“It was totally worth it,” says Savan Kotecha who spent about $80,000 to modernize his 2,400-square-foot West Hollywood, California home. 34-year-old Kotecha is an admitted Apple freak, who uses an iPad App made by Crestron – a home automation company – to do many things including feeding his fish, warming the driveway in anticipation of a snowfall, lowering the blinds and even heating the pool.
Many companies including Crestron, RTI and Control4 make these apps on Apple and Android devices. Nine in ten homeowners who have a smartphone or tablet have installed the apps and introduced new technology to their home and lifestyle. Apple is a dominant player because 87% of these smartphone or tablet users are using Apple devices. Savant Systems, another major player in the field, has made Apple the backbone of the hardware it installs and only makes technology to be controlled with the iPhone and iPad.
In case of a catastrophic event in the home like a fire, homes can be programmed to turn off electronics and air condition – leaving on enough lights for the homeowner to see a clear passage out of the home.This new technology not only is helpful in the home, but is also becoming helpful in the realm of home healthcare – motion sensors in the floor are now able to detect a life-threatening fall and call for an ambulance.
Beyond apps, emerging technologies in voice activation and motion-sensitivity will allow homeowners to move the curtains by swinging their hands and cameras that scan retinas and faces that sync with dweller’s TV preferences.
Jim Carroll, co-founder of Mass.-based Savant Systems says, “The things you hear about are absolutely amazing, anything’s possible.”