We recently attended the International Builder’s Show in Las Vegas, where we attended lots of seminars. One of the big topics this year, as in years past, is home technology; however, the twist on this year’s seminars was “affordable technology”. So many of today’s technologies are affordable and finding them in the plethora of choices is sometimes daunting. Here are my “Top 5”.
Convenience. These are the basics, like, when I get up at 3 am to go to the bathroom, the bathroom light comes on so I don’t trip on my shoes. Convenience may or may not be expensive but can really change your life.
Accessibility. The smart phone has really changed everything in relation to accessibility. Now, there’s an app for just about everything you can imagine on your home. Want to watch streaming video of your kids getting home? There’s an app for that. Want to turn off the sprinklers because it’s supposed to freeze tonight? There’s an app for that… You get the picture.
Green Technology. This can mean a lot of things but the most popular ones usually involves some cost savings to the consumer or an ecologically-friendly impact on the environment. These areas have really evolved recently to include things like tankless hot water heaters, geothermal heating, and solar panels. These technologies for our homes are very site-specific; some of them are cost-prohibitive in certain areas while other alternatives have a 2- or 3-year cost benefit payout (which is fantastic!). So, make sure you ask for a comprehensive cost analysis before you begin.
Anticipation. Much of our new technology is created in anticipation of things to come. Lately, we have installed a number of whole-house backup generators for our high end clients, for example. They are anticipating power shortages at some point in the future. Another example is the 3D technology that is coming, thanks in part to the movie “Avatar”. At the International Builder’s Show, the speakers informed us that the new 3D technology that we saw on the big screen will some day be in our televisions in our homes.
Convergence. Convergence in the technology realm refers to multiple technologies coming together to form a single, better solution. In the home technology world, a great example of this is our ability to tie in the heating and cooling system into the home’s smart panel to allow for sensors in a room that control the room’s temperature when someone walks in the room. You can imagine the many benefits for this type of feature, especially when you have two people living in a 6,000 square foot home or a couple who only comes to their lake home on the weekend.
There are so many more great new technologies which can be incorporated into a home. The key is to really analyze how you live in your home and then talk to the experts about what’s out there. If you are building a new home, do your research and be sure to discuss with your Builder the convenience, accessibility, green technology, anticipation, and convergence technologies which best fit your lifestyle.
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About the Author: Bethany Jenkins is Vice President of Jenkins Custom Homes in Austin, Texas. To read more about Bethany check out her bio here.