Residential life design: Is home automation old-school?
Over the span of my career (almost totally within this industry), the course of change has been constant, and the constancy is moving at an ever-faster rate. We’ve known and been told this by all the futurists for decades, yet it doesn’t necessarily feel any better when we encounter the challenges in moving forward. It’s like getting older: If you’re still alive, there’s no stopping time or avoiding the getting older part.
It seems that unless one jumps into this industry with both feet, a person might be surprised more easily. More directly, my career has traversed many so-called “control systems.” The change in the past 15 years has been dizzying, whether we are discussing access control, lighting control or whole-house control. Even the term home automation may be on its last legs. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), is our current paradigm of control going to continue being useful… and for how long?
Let’s ask the question this way: If the devices in the home are sensing the presence of exactly who is entering the home, and devices are – even now – ordering supplies (such as, a new battery for the front door lock when it’s running low), the devices are asking the homeowner or even sensing how they feel and making the necessary adjustments. Then is this “home control,” or is the home sensing and responding without the owner even touching a keypad or iPad to control anything?
After doing some research recently on the trends in social thought today, I discovered one of the most popular programs – indeed, the most popular course at Stanford University. It’s a course entitled Designing Your Life, led by Bill Burnett, executive director of the Stanford Design Program. Within their syllabus is the description: ”We provide a framework that organizes the content elements of the course, including the integration of work and worldview, the realities of engaging the workplace, and practices that support vocation formation throughout your life.”
Andrew Ard is an industry veteran with over 20 years’ experience serving in marketing roles for key CEDIA manufacturers and service organizations. He is also a member of the CEDIA Advisory Board, former CEDIA and IPRO Board Member. Andrew is currently serving as director of marketing and outreach for Dallas Sight and Sound, a founding design-build system integration company and member of CEDIA, specializing in high-performance, easy-to-use systems that have been delighting clients for over 30 years.