Charlie Kindel, Chief Product & Technology Officer, SnapAV, looks to the future.
Smart home devices are rapidly gaining consumer interest, such as voice assistants, smart lights, and video doorbells. However, as families begin to explore and integrate DIY smart home technology, they are realising that the heavy lifting doesn’t end after installation.
Smart devices from different manufacturers often don’t work together, requiring disparate apps for management and control of their smart home. Trying to control a home using multiple interfaces causes user fatigue, not to mention it’s a full-time job for homeowners to manage their technology. This experience is slow and complicated, not smarter like it’s advertised to be.
When smart home technology is effortless to use, adoption increases. The best chance for smart home success is a technology platform that integrates with all the smart devices on the market and leverages technology professionals to deal with the complexity. Systems that only work with one brand of devices limit the number of features in the system. Diverse smart home platforms allow users to create immersive experiences that incorporate multiple devices.
For example, a home theatre scene operates the lights and shades, temperature, audio system, display, and shuts the garage door.
This experience is only possible with a robust system that is installed as the infrastructure in the home uniting every connected experience. An infrastructural approach also enables longevity, where the system is expandable, so new technology and experiences can be added as they become available or as the homeowner makes changes that require additional devices.
Such a system is what we call an operating system for the home. Just like the OS made PCs useable for the average consumer back in the ‘90s, an operating system for the home makes the smart home viable, and not just a smattering of devices, apps, and features.
Our own Control4 OS 3 connects all devices across security, comfort, entertainment, and convenience categories, giving homeowners control of their most-used devices and automates scenes to complement their lifestyle.
Fewer than 5% of personal computer owners install the OS on their computers; almost everyone depends on professionals to ensure things just work. The smart home OS is even more complex and customised than a PC, and professional installation relieves the frustration points homeowners have with DIY systems.
Home technology professionals offer the same benefits as an electrician, painter, or landscaper: expertise, installation, personalisation, and maintenance. In a smart home, pros provide the right recommendations on personalised technology solutions to suit the homeowner’s lifestyle, install the smart home system and devices for them, and offer the option for 24/7 professional remote support after installation.
Interest in the truly smart home is translating into business for home technology professionals, as automation systems become the norm for new home builds and renovation projects.
Home technology pros are more often working with builders, renovators, architects, designers, and electricians to design systems, in both retrofits and in the new construction projects, where technology is being planned earlier in the process. With platforms like Control4 OS 3 as the base, they can collaborate on the features that the homeowner wants across the design process to ensure that the system and devices are installed properly (the same way they work with an electrician, HVAC technician, drywall installer and taper, painter, etc.), and suit the other design and build considerations.
The right home technology platform makes the smart home a seamless, intuitive, and delightful experience for homeowners. As the basis for device control, it’ll enable new features in the future. For example, as machine learning algorithms continue to advance and are implemented into the smart home, future smart home systems will also be able to provide intelligent recommendations and take action without being prompted by the user, streamlining the smart home experience even further. The platform will set the future of the smart home and new capabilities up for success, and adoption is just starting.
This article originally appeared in the pages of Essential Install Magazine; subscribe here.