“The smart home” is coming, or so says Greenwich Time. I say, don’t hold your breath.
As smart technology rises in popularity more and more people are looking not just to add smart technology to their homes, but to make the home itself “smart.”
Any home can be made “smart” by adding technology to solve such problems, but building a home specifically to be smart is rare simply because the technology is still so new.
In Greenwich, the This New House project by realtor and developer Sabine Schoenberg will be a smart house from the very beginning. Through strategic planning and implementation, the home will be completely wired upon completion, though all the technology will be hidden within the walls.
“This makes owning a house very simple with these kinds of technology controls,” Schoenberg said. “If you want to watch a movie you push a button and it’s exactly how you set it. Obviously you can change it at anytime, but once you set it you don’t have to think about it again.”
Though the home is the first smart home to be built from the ground up in Greenwich, 25 percent of people in the Northeast know someone with a modified smart home, according to the Icontrol report. Almost 54 percent of Americans surveyed for the report said they plan to buy at least one smart home product in the next year and Northeasters are the most likely to purchase a connected home monitoring camera within the next 12 months.
While 46 percent of respondents said their life would improve if their fridge encouraged them to eat healthy, [you really want your ice box nagging you that you shouldn’t have that pint of Ben & Jerry’s? I don’t think so – ED] the majority of respondents were a bit more practical in their desires for smart home technology. Home security topped the list of priorities in smart home tech — 90 percent of respondents said personal and family security is one of the most important reasons for using a smart home system.
Increased security was popular among parents in particular. About 18 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to leave their kids at home unsupervised at a younger age if they had live video feed into the home and could automate home functions, such as lights, locks and TV.
The technology is still new and can be expensive to install in a pre-existing home, but according to Schoenberg, installing it in new construction is usually easier for electricians than traditional wiring andsomeday, could be affordable and standard in new homes. According to the Icontrol report, 51 percent of Americans said they would pay up to $500 to make their existing home smart, with 32 percent showing willingness to pay between $500 and $3,000.
“These are the homes of the future,“ Schoenberg said. “Smart, healthy and green … you have to do it all together and holistic thinking is key.“
Over the years, I’ve seen houses go up with “sustainable” bamboo flooring, “safe” paint, and multi-hundred-thousand-dollar entertainment/smart wire technology, and none of that has induced any buyer I’ve dealt with (or, seeing the final selling price, anyone else’s) to pay extra. No one except the builder really give a rat’s ass about saving an oak tree, and as for the super circuitry, the high-tech buyers know what they want and will have it installed themselves, the low-tech people are intimidated, and everyone, high-tech, low-tech, or just bored, focuses on the local schools and what brand appliances are in the kitchens.
My advice: if you want to save the world by laying in bamboo floors, or move into “the house of the future” (which will be obsolete in the future 10 years fro now), go for it, but don’t count on anyone paying you for your pioneering spirit – they won’t.