The concept of the smart neighborhood has rapidly evolved in recent years from an interesting idea to a fast-approaching reality, with aftermarket smart home devices continuing to gain consumer interest and traction. However, until now builders have largely been left out of the smart home movement due to the requirement for a router and modem prior to move in to build in smart home technology. Then, when the homeowner moves out and disconnects Internet service, all of the aftermarket devices previously in use in the home become a challenge to reinstall. To truly be considered a smart home, the homeowner shouldn’t have to wait until after they move in to make their home intelligent or reinstall the technology that was there for the previous owner. Instead, for the next generation of smart homes, the house itself will become the smart device.
In today’s market, homebuyers merely have access to incremental smart home technology, which can only be achieved through their own sourcing, installation and integration into the home. This provides a tremendous opportunity for homebuilders to recognize the growing demand for smart home features and find a way to meet those demands during construction. With that in mind, here are the four tips new homebuilders should consider when creating smart neighborhoods by focusing on making the home itself the smart device.
Forget the aftermarket products
As I mentioned above, to be a truly smart home, it’s essential to have home Internet of Things (IoT) connective technology built-in during construction. By doing so, builders can develop an entire smart neighborhood with interconnective technology that doesn’t rely on the homebuyer to turn on services, install hardware or even set up internet to provide smart home technology. By integrating the technology during the construction phase and featuring the house itself as the smart home technology, the builder can really standout by offering unique features that can be marketed to attract new homeowners.
Store IoT data locally
A smart home with built-in inter-connective IoT technology can easily integrate more than 100 devices. If this technology is running on the cloud, the monthly data charge can easily exceed $500 per month. No consumer will be willing to pay those exorbitant costs. In order to build a pre-connected smart house, all smart behavior needs to run locally to minimize data usage from using the cloud.
Tie smart features together in a bundle
By building in IoT features, builders are able to make the home a truly smart device by installing a network of products that can communicate with each other. This can be accomplished through built-in Edge computing smart technology that communicates with every one of the home’s smart technology features and devices, serving as the Wi-Fi router and mesh network for the home’s smart technology. This not only makes the home more efficient and helps keep data costs down, but it can create opportunities to live a healthier lifestyle. For instance, an air quality sensor can tie into local parks to let homeowners know if the air quality is good during different times of the year. In addition, builders can choose a myriad of products that can all communicate with different systems to turn off lights, secure cameras or change the thermostat, all by voice command.
Narrowband technology is the gateway to tomorrow’s smart home
Narrowband (NB-Iot) is a specific, low frequency technology that can be accessed directly from cell phone towers and used to help smart home products communicate without relying on internet access. This means that the home will function as its own connected smart device upon purchase, without having to rely on acquiring additional equipment and getting the internet set up and running to make things work and connect. Narrowband technology allows the homebuilder to differentiate their construction and make a smart neighborhood truly smart. Furthermore, built-in NB-IoT technology provides homebuyers with stronger resale value for their property, should they choose to sell, as they will be able to market the home as ready to go as the ultimate smart device with self-internet capabilities and communication between multiple essential home technologies. Prospective homebuyers will undoubtedly value the built-in smart home technology and ability to avoid the cumbersome and sub-optimal process of reinstalling aftermarket smart home devices.
Smart neighborhoods use less power and are more energy efficient. With the home constructed as an effective smart device, lights and air temperature can be managed while outside the home, creating a future-focused, energy efficient neighborhood. With today’s technology, homebuilders can build a centralized-hub to manage all of the property’s products that rely on the energy grid, making it easier to be budget and earth friendly with one all-encompassing smart device—the home.
Smart neighborhoods are the future and are in high-demand. While other homebuilders rely on the homeowner to purchase aftermarket products and integrate their own smart home technology, take advantage of the opportunity now to construct houses and developments that serve as their own smart devices and networks of interconnected, green smart home functionality and technology. Take into consideration these four tips to give your homebuyer the perfect access to the end game for all smart home technology—a home that serves as its own smart device.