Smart Home - the future is now

Technology and your house.

My Acura MDX is about to turn 100,000 miles. It’s a 2012 model and was, at the time, manufactured with most, if not all, of the best technology available in a car: Adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, lane change warning, and of course the latest in blue tooth and sound etc.  (isn’t it funny that the most important component in a car – the engine – is something we can  now take for granted).

 My Acura has, however,  an usually high number of minor scratches (and one not so minor) so while my automobile is in excellent running condition it was looking a little tired.  I had one too many real estate signs thrown into the back, and one Jack Russel too many on the seat beside me.   I started doing research for a replacement.

Buying a replacement car today starts, of course, on the internet. 

But here is what I decided to do: I spent $600 on my MDX to totally detail and make it  “like new” . Let me tell you why.

I’m stalling.

The more I looked at automobiles and the technology that is coming very quickly to new cars, the more I was afraid that the car I buy today will be obsolete very soon in the five-year time frame I normally keep a car. I know you are familiar with this feeling when it comes to purchases like cell phones, sound systems and televisions. 

Now this functional obsolescence has come to automobiles. I’m going to ty to get an additional two years out of my car –  or at least until the technology revolution has hit some sort or level I am comfortable with so I won’t miss out on too much on my next car purchase. Heck maybe Gail and I won’t even need two cars in few years. If we need a second car I’ll just tell Alexa to send a car to the front door of our house and then I can tell that self-driving car to take us to dinner and back home again to our house.

Our house.  Another technological dinosaur. And it is was built in 2005! Heck I built a gorgeous home in 2016 and the house I will build in 2018 will have so much more. More is not the right word. There are things that I would do WAY differently.  I will do more with less.

Let me review what I want in my next house that is doable today.

First let’s talk construction, then we will talk features.

The house will be built to be hurricane proof, low cost to maintain and preserve, be water proof and it will go up easily and be high quality. Think insulated concrete foam, or polymer exterior with closed cell foam insulation, or metal studs and trusses with closed cell foam. The lighting will be LED, the hot water system highbred, the A/C 23 SEER and mini-splits. Windows and in fact all components of the house will be impact resistant and energy miserly.

Every house will generate its own electricity with solar PVA panels and have a battery wall for storage. Not only will the house consume very little electricity, it will make its own power and in fact sell its extra production back to the utility company.

The internet of things will be ubiquitous in these homes. Everything will talk to everything else and YOU will be able to talk to those things as well. This will load this house with features such as lights and appliances that respond to voice command, just your presence, or better yet learn what you want before you know what you want (thermostats, sound systems, hot water, A/C , garage doors, locks and sprinklers)

These features indeed  exist today. With the proper design and integration they are affordable to the mainstream home buyer.

I retrofitted my home with many of these features, perhaps you have as well.  But we are in the Betamax/VHS stage of many of these technologies.  My lights don’t talk with my garage door, my sound system and my sprinklers come from different planets, my A/C is old school and my sound systems speaks four different  languages and never to each oher. My electric and plumbing was designed in 1950 and my insulation and energy efficiency are dismal.

One platform is emerging, however,  and  when designing a home we can achieve an integration and efficiency not possible with retrofitting. With that one platform comes an integration that makes the whole more efficient than the sum of the parts. The house will know when you are near home and will start the cooling system, heat the water for your shower, and turn on the lights you need.

Will the technology waterfall stall home purchase like they have stalled cars?

It has for me.

But stay tuned. We will be building these homes in 2018.