Hunter Douglas PowerView+ and PowerView AC promise sleeker smart shades

Motorized smart blinds are increasingly a must-have, particularly in renovations, which is just where Hunter Douglas' latest PowerView models aim to discreetly slot in. The PowerView+ and PowerView AC promise to be quieter and more flexible than existing powered shades, and without the need to change batteries or periodically plug them in to charge.

The PowerView+ is a low-voltage system, using a newly-designed 16-shade Smart Power Supply. That's intended to fit into a wall box somewhere out of the way, and connect via ethernet to the home network.

Four-conductor control cables then link that box to the individual shades, providing them with hardwired power too. It'll work with Hunter Douglas' Designer Roller Shades, Designer Screen Shades, Pirouette Window Shadings, and Silhouette Window Shadings ranges. The company claims that its new motor housing design helps cut down on vibrations during operation, which is one of the main contributors to overall shade noise.

As for PowerView AC, that uses AC power instead. Targeting installations with much larger windows, or indeed banks of windows that all need motorized blinds, it can handle spans of up to 240-inches. There's also support for shade coupling, where up to five shades are linked and use the same set of wiring and automation synchronization.

Like PowerView+, the PowerView AC system uses ultra-quiet motors, and connect to the PowerView Hub for integration with third-party smart home platforms like Control4, Crestron, and Savant. Alternatively, they can be controlled through Hunter Douglas' own PowerView app, or the Pebble Remote the company offers. The app allows for grouping of blinds into individual rooms, scheduling, and automations such as automatically opening the blinds based on sunrise, and closing them based on sunset.

They can also be integrated into a system with the standard PowerView wired or battery-powered shades. Where those products are designed to easily fit in with existing homes, Hunter Douglas is focusing on custom builds and renovation projects with the PowerView+ and PowerView AC platforms. There, the relative ease of routing cables between the control box and each window, along with supplying the AC blinds with power, should make a clean install a lot more straightforward.

As with all other Hunter Douglas shades and blinds, the new motorized offerings are based on custom installation, and so pricing will vary based on window size – up to 156 wide by 180 inches high, style depending – fabric, color, and other factors. They're not going to be inexpensive, then – especially if you have huge feature-windows to cover – but the tight integration could well make them a hit for those wanting to avoid their smart shades seeming like afterthoughts.