The scope of smart home technology is growing exponentially, offering homeowners everything from voice-activated entertainment to pet care and baby monitors to fall protection for seniors. There’s technology today to turn on your lights, adjust your thermostat, start your coffee or arm your security system.
Recent statistics show these amenities are rapidly becoming the norm for homeowners. TechJury.net reports, 81 percent of consumers say they are more likely to purchase a new home that has smart technology. The U.S. is the world’s leader in smart home gadgets, with 70 percent of American consumers owning at least one product. By 2023, analysts say, 54 percent of U.S. households will have incorporated smart devices into daily operations.
But while the songs tumbling out of a speaker on command may capture the consumer’s imagination, what really makes a smart home go is what you can’t see – the backbone of fiber that makes an automated home run. In fact, when building a new home in an area with gig fiber access, some experts recommend fiber wiring in parts of the home and use in home Wi-Fi as a complement.
As the Home Technology Association recently reported, “[While] it is true that a high-performance wireless network (Wi-Fi) is fairly capable at shuttling all sorts of signals throughout a home, there are a host of all-too-common limitations and challenges.”
Therefore, the key to building today’s smart home – as well as future-proofing it against what analysts expect to be an explosion of such technologies in the future – is to invest in the proper infrastructure to deliver content, provide the best Internet and connect the various products and systems in the home. The undisputed leader among available options is fiber optics, such as gig speed internet from Kinetic.
“[Fiber] is the only type of wire that can adequately provide the appropriate bandwidth for today’s and tomorrow’s data-intensive demands,” writes HTA. “A home that has been properly prewired provides a fast, reliable multi-lane highway on which signals can travel, free from connectivity issues, traffic bottlenecks and slow delivery.”
Once this backbone is established, you can begin to assemble your smart home components. According to TheAmbiant.com, this can be done with individual gadgets or you can think bigger with a smart home ecosystem, a brain-in-a-box control center for all smart devices. At present, there are only three ecosystems on the market: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, each rated differently for ease of setup and user-friendliness.
You will also want to consider each one’s compatibility with various devices to ensure it controls the functions you want, although more smart products are being added all the time.