Smart Technology | Dos and Dont’s of smart home design

Smart Technology | Dos and Dont’s of smart home design

Specialists in the supply of intelligent build technology and complementary solutions, Ivory Egg has been working with independent system integrators since 2005, establishing a core network of dedicated smart home innovators. Mark Warburton, Technical Director at Ivory Egg outlines the company’s dos and don’ts of smart home design and creation:

Do consider the capabilities of the system and your client’s expectations on what it is able to do. If music is a core requirement, then a simple solution that enables multiple rooms to be playing the same music is probably the perfect solution. This can be achieved with a selection of network connected speakers, however if the sound quality of the music is what interests your customer, then Ivory Egg recommend a higher end, single room solution. Whether it is functionality or performance, there is a host of smart audio systems that will deliver on what is important to each of your customers.’’

‘‘Don’t forget the network. Most routers supplied by internet providers will struggle to provide a consistent performance: especially when there is more than 20 devices connected. That may sound like a lot, but this can very quickly be achieved in a home where smart technology is installed. Wireless coverage can also be an issue if you have the luxury of working with a large property. Remember, relying on a mobile phone connection is fine when streaming content via YouTube, but to control and interface to products will require a home network: a group of devices – such as computers, game systems, printers, and mobile devices – that connect to the Internet and each other. There are various off-the-shelf solutions to choose from that will extend the Wi-Fi capabilities throughout a home, but again, the router will still become an inevitable point of weakness. Ivory Egg therefore recommend you enlist the advice and expertise of a professional home tech installer. By doing so, it will ensure connectivity throughout the home that is able to cope with a typical family with high usage, along with the ability to include critical systems like lighting and heating, so they can watch their latest boxset whilst maintaining full illumination.’’

Smart home design‘‘Don’t confuse smart devices with smart systems. If you are looking to build a new home, or improve an existing one, installing a wired infrastructure will provide far greater long term flexibility and breadth of possibilities. Adding smart devices over the top of existing wiring is a great solution when you can’t rewire, but it can limit what can be achieved: particularly at a house wide level. That being said, a professional smart home installer will be able to help get the most from whichever system is being installed.’’

‘‘Don’t allow your customers to give up using a product after only a few times. Most smart home devices, particularly those based around voice interfaces, improve the more they are used. Checking the weather is certainly useful, but being able to dim the lights, shut the blinds and play music with one simple command is far more helpful. A lot of systems now have a degree of computer learning so the technology becomes tuned in to specific lifestyles and habits: and the more they are used, the better they get.’’

‘‘Dont get caught up with scaremongering around security and data protection. The majority of systems from well-known brands are inherently secure, and the manufacturers do everything possible to protect data. Voice devices may always be listening, but they are not always recording. This feature only comes in to effect when a key word is said, at this point the voice application will make a secure connection to the cloud and process the command.’’

‘‘That being said, Do change the default passwords. Security is a two-way street, so make sure your customers do their part by using strong passwords on devices and changing them regularly. Also, make sure you don’t alter the settings in the router that opens said home to the outside world, if you are not sure simply seek expert advice.’’

‘‘Do consider smart home technology as an investment. When approached the right way, technology can be used to not only make lives easier, but also make the home a more comfortable, secure, efficient and healthier environment to enjoy and experience. This leads to a better and more enjoyable home which is the type of investment that over time, will raise the level of smart home innovations set to embrace the housebuild market long in to the future.’’

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