I’m sure there are many of you who thought we’d all have homes like The Jetsons by 2012. Am I right? Automatically open/close doors, conveyor belt indoor sidewalks, food dispensers that could whip up almost anything in mere seconds… well, the dream is still alive.
While we’re not yet to that degree of technological luxury, we are making strides! Smart house technology is a category of business that’s grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.
What Is ‘Smart House’ Technology?
At its heart, the idea is to use computing power to perform tasks that we either aren’t currently thinking about or are incapable of doing at the moment. That’s a lot of words that basically mean, “computers doing stuff.”
Some of these great ideas are currently available to the public and are being promoted in commercials. Have you seen the one where a daughter calls her out-of-town Dad and asks to borrow the car? He graciously agrees and does her one better by actually starting the car remotely. The daughter’s friend is beyond impressed!
That particular example doesn’t take place within the home but the same concept applies. Just think garage doors, interior or exterior lighting, thermostats, audio/visual systems, and more.
There are even products that tie into your home that can alert medical specialists in the event of a health emergency. We’ve come a long way, and it appears an automated future is right around the corner.
Bill Gates Started It
Bill Gates made news with his $113 million dollar home in Washington designed by the architectural firm, Bohlin Cywinksi Jackson. This was perhaps the first truly smart house. For a thorough description of the home and all of its mind-bending features, read the U.S. News and World Report piece on Xanadu 2.0. It just goes to show that 100 million doesn’t get you as far as it used to.
Today’s Smart House Options
Today, costs have dropped drastically. When buying online you can snap up a Fully Supervised Wireless Alarm Control System with Partitioning and Internal GSM, on sale today for just $388.96. What would have cost $10,000 just eight years ago, is now within the financial reach of millions more consumers.
Other sites, like House Smart Technologies, attempt to point consumers toward recommended products. Because of the complexity of certain systems, (and how many may or may not work together), expert advice is incredibly valuable. The last thing you want is to purchase all the components but fail to get the system up and running.
Some cities, like New York, Toronto and Vancouver are more likely to have resident experts on the leading edge of home automation. Here in Louisville, we need to utilize phone/online support or do the project ourselves. The Vivint price structure is pretty compelling. They also have their own installers.
Clearly, we’re on the crest of a home revolution. Fast forward a few decades and we’ll wonder how we could have managed back in the “old days” when we needed to stand up and walk over to switches to make things happen.