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Client IQ: How to Talk to Your Clients About Home Technology
This month, Home Technology Association CEO Josh Christian shares his top tips for talking to clients about technology in the kitchen, bath and throughout the home.
- Technology can make your kitchen a command center for the whole home. The kitchen is generally the hub of the home, so it’s the natural place to control the various facets of the house from. Smart home control systems are very popular today, where instead of a bunch of separate apps, a unified app can control lighting, climate, music, security (including viewing camera feeds), TVs and more. Instead of having to use your phone or tablet for control in such a key space, consider an in-wall (or on-counter) dedicated control touchscreen. It can be configured to do a few things at once from a single button press, such as put the home in ‘Entertain’ mode. From the touch of a single button, the home’s lights can be set to the perfect level, your party playlist starts up with the perfect volume in each space, the thermostats readjust and more.
- No one likes clutter, and that goes for sound systems, too. While whole-house audio systems are popular amenities, loudspeakers are better heard and not seen. We recommend quality flush mounted in-celling or in-wall speakers that can easily blend into the décor. Some speakers are designed to match the footprint of lighting fixtures, and some models are literally completely invisible!
- Scene-based lighting is a valuable upgrade. While everyone knows proper lighting is essential to the kitchen and bath, we also know how unsightly a bunch of dimmers look on your wall (it’s like “wall acne!”). Having a home technology integrator install a lighting control system is a game-changer. Planned accordingly, a single lighting keypad (same overall size as one dimmer) can recall multiple preset task and ambient/mood lighting scenes. Your walls and family will thank you.
- Voice control can provide benefits for homeowners of all ages, adding convenience and safety. Personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri or the more privacy-focused Josh.ai platform can be used to turn on timers, check the weather, brighten the lights, change the TV channel, call for help in the event of an emergency or activate a favorite music channel or playlist, all with your voice! We recommend hiding these devices into flush-mounted ceiling or wall enclosures and getting them off the counters.
- You can locate TVs throughout the home, including the kitchen and bath – and easily have them hidden from sight when not in use to minimize visual clutter. TVs are thinner than ever, and there are clever ways to make them even less intrusive. Products such as Seura’s Hydra TVs are waterproof and meant for places like the kitchen and bath. They flush-mount in a wall with a special backbox. There are also mirror TVs that hide the TV in plain sight. And, there are several creative ways to make TVs ‘appear’ from cabinetry and countertops with motorized TV mounts.
For more technology tips, visit the Home Technology Association (HTA) website at https://htacertified.org. The HTA helps homeowners and home design and building professionals find qualified home technology installation firms for their home construction projects. The HTA also maintains a Resource Guide to share some of the consumer electronics industry’s most innovative home technology products.