September 9, 2016
Bringing tomorrow’s tech into your new home
Trying to build a home that won’t be a technological dinosaur in ten years certainly seems to be a challenge today. Is this always going to be just a home? Will there be an office in the home? What will entertainment bring in the future? How do you plan for tomorrow while building now?
High speed internet
Bringing high speed internet into the home is now one of the highest priorities. Entertainment, home control, and home business are all becoming internet demanding. Technology is shifting at the highest rate here. Businesses at home or work from home opportunities will continue to expand. Designing flexibility into how homes access and distribute data has to be a key thought. Bringing business level internet into a home wasn’t a consideration just ten years ago, but now it is becoming a requirement.
Though power hasn’t changed much, nor will it, how it is used has. Environmental concerns are driving power use to less pull on circuits. Lighting is shifting more and more to LED based, low current use. Less power is being used in areas of the house that used to be high use. Designing for changing use and control of power is a part of being ready for technological change.
Creating connection hubs
In order for you to be ready to integrate the cost saving and convenience focused technologies that are coming, access to specific areas of your home has to be factored in from the beginning. Creating hub points that go to multiple locations will be a necessity in order to provide flexibility in design.
The hubs provide connecting points for multiple rooms to tie into trunk lines or major circuits. Getting power or cables to the hubs can be a challenge unless you design for changes.
Imagine looking at maps of Europe. Major rail lines and roads tie together cities or hubs, providing easy transit to and from different cities. What are the major lines in homes?
The rails and roads
In her article on future proofing your home, Pat Curry quotes David Pedigo, senior director of learning and emerging technology for CEDIA:
“The only one way to future proof a home is to pull conduit to certain parts of the home,” he says. “That way, if a new technology comes out in three to five years, you’re ready for it. I’ve taught that for a decade, and no one has ever challenged me. It’s a lot cheaper to pull the wire now than go back after the fact and reinstall it.”
Why he states that, points to the long term need for solid connectivity via hard wire. Wireless systems in the home can only bear so much traffic before they become bogged down by demand. Hard wired systems designed for reasonably easy modification will actually give you more flexibility and greater connectivity.
Flexibility is the key word used in responding to the technological changes coming. If flexibility is one of the first thoughts in the design, bringing new technology into the home will be greatly simplified.