news - September 2020
Rely on Your Home Control Expert
It’s important for the architect or designer to engage with a technology partner from the beginning of a project.
By Bill Hensley
MOST OF US WHO HAVE PURCHASED a new or "used” home are likely to have found things we wanted to change from day one. For those of us purchasing a pre-existing home, some of these must-update items were apparent even before we placed the offer.
In a well-planned custom home this should never be the case. If it is, then one of us on the design-build team was not doing our job, not asking enough questions, not being absolutely sure we understood the client’s dreams and desires. We come together as a team to turn those dreams and desires into reality. The architect or designer is often the captain of the team, and with technology playing an increasingly important role in the home experience, it’s important for the captain to engage with a technology partner from the beginning of the project. The seamless integration of the home tech through a personalized control and automation system is vital in delivering the client’s dream.
A successful control system is more than just the master system that connects all the “individually smart” components into a single simple-to-use interface. Yes, it’s the “brains” of the smart home, but when done right it adds to the heart and soul of the home as well, reinforced by every easy and intuitive interaction. After all, it’s the sum of the experiences that turn a house into a home, even if it’s a second home by the coast or in the hills.
Control needs to be intuitive for the homeowner, but let’s pursue the notion of intuition from the opposite direction. What if the home could be more intuitive in how it responds to the homeowner? What if the home automation system knew what your client wanted without being told or waiting for a command? Would that elevate the home experience? Likely so, and while technology innovators race toward machine learning solutions, you have the answer on your team right now – your home technology integrator.
The integrator can unlock experiences that to the homeowner feel like their “intuitive” smart home is paying attention. They start with questions to fully understand the client’s lifestyle and then sync the home’s technology with how the client wishes to experience the home on a day-to-day basis. Then, your technology partner can personalize the system with automations that help the house be the home. By applying rules — such as time of day, day of the week, temperature, who came home first, is the room occupied — your integrator can personalize the system with “intuitive moments.” This is possible because the various systems are connected — lighting, climate, entertainment, security — and thus they can influence each other.
For example, turn on the family room TV in mid-day and the window shades lower in the room. Or the doorbell rings at night and the whole home audio pauses to play the chime over the audio system while the entry hall light comes on and the video doorbell feeds its image to the nearest touch panel or remote. These “moments” are all pre-automated, but in execution, they make it feel like the home is paying attention – which of course, it is!