Smart & connected: The future of luxury home technology
Words by Peter Worthy, CEO of Smarthomes
Today’s luxury homeowners specify the best in everything – from kitchen worktops to garden design, so it’s only natural that forward-thinkers are also looking into the ways they can use technology to make life easier.
You’re probably already using Alexa to change your TV channels, find out what the weather’s going to be like and tell you a joke or two.
But Alexa and other smart devices like her are just a taste of the way home technology could change the way you live. Everything from home security to entertaining can now be safely, securely and invisibly built into your home, bringing comfort, relaxation and complete control to every day.
You may already have a Wi-Fi sound system in your home, so you already know how convenient that is. You might have a great TV set up, with all the boxes, including gaming, neatly connected. You probably have dimmer switches for your lighting and CCTV cameras so you can monitor key areas while you’re away. All these solutions exist in some form and varying degrees of quality. But maybe it’s time to take the next step and bring this all together, so that you can control climate, lighting, shade, volume and vision in one simple move.
What the experts think
If you want to learn more about tomorrow’s home design, you only have to listen to architects, designers and agents who specialise in luxury property development. Trends include the very latest in controllable, accessible home security; adding sports facilities such as gyms, virtual golf ranges and dedicated gaming areas; integrating sound systems indoors and outdoors so that you have as much control of your technology by the pool as you do in the kitchen; and having dedicated programmes that do everything from waking you up in the morning to turning the lights off, one-by-one, as you climb the stairs to bed at night.
It’s the way all homes will run themselves eventually and, as with most innovations, its luxury homeowners who are leading the way. Simplicity is the key, which is why many of these professionals work with specialist home lifestyle consultants to get everything right at the design stage. That way, the cabling, plumbing, electrical points and smart technology are all planned and accounted for, allowing you to be completely confident about the end result.
Making your home work harder
The best thing about the revolution in intelligent home technology is that you barely have to lift a finger. Pre-programmed settings are controlled with a single button on inconspicuous units that are carefully planned into the design so that they are in exactly the right places. General settings are controlled via iPads that are mounted wherever you want them to be – and in however many rooms you like. Every detail is designed to fit with the lifestyle you live, so no two intelligent homes are ever the same. A unique combination of technical know-how, interior design and installation expertise allows a good consultancy team to work alongside the rest of a new build or redevelopment team to get everything right first time.
Looks are everything in luxury home living. A good interior designer thinks about far more than fabrics and accessories – they think about space, light, movement and all the nitty-gritty practicalities that turn a building shell into the home of your dreams. And that includes everything you need to run your life on a daily basis. How about blinds that automatically lower when the sun gets too hot, so you can maintain a steady room temperature? How about a dedicated home cinema designed to your theme and with better vision and sound quality than you’ll ever get at the pictures? How about secure entry technology that lets you open the door for a family member, even when you’re not there? All this and more is possible now – it’s not the home of the future; it’s the home of today.
The Internet of Things refers to all the ways we now use intelligent technology to make life easier. You can now find the nearest shop to your location that sells exactly the thing you want, and you can programme your vacuum cleaner to keep the floors tidy while you get on with something else. Technology like this is exciting and time-saving and helps you to create the lifestyle you want, but it’s easy to be worried about privacy, security and technology becoming obsolete.
Overcoming these fears is straightforward if you choose a contractor that offers a range of care and support solutions, has cyber security at the heart of every home design, and offers updates and new systems as you need them. You’re right to be protective of your home, your family and your possessions; make sure you work with someone who gives you the confidence you need.
For all the professionals involved in luxury home design, build and refurbishment, integrating technology into the home is a fundamental design principle. Leading architects and building experts are predicting that the next few years will see technology like this in every home, and they are full of praise for homeowners who are ahead of the game. They expect that, eventually, you won’t need to control anything at all – you’ll set all your preferences and the system will just adapt to them as it goes. We’ve seen this already with smartphones and dedicated apps – the technology is already part of your mobile life; why not make it part of your home life?
See it for yourself
Why not visit the Smarthomes Show Home? Set in leafy surroundings just outside Farnham, its full of the latest intelligent technology seamlessly integrated into a stylish contemporary interior design. You can book an appointment by calling 01252 741266 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.