Balancing Technology and Design
What actually makes a product “smart” when it comes to home technology? The residential market has become inundated with new solutions geared towards improving the overall homeowner experience, but how can we tell which products will actually make a difference in our everyday lives?
Technology has historically been an afterthought in home building; a fun add-on considered to be part of the home furnishing portion of a project. Residential technology systems such as distributed audio and video, video surveillance, lighting control, and automated window treatments, which were once viewed as a luxury, are now gaining popularity as essential solutions for the ultimate homeowner experience. Why? Functionality, convenience, entertainment, relaxation- to name a few reasons. Weaving technology into the home not only gives current homeowners more peace of mind but can extend the overall longevity of the home itself.
Technology integration and low voltage companies, such as SaaviHome, are responsible for the successful installation and integration of the various technology systems that may be factored into a new or existing home. Each of these systems has the potential to impact the final design of a space, and it is important that trade partners and homeowners understand the complex planning and design process that must be undertaken along the way to ensure these systems are wired, installed, and programmed to align with the needs of the home.
What exactly is technology integration?
Great question! Each technology system that can be incorporated into a home- home theater, WiFi networking, automated lighting and window shades, etc.- has its own dedicated control system- an app or smart control used to operate the system. When a home has multiple technology systems, it can become cumbersome and inconvenient to control those systems over multiple platforms. A home becomes “smart” when each of these technology systems are intertwined for internal communication and controlled on one platform, providing simplicity and convenience. Consider the feasibility of opening a single app on your smartphone or tablet and with the press of a button controlling your homes lights, audio, security system, window shades, televisions, and HVAC system. Whether you are home or away, home technology works to keep your home and appliances protected and energy efficient.
The most effective way to incorporate technology into a project is to plan ahead and integrate it into the design and décor of the home from the beginning. There is a three- pronged approach to incorporating technology into the home: advanced planning, design philosophy, and product selection.
- Advanced Planning
A new home with a wall of south facing windows will benefit greatly by incorporating automated window treatments. If the plan is to hide the headrail and drive (motor) of the window treatment, the framing crew will need to know this so that they can build the necessary pockets to adequately hide the technology. It is essential that these pockets be planned for ahead of time.
- Design Philosophy
Working with a technology company with an aesthetically-driven design philosophy, ideally one that aligns with your own, will ensure proper recommendations when it comes to consolidating and minimizig the visual eyesore of electronics, wires, and controls. A successful integrator will produce
- Product Selection
It is the responsibility of your technology integrator to make recommendations on the right products for any given technology solution. SaaviHome will work with you to ensure each product recommendation aligns with your budget and the needs of your home.
Understanding Homeowner Needs
Every technology solution is not right for every homeowner. Understanding the lifestyle needs of a homeowner is crucial to making proper recommendations on home technology. What is most important to the way you relax, entertain, and protect your home? Where do you spend most time in the home? What will this cost?! Will the technology infrastructure in my home be conducive to future upgrades? Ascertaining these answers at the beginning of a home project will prevent untimely delays down the line once a homeowner begins to consider how they will live most comfortably in their home.
As home technology systems continue to grow in popularity and necessity, it is important to partner with a technology company that understands just how those systems can enhance the lifestyle of homeowners. Building a “smart home” takes a team of dedicated partners across various trades, and the earlier you can plan for it, the more successful you will be in living a smart life.