An increasing number of homebuilders in the U.S. are installing smart technologies in their new properties, as the benefits of smart homes such as enhanced security and automation convenience become clear.
“Across our entire portfolio, we’ve seen the importance of implementing technologies that can vastly improve the tenant experience,” said Scott Rechler, chairman and CEO of RXR Realty, which is installing Latch’s smart locks on its multifamily units.
Brookfield Property is also putting smart access control on its Greenpoint Landing project in New York. “Brookfield is always looking for ways to enhance the everyday experience of our residents, and implementing innovative technology continues to be a major area of focus for us,” said Ben Brown, executive vice president of Brookfield Property.
Another company installing Latch’s smart lock is The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG). “As an organization, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of new concepts and technologies that improve the lives of our residents,” said Dan Kelly, vice president of BPG’s Residential Operations.
Latch’s smart access system lets residents use their smartphone to unlock doors throughout their building, including at the main entrance, their apartment unit, gym, and other amenity spaces. Users can also grant temporary access to guests and service providers, like dog walkers and cleaners, through time-limited access codes.
An embedded wide-angle camera captures a visual record of every interaction by a non-resident, which homeowners can view from a mobile app. And through Latch’s national delivery partners, residents’ packages are automatically delivered safely inside their building.
Texas-based premier smart home provider Smart Hauz is also working on a project named Stone Creek Custom Homes that utilizes the Apple HomeKit smart platform.
The developer says it is the only company to provide cross-platform solutions working with Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, SmartThings and Wink.
A hybrid system of lights, locks and thermostats will be put in, while the open platform allows for additional features to be added in the future.
All the smart devices in a house simply work together, and there is no need for monthly subscriptions, expensive contracts or calling for technical support, the company says. Working directly with builders, Smart Hauz ensures everything gets installed and key products are ready before customers move in, says the company.
“This is a wise long-term investment, cost-effective and eco-friendly; it delivers an immediate benefit to the homeowner,” said Smart Hauz CEO Sunny Sneckner.
Getting smart homes is becoming less difficult. Consumers may roll the price of the smart home technology into their mortgage, and save money by using smart technologies to reduce energy and water usage, among other benefits.
Smart home is still a relatively new idea. The technology is not always easy to implement, with interoperability among the various platforms being a main challenge.
Charlie Kindel, premium smart home service provider Control4’s newly appointed Senior Vice President of Products & Services, said, “It’s gratifying to see individual and industry persistence paying off as connected home solutions are finally hitting mainstream households. However, many products and systems are still too complex and don’t work well across an entire home.”
Smart Hauz appear to be addressing this issue by building homes pre-installed with smart devices and appliances that already work with one another.