Saturday
December 20, 2014

Buyer’s Guide: Smart Home Technology

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Buyer’s Guide: Smart Home Technology

Talk tech, think green. Buyers and sellers are looking for guidance on converging technologies for the home. Review this guide to get acquainted with the terms and solutions for smarter homes.

What makes a home smart? While there’s no consensus yet, people do agree on a number of aspects of what one should contain. In the broadest sense, a smart home is where home automation, entertainment technologies, intelligent products and appliances, and cleaner, greener materials and energy solutions all intersect.

New homes can be designed to drive that convergence before the foundation is even poured. These are built with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind and with the infrastructure for an entertainment network and security system and centralized control of lighting, locks, and all technology. With a connection to the Internet and coming "smart grid" public utilities, the house itself can manage power usage, while its digital hub pumps the media content of choice to any room.

The convergence of technologies redefining how we live, work, and fill our leisure time are also changing expectations about what Americans want in their homes. You’re the professional adviser to buyers and sellers, and they’ll be looking to you for guidance on all things smart and green.

Within a few years, if you can’t explain such amenities as smart appliances or a home automation system and how and why "eco-efficiency" adds appeal and value, you’ll risk becoming irrelevant to many clients. There’s still time to master these topics, however, before today’s emerging trends evolve into new standards.