Forget Smart Home. The “Thoughtful Home” is the Future
How the tech in our home makes us feel is the key to the home of the future.
At its core, home is about shelter. Protection from the outside elements and that sense of security when you walk through that front door. Of course, home is also an emotional place where memories are made, loved ones are welcomed and dreams are part of its foundation.
Today, our homes are becoming the new frontier for what is an ever growing tech-obsessed society. Our smartphones are never out of our reach. Our TVs must have Internet access. And information is the currency of choice.
But this morning at a smart home panel conducted at the annual Coldwell Banker conference, the Generation Blue Experience, smart home experts shared their view of the future of the smart home and the big takeaway was that the smart home needs to be much more than just smart. It should be the “thoughtful home.”
The panel was moderated by Courtney Cochrane of tech review megasite, CNet, and the panelists included Ben Bixby from Nest, Jay Kenny from Alarm.com, Matt Swatsky from Lutron and Tejash Unadkat from August Smart Locks.
Smart home is becoming a generic term that is quickly losing its meaning. When asked what makes a home a smart home, most consumers would answer that it has to have multiple devices connected to the Internet. That’s not a surprise as it has become the core of what we perceive a smart home to be. But the idea that a smart home should be “thoughtful” is when I find myself excited about the potential.
Tejash Unadkat of August Smart Locks shared how his product knows when you’re approaching the front door and can automatically unlock it for you. Alarm.com’s Kenny talked about how his company’s product can set off a chain reaction by acting as a connector of smart home devices so when you walk in your front door your locks tell your thermostat to turn on the A/C and then tells your lights to turn on and then sets your stereo to play a little Mozart.
Ray Bradbury warned us about the day our homes would have minds of their own, but he did not anticipate that their intelligence would be more loving than malicious. “Peace of Mind” is the new currency when valuing what a smart home can offer. Do you feel better about your home because you have a security system with a home camera? Are you more comfortable knowing you can control who has access to your home at specific times throughout the day because of smart locks?
Our homes are huge financial investments, but we live in them more for emotional reasons than rational ones. The emotional value of a home is paramount, and that’s quickly becoming the deciding factor for what technology we put in it as well.
As consumer spending on smart home products are expected to surge over the next couple of years, the players that focus their value proposition on becoming a key component to the “thoughtful home” are the ones that will find success in the hearts of minds of homeowners as well as at checkout.