game night in the blink of an eye. It’s an excellent way to bring your clients together and truly form a community.

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About The Author

Greg Vellante is a staff writer and multimedia specialist at TecHome Builder, as well as a content coordinator for AE Ventures events. He has over a decade of experience writing for various publications on topics that range from cinema to editorials to home technology. His favorite technologies fall into the A/V and home entertainment realm, and he’s keeping a close eye on the rising trends in robotics and virtual/augmented reality. Greg resides in Boston, holds a degree in Media Studies from Emerson College and pursues screenwriting/filmmaking in his free time.

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