D-I-Don’t – Why You Need A Smart Home Integrator
The world as we know it has changed drastically. The far-out futuristic gadgets and gizmos that we saw in movies such as “Back to the Future” and Disney’s “Smart House” have become a reality. Naturally, you want a piece of the action.
What started out as just Siri and Alexa has boomed into a plethora of smart devices to add to your home. These products provide consumers with a sense of joy, comfort, and safety. Thanks to companies like Google and Amazon you can now easily purchase these items and install the upgrades yourself all at an affordable price. Instant gratification – exactly what every consumer wants, right?
Your Hero – The Integrator
While you can certainly purchase these items easily and for some, even install them with minimal effort, you may not be making the best choices for your home. Have you considered what items will need batteries? Will they be controlled by a remote or tablet? What are all the devices this product can integrate/connect with? These are the types of answers an integrator would easily know.
Aside from residential consumers, interior designers and architects should be aware of the importance of an integrator. As you begin to design infrastructures that are larger or more complex, you’re going to need a thorough understanding of how the appliances you choose work and communicate with other devices. Not to mention, all the technical specifications. Can the device be easily hacked into? Will it interfere with other mobile devices? What kind of bandwidth does the device require? Imagine your customer’s frustration if they can’t access the wifi due to the smart device you selected for them. Not the most ideal situation…
To see a full list of items to consider read: Smart Home Technology: DIY Or Professional Integration?
The Design of Everyday Things
I’m sure most readers will be able to relate to this scenario, you go over to a friend or relatives house, are told to make yourself at home and go to turn on the TV. Only your once relaxing carefree night with your friend turns into a challenge. Which remote do I use?!
Growing up, I think we had at least three remotes to control the TV. One turned it on, the other was to change channels, and the last…well I’m not even sure what the last was for. I still can feel my heart flutter as I recall using the wrong remote causing the screen to turn into static as I heard my father’s footsteps come down the stairs.
Aside from not knowing all the specifications of a device, you may not be considering the user experience behind the product. Are you going to have to use multiple apps to control your home? Multiple remotes? Are they easy to understand? You may successfully install all your new gadgets but find yourself and your wife in a deeper war then when you attempted to assemble that Ikea wardrobe from hell. Smart homes should be sophisticated in functionality while being simple to use.
Professional Integrators and Installers resolve these headaches. They work with designers and architects to best understand their clients and their individual needs. If you are a designer or architect and would like to learn more about smart home technology sign up for CEDIA training or find a Control4 Showroom near you.
Written By: Megan Doris – Brand Manager