I recently talked with Art Walker, CEO, Auton Motorized Systems, about the company’s groundbreaking industry history, the Dream Machine Under the Bed lift and why the quest for unique design never ceases.
Maureen Jenson: What makes Auton unique in the industry?
Art Walker: Auton was the first company to manufacture automated concealment solutions. In fact, our first installation was for a celebrity’s home in 1979. She needed a solution that would conceal a television but within the space outlined in the design. We worked with her installation team to create a custom lift that fit the project specifications exactly.
Today, we have more than 40 years of expertise in fabricating elegant solutions that provide the wow factor that many A-listers want in their homes. All our products are custom built to spec in our manufacturing plant here in Southern California, which has been a family-run operation for 50 years.
MJ: What drives the need for concealment in today’s market?
AW: There are several factors: design, the desire for state-of-the-art automated tech and space. Many high-end homes and corporate offices are thoughtfully and intentionally designed around a visual aesthetic or view, which shouldn’t be interrupted by flat panels, projectors, audio technology, appliances or other room requirements clients would rather stay hidden. Concealing these items and revealing them only when they’re needed adds another element of luxury and magic to a room.
Our automated lifts, panels and mounts help ensure that that no matter what, that vision or view is never compromised. It adds a certain prestige and allure to the space when you can reveal a projector or display that wasn’t there before. Plus, concealment is a creative solution for saving space. We specialize in creating concealment products to fit any vision and all spaces — even outdoors.
MJ: What products do you put in the field most often?
AW: Our Dream Machine Under the Bed lift is our best-selling product. It was inspired by the idea that the bedroom should be an oasis — a retreat. However, many design professionals and clients cringe at how a flat panel hanging on the wall disrupts that serenity and luxury. We also recognized the need for an automated concealment solution for any bedroom size. The Dream Machine smoothly and quietly glides out from under the bed, making use of otherwise unoccupied space and instantly transforming the room at a touch of a button. To see the Dream Machine Video: https://youtu.be/myilS_S3RcI
Our Below Ground lifts are also captivating. They add an unexpected, touch to outdoor entertainment areas and landscape architecture when one or two flat panels rise from the ground. Our Painting Lift collection is also popular. Clients love that they can use their one-of-a-kind artwork or even a mirror that they want as a focal point in the room as a concealment solution.
MJ: Where are most of your installs found?
AW: In addition to luxury homes and penthouses, our solutions can be found in five-star hotels and resorts all over the world: Las Vegas, Singapore, Macau and Dubai to name just a few. More recently, as state-of-the-art meeting and board rooms become the face of company innovation, Auton’s lifts and panels have played a key role.
They provide that high-tech differentiation that raises what would be a normal corporate install to a higher standard — revealing displays and projectors with a touch of a button. We also are sought out for stylish, modern solutions almost anywhere, even out on the water in a yacht.
MJ: Walk us through the process for creating each mount/lift for an installation.
AW: The unique value that Auton brings to the table is that we recognize that no two installs are exactly the same. We build around what the project needs, not the other way around. With that in mind, we begin the manufacturing process by working closely with our customers to understand their project so that we can build them an automated solution designed to their specification. In order to meet that goal, we are committed to constant, consistent and transparent communication with the integration or design team.
MJ: What is on the horizon for the company?
AW: We are driven by a never-ending quest for innovation and how we can bring elegance to where people work and play. Many technology trends, such as bigger interactive displays, are now becoming more mainstream in executive boardrooms. We’re constantly imagining concealment approaches that blend technological achievements with their surroundings in new and fascinating ways. https://auton.com/