These days, whenever you pick up an architecture magazine and start flicking through it, it is only a matter of time before you come across an article or a study that says smart homes are among us, that they are the present. This is simply not true. Well, perhaps it is true for a Danish architect who makes $20,000 a month and who can afford a smart home.
For us mere mortals, smart homes are definitely not the present. They are still very much in the future and today, we would like to talk about them. We would like to talk about the good things and the bad things that come with smart homes. We would also like to talk about when these homes might actually become the present for us, average people.
The main reason why we believe smart homes will definitely be part of our future is the way they reduce waste of energy and water. Namely, most smart homes utilize materials and different technologies that allow them to be extremely energy-sufficient. Most smart houses have their own solar panels. The air-condition systems are done in such a way so as to require as little energy as possible. The same is true for use of water and the absolute minimum that is required with smart homes.
When we are talking home-security, smart homes show their strengths here as well. All experts will tell you that one of the best things you can do for your home security is to have a system that is as integrated as possible. Well, imagine a system that involves the entire house, making sure no one can enter from outside and also ensuring that everyone is safe inside. It is really easy to feel safe in a smart home.
We must also not forget entertainment as one of the most important aspects of living spaces today. People want state of the art entertainment and that is exactly what smart homes can provide. They feature all of the latest technological advances in entertainment, providing people who live in such homes with such entertainment possibilities that they will never need to leave their home.
The first thing that comes to mind when we are talking bad sides of smart homes are the costs. At the moment, smart homes cost an arm and a leg, especially if you are going for high quality solutions that really live up to the name. The costs are so great that very few developers actually build smart homes not knowing if they will find the buyer. People who want smart homes usually build them for themselves.
The good thing is that technology always gets cheaper and we can envision a time when smart homes will be viable real estate options for regular folk. This will especially become the case if federal and local governments start helping out people who wish to build and purchase smart homes.
There are some other aspects of smart homes that we are not too crazy about at the moment. For instance, there is the issue of a certain 'vulnerability' that is innate to smart homes. With all that technology, things are bound to go wrong. We cannot get our phones and computers to work properly 100% of the time, now extrapolate this to an entire house filled with technology and software. No one wants to be left locked in the bathroom for two days just because the system that regulates locks on bathroom doors caught a virus.
Looking Forward to the Future
All in all, however, we are excited about the future and the potential that smart homes hold. If for nothing else, then for energy efficiency and the security that they can provide. We will happily look back at this article some 15 years from now and read it as a memento of days gone by.
About the author: James D. Burbank is a marketing professional who has great interest in home design, architecture and real estate. This article was made possible by the advice he received from a security monitoring company in Sydney.