The latest in smart home technology

Over the past 20 years I have watched smart home technology emerge onto the scene, become the standard for luxury properties, and then recently become accessible to the masses. What a whirlwind! And with anything that catches on in mainstream America so quickly, there are many more questions than answers around the options, costs and lifetime of smart home technology. While I am relatively well-versed on the subject, I always believe it better to lean on experts. This is why I recently interviewed Mike Anderson, owner of Digital Systems & Integration.

What is the most common smart home technology you currently install?
Most all technology is network-based at this point, so one of our most common installations is first pulling out an old off the shelf setup, and replacing with a new network with robust modems and multiple access points. A strong network is so important because so much of the smart home technology currently available is network-based, and old networks don’t have a large enough bandwidth. We will then use the new network as the hub for TVs with media players, smart lighting, surveillance, etc.

What is the latest with smart lighting?
A lot of what we currently install is panelized lighting. Instead of numerous light switches, homeowners have one keypad with a button for each room of the home to turn lights on and off. It’s such a great convenience--when you’re headed out the door, there is just one button to push that turns off all the lights in a home. In terms of brands, Lutron and Control4 are great options for high quality lighting technology.

What is the lifetime of smart home technology?
We are still servicing lighting systems from 15-20 years ago, so a lot of this technology really lasts and comes with solid warranties. A big part of our business is also maintaining technology for our clients--system updates, troubleshooting, upgrades, etc.

What is the most exciting new smart home technology?
Artificial Intelligence is a great addition to a system. With something like Alexa, we set up homes so that homeowners can communicate directly to their home. For example, we can set up a program so that when you arrive home and say, “Alexa, I’m home,” lights will turn on, shades will open, really whatever you want to happen can happen. Facial recognition is also starting to be incorporated into locking systems. Instead of a key, the front door will scan your face and automatically unlock the door if it recognizes you.

Thank you, Mike, for all the great information! I find the topic of smart home technology so interesting--especially the Artificial Intelligence tie ins! It’s amazing what your home can do for you. For those interested, below is Mike’s contact information.

Mike Anderson
Digital Systems & Integrations | 773.425.9809