The TecHome of 2016 will undergo a revolution that’ll likely change the way builders do business.
We saw a monumental shift in the growth of the smart home industry in 2015—advancements in solar, home energy storage, HVAC solutions and certainly IoT-driven, home automation technology.
But the true question remains: What comes next?
Industry leaders are weighing in on the defining factors of this shift, including client demands and new industry trends.
“In my opinion, it appears that the driving force in the smart home of today is connectivity,” says Barry Hensley, general manager of NorthStar Luxury Homes. “Residents want information, photos, video, music, etc. at their fingertips.”
Hensley believes there will be a significant growth in the popularity of streaming services for at-home entertainment, such as Hulu and Netflix, and therefore a rise in connected entertainment devices such as the Apple TV, Roku or Google Chromecast. Including these in TecHome packages will likely become more of a standard practice for builders.
With the release of Oculus Rift virtual reality software during the first quarter of 2016, the shift in premier at-home entertainment may reach even greater heights if builders include these in packages.
Safety and Security
In relation to staying connected, Hensley also notes the upcoming evolution of home security.
“Security is, and will continue to be, at the top of the list,” says Hensley. “But now the smart home will ‘talk’ to the residents, letting them know who has entered the house, when and if the security system is armed, etc.”
Security-based technologies that Hensley sees flourishing even more in 2016 include premises video surveillance and smart locks. And some builders even see these products becoming standards in the smart home, such as Chad Williams of Pepper Viner Homes.
“In terms of safety and security, I believe features related to these will also become more commonplace than optional,” says Williams.
The Rise of the Healthy Home
Williams also predicts the “Healthy Home” concept will grow significantly in 2016, especially when it comes to HVAC solutions and indoor air quality (IAQ).
“With the emphasis on indoor air quality we are seeing, this lends itself to intuitive thermostats and a specialized ventilation system,” says Williams. “This is why we’re including both of these items as standards currently.”
TecHome Builder is responding to this growing trend, launching a newsletter tailored to the “Healthy Home” this January.
An Exciting Year to Come
There are other promising trends set to explode over the next year.
“I think it’s going to be a very exciting year,” says Tom Few, vice president of Vivint. “I can see the Internet of Things evolving and a lot more builders hopping aboard because of this.”
Dan Fulmer, CEO of FulTech Solutions, Inc. sees luxury high-end homebuilding continuing to develop and increase along with the economy. High-volume building, however, is a different story. Fulmer sees this industry shifting generously to allow clients and builders to embrace more technologies in the home.
“I think the penetration into the middle market will start to really take off,” says Fulmer. “Not so much the DIY, but the mass market products like Alarm.com, door locks, Caseta lighting from Lutron, Elan controls and others who are really making quality products and systems affordable to the masses.”
When it comes to the TecHome of 2016, there is certainly a lot to look forward to.