Home automation is a fast-growing and exciting field. In the last few years, we have watched the development of products that can permit us to manage thermostats, monitor security, open and close doors, and do much more in our homes from any location with internet access. Homeowners, business operators, and property managers of all kinds can now quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly make steps to improve security and energy efficiency at any number of locations.
These developments have emerged drop by drop, with a new idea hitting the market on a regular basis. Consumers pick up an idea here and an idea there, but they never get the full scope of not just what options are available but also how they can tie their various applications together into a comprehensive home automation plan.
It has reached a point where the overall home automation industry really needs to assemble everything into one place and get lots of different areas up to speed. That’s the need that triggered the development of Connections: The Premier Connected Home Conference.
The event, slated for May 23-25 in the Hyatt Regency Hotel San Francisco Airport, will bring together speakers and vendors representing all parts of home automation. It’s this opportunity to reset the knowledge base that has inspired companies like Nortek Security & Control to sponsor and exhibit at the conference.
Over the course of those three days, participants will see a number of different trends in home automation, delivered by the people on the front lines in the development, utilization, and upgrading of home automation technology. As our homes and businesses become more wired all the time, it’s necessary for all these players to come to the table periodically and share ideas with each other and the consumers who will buy them.
Homes Built Wired
Nearly every smart home has been retrofitted as such, set up for wired functionality years after construction. But as more and more consumers incorporate these features into the construction process, we are seeing an uptick in the number of homes built as smart homes. Soon these functions will become as naturally integrated as electricity and telephone were a few decades ago.
It’s a natural evolution. Most homes were not built to accommodate a wireless network, so speed and reception have been an issue. Almost everyone wants to improve their home network speed, so a home designed to maximize it is ideal. That greater bandwidth will expand the number of functions that can be handled remotely, especially those involving any sort of streaming audio or video.
Connections will provide insight on the future of homes that are wired from the foundation up. It will help consumers know what to ask for and advise builders on what to offer–and how to learn about installing it or to find subcontractors to bring in for automation work.
Home automation has come a long way since it only involved security systems and thermostats. People are realizing that connecting you to your house can save you money, protect your home, and improve your quality of life. We’re even seeing the beginnings of Rosie the Robot from the old “The Jetson’s” cartoon with programmable robotic vacuums and sweepers. What they still don’t know is what other things they could be doing to automate their homes, and that’s where Connections can really serve the consumer.
The conference will look into everything from voice-activated assistants to power management, shining a light on the products and people who can make your automated homework for you. There will be opportunities to learn about entertainment, utility management, and communications through smart home technology. You’ll even be able to see how to manage your kitchen, putting your slow cooker to work on the night’s dinner after you’ve confirmed that you’ll be getting off work on time. In short, it will gather together all the options so that you can see what works for you.
Some people imagine the old “Star Trek” computers as the reality of home automation–cold, electronic, and very computer-ish. As long as automation bears some of those characteristics, it will not only be adopted more slowly, but it will also hurt the resale value of wired homes.
At Connections, participants will see where the industry is going in terms of making it a more integrated, more human way to operate household functions. They’ll see how automated functions operating quietly in the background while normal family activities go on. This allows the automation to be a partner, not an intruder, inside the home. Soon the automated functions will feel just as normal as an alarm clock or a kitchen timer.
The faster technology moves, the more valuable it is to gather lots of the players together at once and see what is on the horizon. Not only do consumers get a look at what they can do in home automation, the folks behind automation can network and bounce ideas off one another, creating the energy that will drive the next big ideas in home automation.
Connections will be an ideal time for people in all parts of home automation–construction, sales, and even just users–to come together and get a comprehensive look at the industry from the people who know it best.