Just about any child born into the 1960’s and beyond can gather some sort of memory of watching episodes of the Jetsons on their television. As we enjoyed our Pop Tart or bowl of cold cereal we would watch the “futuristic” way of living for this cartoon family and fantasize about how great our lives would be if we had gadgets like George or the kids enjoyed. Fast forward 50 years or so, because we are here now. Homes are being built smarter than ever with tons of gadgets that offer us more than we’d ever imagined. Smart homes are not an anomaly, they are the game changer.
Forbes wrote a fabulous article this spring discussing some of the areas in homes that are a focus for builders to ensure they are staying ahead of the competition. Areas such as appliances, entertainment, security, lighting and temperature controI, were at the top of the list for companies. Are smart homes attractive to everyone? Maybe not. According to Icontrol Networks, they report “that consumers across demographics (especially millennials and Generation Xers) are excited about owning a “smart home.”” Sort of makes sense, doesn’t it? Millennials and Gen Xers have been a prime focus for marketers over the last decade or so, and with Generation Z clipping at the heels of our market, this generation is going to expect even more.
What exactly is a “Smart Home?” Well, the best way I can describe it to you is that it offers gadgets to help you save money, provide convenience, and increase your ability to operate your home from a mobile device. It’s kind of weird to think we would need to operate our home from a mobile device. Have we gotten so lazy in today’s society that we no longer think getting up and actually walking to a light switch and turning the light on is normal anymore? I’m afraid so.
In the Hampton Roads, Cox Communications has been offering more mobile friendly options with their home security systems over the last 5 years. You may have seen the commercials where the families gather around and enjoy being able to lock their front door and set the house security alarm all with the click of a button on their IPhone. Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t forget there are video cameras that offer us the ability to watch what’s going on in our homes. But why stop there? You can set up a monitor now and visit with your furry friends to ensure they get to hear your sweet voice and see your friendly face throughout the day while you are at work.
If you think about how far we’ve come in just the last 5-10 years with technology, then it becomes quite easy for us to predict just how far the next 5-10 years will take us. Soon enough smart homes will be the norm, and we’ll have been so spoiled by technology that we’ll never want to turn back and go back to living without all of our gadgets. It’s a weird thought, but definitely realistic based on how rapidly our market is evolving.