Often we hear people say the smart home industry is still in its infancy. The industry is currently only supported by early adopters and tech geeks that have the patience and interest twiddling around with this sort of technology. Last summer, I wrote an article chronicling the five challenges facing the smart home industry as I saw them. Nearly a year later, all of those challenges still exist. It may well take another two to five years until we start to see explosive growth in the smart home market — but let’s save that discussion for another time.
While the mass market smart home industry still is not ready for an effective full-home automation solution, there is one market that is: the luxury home market. In fact, high-end homeowners have been automating their homes for decades, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for professionally installed lighting and control systems. This summer, we plan to introduce Josh.ai, the next generation of these high-end control systems, that employs artificial intelligence, voice activation, and machine learning.
What systems are best for my high-end home?
If you are in the market to add luxury automation to your home, whether it’s for a new construction, renovation, or retrofit, one of the most important things to do is find a competent professional integrator (if you need help finding one in your area, shoot us a message and we can connect you). This integrator will work with you to choose the best solution for your home, from lighting, to speakers, to cameras. While many of the existing control companies make their own hardware to accompany the control system itself, we’ve found that installing hardware from manufacturers that specialize in specific functions and integrating everything together with a controller, such as Josh, can provide a richer experience for the homeowner. Below are some of the best high-end professionally installed systems in each functional category that are on the market today. It should be noted that most of these systems cannot be purchased directly from the vendor. Instead, you must locate a dealer, who will work with you on finding the best solution. If you need help finding a dealer for any one of these systems, let us know and we’d be happy to help.
Mirage Audio (Autonomic Controls)
While Sonos has revolutionized streaming audio with its simple-to-install and intuitive-to-use approach, Autonomic’s Mirage audio system is a better choice for custom installations since it better integrates with other surround sound components to give a seamless distributed audio experience.
Sooloos (Meridian Audio)
For the real audiophile, Sooloos from Meridian Audio takes it to the next level by offering true hi-def audio with an intuitive and sleek user experience.
Radio RA2 (Lutron)
Lutron has been the leader in professionally installed lighting systems for many years. Their products are extremely stable yet flexible, and they are developer friendly and work well with 3rd-party integrations. If you have an extremely large home with over 200 devices to control, you can upgrade to the Homeworks QS model that gives you the ability to control a nearly unlimited number of devices.
MyQ Garage (Chamberlain)
This is one of the devices that you can actually buy on your own and either install yourself or give to your integrator to install for you. You can access your garage remotely and open/close it as needed.
Learning Thermostat (Nest)
Although Nest has had some growing pains as of late, the learning thermostat is still one of the best looking devices on the market and most widely known. We would be careful about its learning skills, though, as it sometimes has the tendency to learn new schedules from guests staying over or other disruptive visitors.
One of the worst things about streaming a movie is when a slow network can cause the movie to buffer or stop altogether in the middle. Kaleidescape offers a solution to this that allows you to store hundreds of HD movies and TV shows locally. Their Strato movie player is dubbed as “the world’s first and only 4K Ultra HD high-dynamic-range movie player,” so you can actually use that 4k TV you bought to its true potential.
Of course there are many other great products, so reach out any time if you’d like to discuss which ones are best for you!
This post was written by Nader who heads Business Development at Josh.ai. Previously, Nader was managing partner at GenYrator and before that he was Vice President / Supervising Execution Trader at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Nader has an MBA from USC and a BS in Electrical Engineering from UT Austin. He likes to play volleyball, travel, and rock out to pop music.