As some readers may know, the theme of the July/August 2015 issue of Dwell magazine is smart homes. Once the stuff of science fiction films, many homeowners are today linking their houses with state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems to create more comfortable, efficient, and streamlined lifestyles.

Citing Porch and Lowe’s 2014 Smart Home Survey, Dwell‘s Luke Hopping summarizes that “[h]alf of Americans are interested in smart tech for home security reasons, 40 percent for its potential to lower bills, and 35 percent for its convenience. A forthright 13 percent cited their desire to ‘feel more tech savvy’ as the source of their interest.” The Survey is worth a look, including for such American jokes as the highlighted “finding” that “young adults are almost twice as their elders to turn lights off.” The survey also spent time on the effects of popular culture on how Americans rank smart home features, including this personality quiz-style question:

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 11.18.37 AM
Source: Lowe’s 2014 Smart Home Survey Infographic

 

What are the “futuristic features” on offer in today’s smart home tech market? Much of it is what has come to be called “the Internet of Things” — the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity. As of 2014, there are twice as many things connected to the internet as there are people. The graph below (and accompanying video) shows “an explosion of connected possibility.”

By 2020, it estimates, there will be about 6.6 devices connected to the Internet for every person on the planet. And that’s accounting for projected increases in the population! No wonder so many are thinking about how to link their homes to their phones.

 

Source: itworldcanada.com

 

Home automation using these tools often addresses lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, appliances, communication systems, entertainment and home security devices to improve convenience, comfort, energy efficiency, and security.

The question of the control center is a significant one today, as we seem to have left behind the days of multiple remotes in favor of a streamlined, linked-in app-verse.

Our recent post on lighting and shade control systems showed a control panel fashioned after light switch designs.

Source: lutron.com
Source: lutron.com

 

Yet there are more contemporary interface options, such as an in-home display for controlling smart home appliances. Coming in close behind these displays is the customer preference to control smart home features using apps. Hopping continues, “Seventy percent of smartphone and tablet owners say they’d like to control something in their house remotely from bed, such thermostats, lights, or coffee makers (an appliance 27 percent named specifically).”

 

WeMo Coffee smartphone app.
Source: Dwell.com

 

Dwell mentioned the expected application of smart technologies for home security, but also spent time on the leisurely possibilities. Charles Willson, whose smart home is profiled in the July/August issue, uses his smart monitoring to keep an eye on his climate-controlled vats for fermenting his own beer and wine!

How would you like to see smart technologies implemented in your home? Contact us to get started on your redesign today.

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