Recently I had the pleasure of working on a personal brand shoot with Caroline and Thomas – an Aberdeenshire-based smart (!) couple behind TL Tech and Kindspace voice skill.
TL Tech is the company that will design, install and maintain smart home systems in your home, while Kindspace is an Alexa voice skill with an aim to track and more importantly improve your wellbeing.
What I loved hearing from Caroline during the planning process for their branding shoot, was that any home can become “smart”.
You don’t need to live in central London, in a glass box built in the past 2 weeks. Heck, even their caravan is smart – isn’t that pretty inspiring?
During our shoot, both Caroline and Thomas were so incredibly generous with information about what they do and how they do it. Such a lovely couple of people, with a genuine interest in making other people’s lives easier, more streamlined and accessible. Caroline and Thomas’ work hasn’t been unnoticed, with a number of award nominations and finding themselves as finalists and shortlisted for quite a few.
The main thing, I think, for these guys, is how much difference they make to people’s lives, when implementing their knowledge and spreading their ‘smarts’ – now, this is one global takeover I can fully jump onboard with!
Have you been considering upgrading your own brand photos? Ready to get the date in the diary?
Before I show off what we created with TL Tech, I would love to invite you to check out my friend Ute Reckhorn, a fine art and family photographer in the South Bay of Los Angeles's post about photographing large groups!
Trust me, this is one company you will want to learn more about and here are some of my favorite images from their personal brand photoshoot earlier this year:
I also grabbed a few moments of Caroline’s precious time and asked her a few questions - to get to know her and Thomas a little better and snap up some gems of expertise.
Give me a little brief about your business and yourself
Thomas originally founded the business in 2016 after a career in the oil industry working as an Electronic and Electrical engineer. His passion is tech and upgrading the family home was where the idea for the smart home business stemmed from. I officially joined the business in 2018 to help with managing the day-to-day operations and business development. My background is a little bit different as I previously worked full time as a Chemical Engineer also in the oil industry.
Who do you work with and how can you help them?
We install smart home tech in people’s homes to help them live independently. This work has given us a real insight into the need for person centred technology solutions that give people more control over their care and families reassurance about a loved one’s wellbeing.
We also develop experiences for people on the Amazon Alexa smart speakers. Our main voice application is called Kindspace and focusses on wellbeing and helping people to better manage their self-care. To access it all you have to say is “Alexa, open Kindspace”.
Why is what you do important?
When we started our business, our vision was to be the plumbers of the smart home world, but we quite quickly realised that the people who can benefit from these technologies the most are the least likely to be able to access them. Traditional assisted living technology is very reactive in how it supports people and is more of a last line of defence rather than a proactive way of helping someone to improve their quality of life.
There is so much untapped potential in the off-the-shelf consumer electronics to really make a difference in people’s lives and empower them to live well.
If someone wants to start the journey of adding smart tech to their home, what are the first 3 steps they should take?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed because there are so many different brands and technologies. I’m a big believer in doing things in stages and we find that starting with the fun stuff can make the more practical use cases easier to adopt.
We have a great guide on our website to help people on this journey.
While it might not be fun there are some important practicalities to consider, including:
1. Understanding how to keep your network and devices secure. There have been a lot of scare stories in the media about hackers accessing cameras and other internet connected devices in the home, but there are things you can do to reduce the risk of this happening and also minimise the areas that a hacker can access.
2. WiFi coverage might be an issue depending on the design of your home and how your router is configured.We recommend checking with your internet service provider to make sure that you have the latest model, they will often give you a free upgrade and some also offer free plugin range extender devices to improve the WiFi coverage in your home. In terms of positioning, trying to place the router in a central location will improve the signal coverage.
3. You’re best to choose one control hub and only a few communication methods. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re restricted to one manufacturer, but it does help with the set-up of the system and can reduce the number of apps that you will need to interact with and set-up the devices. Our favourite communication methods are WiFi and Zigbee as they are compatible with lots of different device types and also work well with the Amazon Alexa smart speakers. Note that many WiFi devices can operate directly with Alexa without the need for a central hub, but you may not get as good performance using WiFi due to the signal strength.
Your top 3 smart devices?
Rather unsurprisingly voice assistants feature heavily in our top three!
Where is the best place for people to learn more about what you do and connect with you?
If people would like to find out more about our services, the best place is our website.
There you’ll find all our help guides and purchases recommendations, as well as our regular blog pieces. You can use our chat facility to ask us questions in real time or send us a message through our contact page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. We also have online booking, making it easy for you to book in time with us for an online consultation.
Thank you for your time, Caroline & Thomas, you’ve been a blast!
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