At least one upscale appliance manufacturer includes the offer of a “house call” with a company technician who will instruct owners about how to program their new “smart oven” for the best, most efficient operation. The innovative range also offers pre-programming instructions for favorite recipes and the ability to customize operation for different family members.

It represents a quantum leap in the development of home automation tech, an extension of the kind of smart technology we have all come to rely upon with our office equipment and personal communication devices.

Planning for the Future

A consideration of automation technology, however, doesn’t simply enter the home once the building shell is complete. Ideally, it begins during the pre-construction planning stages.

The revolution in wireless technology has made high tech solutions affordable and automated home solutions are no longer considered luxury items. Technology advances not only make our lives easier and more comfortable, but infinitely more convenient.

But, even though there are no connecting wires, planning for the technology is paramount. Buildings must be designed to facilitate the new technology, and that planning can be demanding.

Automation Tech Comes Home

We have become accustomed to our smart phones and to the advanced features in modern automobiles. We’re no longer surprised or intimidated by seats that automatically adjust to individual drivers, by navigational assistance and GPS locators, by keyless locks and backup sensors. And we are told that cars that drive themselves are in our future.

At home, motion or sound-activated lighting is as commonplace as motorized draperies and television remotes. But what about drapes and blinds that open and close based on exterior weather conditions? Or those new-model refrigerators that incorporate online message centers, recipe storage and the ability to check on supplies by viewing the freezer via smart phone app? That same refrigerator will not only help you prepare your shopping list, but will also send an order directly to your favorite supermarket.

We can vacuum floors without so much as flipping a switch, and we control our home’s thermostats by remote app. We can remotely check air quality, make sure the garage door is closed and “see” the back yard.

Just how “smart” will the home of the future become?

Connections are a given — not only those with family and friends, but those that integrate business and personal lifestyles. As technology in the home becomes increasingly expected, it is also more varied.

Although home automation technology is not new, innovations seem to be coming faster and more frequently. Not only can we control our immediate environment from hand-held devices, but we can “see” in real time what is happening miles — or even continents — away. It’s possible to monitor your home while you’re on vacation, lock or unlock its doors, change the temperature setting, turn on your sprinkler system, or view the interior and exterior to confirm that all is well.

In addition, just as it’s possible to control your home environment from your office, it may become increasingly accepted to conduct your business affairs from your home. Already, it is unnecessary to disclose your location if you choose not to.

Ready for Future Advances

At New England Building Supply, we are invigorated by the continuing development of Boston’s urban core, not only by the possibilities but also by the challenges. We are confident that this city and its architects, builders, developers and local residents will find the path to a future that is as exciting as the past and the present.

We are happy to be a part of the new directions in both technology and green design, and we look forward to all the innovation that we see on the horizon!