Two years ago, Branthaven Homes had tablet mounts in their kitchens at Lake House in Grimsby, a now sold out waterfront community. As a builder who clearly showed signs of embracing smart home technology, we wanted to pick their brain about the future of smart features in the new home industry.
We had the opportunity to chat with Kristen Bellamy, Marketing Manager, about Branthaven’s take on the smart home movement.
Newinhomes.com (NIH): Do you think there will be a time when smart home features are standard in all new home projects? Why or why not?
Kristen Bellamy (KB): If you can unlock your front door from your phone to let in the dog walker, or turn on your house alarm from your tablet at work if you forget to set it in the morning, this adds valuable time to your day and people are very receptive to that because in today’s world, time is of the essence. Any piece of technology that can make someone’s life simpler and allow them to manage their time more efficiently is here to stay.
NIH: So are buyers asking about smart home tech upgrades?
KB: Buyers haven’t started asking about these features yet, but that’s not to say they won’t. Right now, this type of technology is more of a ‘want to have’ rather than a ‘need to have’ for most people.
NIH: What do you think would be the most useful smart tech in a home?
KB: Smart indoor security cameras are one of the most useful pieces of smart tech out there. Not only will they alert you of intruders when you’re out of the house, some of them even allow you to zoom in on faces and talk to them while they automatically record footage and follow the intruder around the room. Also, you can spy on your kids and scare your dog into getting off the couch when you’re not home – so that’s also fun.
NIH: Do you have any hesitation to embrace smart home tech?
KB: As I said, smart tech is here to stay and will one day saturate the market as commonplace. We strive to reimagine the homebuilding industry with unique, design-oriented developments and, if not now, this will soon include smart tech.
NIH: Is cost still a big obstacle to getting more smart tech in new homes?
KB: Cost is important, for sure, but not a hindering factor. I think the bigger issue is that when features are so new to the market, as is smart tech, purchasers aren’t necessarily educated about the products, therefore, are not as appreciative of the value that these features add.
NIH: Given the opportunity, would you ever team up with a company like Google or Amazon to integrate smart home digital assistants into your new homes?
KB: Google and Amazon are leaders in the smart tech industry and they would be great partners if we decide to integrate smart home digital assistants into our homes.
NIH: Artificial intelligence has been a hot topic lately. What do you think about new homes coming with a built in AI in the future? Will this ever happen? Would you do it given the option?
KB: 30 years ago, the idea of handheld tablet computers, video conferencing and 3D TV were nothing but predictions from the writers of Back to the Future – can you imagine life without these items today? The thought of an AI integration in new homes sounds absurd today, but in 2047, my AI may just be the one responding to your emails.
Branthaven has a long history of successful communities in Hamilton and Niagara Region, and surrounding areas. Their innovative approach to homebuilding will surely make them a future leader in smart home offerings. To see what Branthaven has in the works, check out their current communities!