Homearama house takes "smart home" tech to extreme
Time:2014-10-20 9:41:07

Imagine walking into your home after a long day at work and, with a few taps of your finger, transforming your domicile exactly as you please for your evening’s plans.

Whether it’s the lighting or music for a dinner party with two dozen guests, an intimate cocktail party for four or just a quiet night relaxing at home with family, you can tap an in-wall touch screen in your foyer or great room, and your preset desires will instantly set the mood.

The Lakefront Technology Home, built by Ore Builders at  at The Waterfront at Parkside in Suffolk, showcases such technology. The system was created by GBS Connected.

“We’ve done some technology in our other Homearama houses,” said Les Ore, noting that this is his eighth year participating. “But this takes it to the extreme.”

The technology packages, which are customized to suit homeowners’ needs and wants, cost up to $30,000.

“This is just one of the many convenience features that having a technology-based home can offer,” said Bobby Golden, senior engineer with The GBS Group.

Golden, who has a similar system installed in his own residence, explained how homeowners can, with the press of a button, adjust the heating or cooling system, turn on the news and have numerous lights switch on as soon as they step inside.

And a bedtime button – which quiets the house and all the electronic devices within it for the night – also can rouse the security system.

“This gets everything in the house plugged in to communicate with each other through a central system,” Golden said. “Normally you’d have to walk around the house doing these things.”

Not anymore. The wave of the future is here.

That wave – so-called “smart-home technology” – is one that Golden believes will lead to standard features in houses within the next couple of decades. GBS Connected uses an automation and control system – called URC, or Universal Remote Control – to manage the home’s audio, video, lighting, surveillance and heating and cooling systems.

URC’s Complete Control mobile app enables the integrated systems to be accessed through an Android or Apple device, including tablets and cellphones. In the Homearama home, a handheld remote control for use in the media room controls the integrated systems and the home-theater system, which consists of a 70-inch Aquos high-definition television and Blu-ray disc player.

The audio system, which uses Sonos equipment, can play Internet music-streaming services such as Pandora and Rhapsody in the great room, theater room, master suite, dining room, second-floor loft, backyard, kitchen and garage.

Aside from the luxury, convenience, wow factor and entertainment value that the systems bring to a home, there is also the energy-saving aspect that Golden said he’s experienced firsthand.

“I’ve seen power bills significantly reduced,” he said, noting the interior temperatures can be scheduled allowing the homeowner to come home to a comfortable house.

The system also features two wireless surveillance cameras – one in the front and the other in the rear. That allows real-time video monitoring, with recording capability, through the internet from anywhere in the world.

Just like everyone wants to be connected nowadays – your home can stay connected with you, too, whether you’re in it or not.

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