Why are Home Automation adoption rates increasing so rapidly?
Home Automation is definitely taking off these days. Growth is substantial year over year, technologies are more reliable, and folks want to take advantage for different reasons. “Taking off” may as well be said for adoption rates of Audio Video and Home Theater technology too. There are many reasons for increased adoption rates for Smart Homes, Home Entertainment and Home Automation Systems. In regards to Automated Homes, there are a couple that really stand out in my mind.
1) Apps & wireless technology at full throttle: We see tablets and smart phones everywhere these days. The fact of the matter is that IPads, IPhones, and wireless devices that can connect to the internet have the ability for information to flow at a high rate of speed. The bandwidth capabilities are increasing, allowing large amounts of information to pass even more rapidly through the wireless space. Not to mention, if one owns a tablet or smart phone, they already have a usable home automation controller in hand. Look at Google Fiber, coming to Austin Texas in 2013/2014. This will speed up networks even more and be unlike any connection speed that we have ever fathomed. Home Automation is essentially made easier and more convenient by taking advantage of new wireless technology, its reliability, and its speed. If you are on the way to your vacation house for the weekend with the family, just power up your Home Automation application on your IPad and adjust the thermostat to the comfort level that you desire. The options and uses are vast and nearly limitless. While away on business, intercom into the house audio with a special message to your entire family. Convenience, ease of use, and speed of transmission driven by app technology all apply in the surge of popularity today.
2) Price Price Price: Everyone hammers away on price, all day, every day. Sure, Smart Home Systems are expensive, but they are cheaper than ever before. That opens the doors for a larger group of people. Folks can obtain starter or cheaper packages to encourage adoption today, which can be developed further or added onto in the future. In the history of Home Automation, it’s always been an expensive, ultra rich only toy. Today, in Houston and Austin, TX we have many clients started for $5,000-$10,000 and they actually see really cool features and benefits for the entire family that justify the expense. Other factors that bring down prices are less remote controllers, and less in wall devices. With the Systems of old, you’d see a home automation panel in the wall in various rooms inside ones house, as well as multiple remote controls, sometimes dedicated to only one room each. At a price point of $1000-$1500 per panel or controller, lets just say that gets expensive pretty quickly. Today, all you need is your IPad and IPhone, or should I say tablet and smart phone. Costs for those items are minimal in comparison, and allow one to take advantage of many other technologies available within the world of wireless networks.
When you hear the word Home Automation today, it doesn’t always mean 6 figure budgets, in fact, as a baseline, you’d be safe budgeting 8-12% of your entire new home construction budget for Audio/Video, Home Theater, and Home Automation. That doesn’t mean that all brands are created equal. More on that later. Go ahead and breath a sigh of relief though, because it’s not an ultra rich only luxury anymore. Today’s home technology is so cool even at low price points. It satiates different appetites with the same taste of excitement. Now that’s just dazzling, isn’t it darling?!
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