Eddie Murphy’s home theater.
Coming to a Home Theater Near You
Winter is coming. While most people don’t have to worry about the White Walkers from “Game of Thrones,” it does mean that there are long nights of hot chocolate and movie marathons ahead. Instead of shoveling snow in the driveway to go to the movies, homeowners can be entertained in their own home theater—which can really increase the value of the home as well. And it doesn’t have to be humongous or hugely expensive either, says Theo Kalomirakis, a veteran home-theater designer with clients like Eddie Murphy and Kelsey Grammer.
Major concerns and key factors for a successful home theater experience include acoustics, appropriate lighting, comfort and size. For that flawless ‘I’m so comfortable I could melt’ feeling, Kalomirakis recommends companies like Fortress Seating, CinemaTech and CINE Living for the cushiest of theater chairs. Even if the home is on the smaller side, home theaters can still be utilized. Kalomirakis strongly suggests a room that’s 10 by 16 feet for the optimum experience.
If homebuyers are hesitant about the price, homebuilders should heed Kalomirakis’ sage belief. “Even if the home theater has become a commodity in this country, people still appreciate it is the ultimate luxury,” he says.
Could Bluetooth Bring Smart Homes Mainstream?
Research firm IHS Technology reported that the smart home market will grow by 56 percent, with 190 million products shipping by 2018. The firm also says that Bluetooth Smart will be the fastest growing connectivity technology in the segment over that period.
“Bluetooth Smart has the unique advantage of being the only low-power technology that is natively supported by all leading smartphones and tablets,” said Lee Ratliff, principal analyst for low-power wireless technologies at IHS Technology. “This ubiquity makes for a seamless user experience without requiring another device, like a hub, to translate between technologies.”
Bluetooth Smart is the “power-friendly” version of Bluetooth wireless technology. With this technology, devices can run off a tiny battery for long periods. Bluetooth Smart can also work with an application on those smart devices. The company says developers and OEMs can easily create solutions that will work with the billions of Bluetooth enabled products already in the market today.
It has taken the smart home a long time to become a commonly known thing. But will Bluetooth really make it mainstream? We’ll just have to wait and see.
–Kelly A. Mello
High Flying Morale for Homebuilders
According to a poll conducted by MarketWatch, homebuilders have high hopes for the single-family home market.
The steadily improving job market has fortified homebuilders’ beliefs that they have weathered through the storm that was the housing market drop in recent years, and that there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. According to the MarketWatch report, “economists and housing-industry executives are still concerned that overly strict standards are preventing creditworthy families from getting a mortgage.”
There is also the estimation from MarketWatch economists that industrial productivity grew from 0.1 percent in August to 0.4 percent in September. Despite the growing confidence, MarketWatch warns against too much homebuilder hubris because many Americans are still underemployed or unemployed, and having trouble getting jobs.