Chances are youâ€™ve got more than one remote control for your television and a fair number of light switches on the walls of your home. If you have a security system, it probably doesnâ€™t work in concert with the HVAC system. For music during dinner, if youâ€™re like me, the sound system is your phone sitting on the counter cycling through an iTunes playlist.
Home technology systems baffle and frustrate many homeowners. But it doesnâ€™t have to be that way, says Brad Hintze, senior director of product marketing at Control4, a technology company that develops smart home automation to control lighting, entertainment, security, energy, and other connected devices.
â€œWe wanted to find a way for homeowners toâ€‰benefit rather than to be engaged in a fight with technology as they try to get it all to work together,â€ says Hintze.
Lots of companies are getting into the home automation field, getting electronic components to work together with a remote control or even just a phone app. Bostonians have the chance to see how a home with integrated technology systems functions April 4-7 during Boston Design Week when Control4 will showcase a custom Airstream styled to show how smart home devices can be integrated â€” and complement dÃ©cor.
â€œA lot of people think you need to have multiple rows of light switches in your kitchen, then a separate security panel, and several thermostats,â€ says Hintze. â€œAll of that â€˜stuffâ€™ ruins the aesthetic of the home.â€
The Control4 airstream features multiple vignettes including a kitchen, family room, and a master bedroom that will help consumers envision smart technology in their own home.
â€œYou donâ€™t need to have a $10 million home for integrated systems to make sense, itâ€™s accessible even if you have a $300,000 home,â€ says Hintze.
Lighting control is one element the Airstream will showcase.
In the kitchen, different light settings may be programmed for eating, cooking, and cleaning. â€˜The homeownersâ€™ personal lighting scenes are really easy to set up on a touch screen or mobile phone,â€ explains Hintze. â€œYou adjust lighting levels for each source of light and save it.â€ With smart lighting, he adds, light slowly ramps up rather than a typical switch that flips abruptly on, creating a more pleasant transition.
Visitors to the Airstream will also be able to experience the benefits of voice control activation. â€œWhen youâ€™re preparing food or your hands are wet in the kitchen or you are in bed, voice control is very handy: itâ€™s great to be able to turn on romantic dinner lights or music in the kitchen, or deal with the TV at night,â€ says Hintze.
Control4â€™s modular home automation systems offer support for nearly 10,000 devices, including Appleâ€™s Nest thermostat, Amazonâ€™s Alexa, Sony televisions and movie projectors, and Harmon Kardon sound systems, so homeowners have a broad range of choices when it comes to the technologies they want to integrate into their household.
â€œThe idea behind the Airstream is for people to visualize how simply and easily home technology can come together,â€ says Hintze. â€œRather than be consumed with figuring out how to make your homeâ€™s electronic systems work, we want to demonstrate how it can enhance your day-to-day experience.â€
Control4 Smart Home Airstream will be at The Innovation and Design Building in South Boston April 4-7. For more information, go to: www.control4.com/o/smarthomedesigntour-BDW.Jaci Conry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.