Chances are you’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 doesn’t work in concert with the HVAC system. For music during dinner, if you’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 doesn’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.
“We wanted to find a way for homeowners to benefit rather than to be engaged in a fight with technology as they try to get it all to work together,” 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 — and complement décor.
“A lot of people think you need to have multiple rows of light switches in your kitchen, then a separate security panel, and several thermostats,” says Hintze. “All of that ‘stuff’ ruins the aesthetic of the home.”
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.
“You don’t need to have a $10 million home for integrated systems to make sense, it’s accessible even if you have a $300,000 home,” 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. ‘The homeowners’ personal lighting scenes are really easy to set up on a touch screen or mobile phone,” explains Hintze. “You adjust lighting levels for each source of light and save it.” 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. “When you’re preparing food or your hands are wet in the kitchen or you are in bed, voice control is very handy: it’s great to be able to turn on romantic dinner lights or music in the kitchen, or deal with the TV at night,” says Hintze.
Control4’s modular home automation systems offer support for nearly 10,000 devices, including Apple’s Nest thermostat, Amazon’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.
“The idea behind the Airstream is for people to visualize how simply and easily home technology can come together,” says Hintze. “Rather than be consumed with figuring out how to make your home’s electronic systems work, we want to demonstrate how it can enhance your day-to-day experience.”
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.