Distributor Cogworks has developed an automated wellness room that combines home cinema with wellness features. Adelle King reports.
The wellness movement appears to be here to stay and has become so popular that it’s sparked its own lucrative market.
According to estimates by the Global Wellness Institute, the global wellness industry grew by 10.6% to $US3.72 trillion ($A4.85 trillion) between 2013 and 2015, representing more than 5% of global economic output. This makes the wellness industry one of the world’s fastest growing markets.
To be fair, this number includes segments you wouldn’t think were part of wellness, such as beauty and anti-ageing, nutrition, the spa industry and thermal/mineral springs.
Nonetheless, in Australia alone the Business Review Weekly (BRW) estimates that the wellness industry is worth $15bn a year and according to IBIS World statistics, it has grown on average 4.7% a year since 2010.
As a result, companies in every industry are embracing the concept and there is a potentially-untapped gold mine available to the tech companies that can find a way to digitise it.
Wellness is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing that goes beyond freedom of disease, emphasising the proactive maintenance and improvement of individual health. This includes healthy eating, fitness, alternative medicine and personalised medicine.
Although the concept has been around for a while, the introduction of the WELL Building Standard in 2014, which focuses on the health of building occupants, prompted the widespread adoption of wellness programs.
From start-ups to global corporations, companies are looking to capitalise on the growth of the wellness market, including Australian AV distributor Cogworks, which is moving into this space with the launch of a new automated wellness room concept known as the Wellnest.
This room is a dedicated ‘media-infused’ retreat that provides Cogworks dealers with an offering that goes beyond the traditional home cinema. “The Wellnest is a combination of hand-picked, complementary devices and material selections that reflect genuine wellness along with premium AV equipment. The room reinvents the typical home cinema offering and has been designed for mind, body and comfort,” says Cogworks B4B partner manager Paul McLean.
“We feel that the astute home cinema buyer wants more for their money and a space that pushes the boundaries of value in terms of what it does for their home. As a distributor we wanted to inspire the thought process of our dealers engaging with their prospective home cinema clients. We transformed our product showroom into an ‘inspiration studio’ rather than an experience centre to enable us to influence this change.”
There has been a number of specific products and apps designed for the wellness space but the Wellnest is different in that it has been designed as a whole-room wellness solution.
“A typical place that was originally built to entertain can now deliver much more to provide a total wonderful media experience. Premium AV equipment provides the baseline chassis for industry reference performance in a home cinema room,” says Paul.
The Wellnest room features the latest Sony 4K HDR projector in a ventilated hush box so that it receives a continual change of air to maintain longevity of the electronics in the projector. The room also has a Severtson SAT4K 1.18 gain screen, an Ultra HD Blu-ray player and Apple TV. The Sony projector is sent 4K signals from the Blu-ray player and Apple TV, both of which have HDR capabilities.
“Controlling the native 2.35:1 aspect screen is an outboard Lumagen Radiance Pro video processor, which cleans up modern, heavily compressed video from streaming sources, such as Apple TV. It also maintains perfect geometry no matter what you’re watching thanks to a non-linear stretching (NLS) mode that dynamically stretches 16:9 content and fills the screen,” says Paul.
“The room is also tuned to the technical specification RT60 of 0.3 seconds to control distracting reverberations.”
Every aspect of the Wellnest has been designed with a focus on wellbeing, with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in the construction of the room to reduce indoor air pollutants and the potential associated health issues.
VOCs are chemicals that easily evaporate into the atmosphere at room temperature. They are found in common household products and materials, including furniture, carpeting, adhesives and cleaning. These compounds pollute the air and can build up in indoor environments to become a health hazard.
The carpet in the Wellnest room is natural wool and even the acoustic panels come from natural materials.
“The Wellnest is a modern media space with a number of additional elements included that enhance comfort and pleasure,” says Paul.
The Wellnest room incorporates lighting control designed to complement natural circadian rhythm, which is the same transition lighting used on commercial aeroplanes to help people adjust their ‘body clock’ when travelling across time zones.
The heart of the Wellnest room though is the air conditioning system, which was developed by Brisbane-based Thermosphere and features ultraviolet germicidal purification technology.
Thermosphere is a patented fusion of cooling, heating purification, filtration and ventilation technologies into one smart indoor micro-climate system that is highly intelligent and customisable to climatic zones.
This system is ultra-efficient and includes an atomiser in the air register supply. The atomiser is a canister filled with water and frankincense that is subtly drawn into the room.
“The Thermosphere system features a central internal unit with two cores for two zones, which are both rated at 3.5kW. The air travels through a patented air chamber that boasts a UVC lamp and an infrared lamp inside. The UVC lamp zaps the microbiological particles and the infrared lamp is used to carefully maintain humidity levels,” says Paul.
The UVC purification removes 99% of viruses and bacteria, and 96% of mould, toxins and spores, as well as cleaning and improving the efficiency of the coils.
The Thermosphere air conditioning system has zero external footprint and no visual or noise pollution. It also features a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) grade filtration system that removes VOCs and harmful atmospheric gases to ensure clean air.
A medical grade oxygen button and valve have also been added to the air supply to ensure a higher parts per million than outside air.
Paul says that while the Wellnest room is intended as a home cinema, Cogworks’ facility has been designed for office space, training and to show a ‘proof of concept’ to represent Cogworks’ brands. Its features can therefore also be incorporated into commercial applications.
“There is a lot of research that’s been done to show the benefits of adopting wellness features into workplaces and homes. You only have to look at how quickly the industry is growing to see how big the potential market is for a concept like the Wellnest,” says Paul.
As the definition of health expands to include mental and social wellbeing, consumers are starting to incorporate a health-focus into every aspect of their lives, from the food they eat to the technology they bring into their homes and offices.
“Integrators know that the only thing that is constant is change. We have seen a huge resurgence in home cinema, mainly due to immersive audio formats and larger screens that can actually resolve HD much better than large screen displays. By combining wellness into a home cinema, integrators can push the value of the room into something more,” says Paul.
“Wellness is on-trend and the benefits of embedding it into home cinema offerings are huge.”